I have learned a whole lot from this course. I have a little bit of a better understanding of the many different learning strategies, learning theories and learning styles. This course has not only taught me a lot of things that I did not know, but it has also refreshed my memory about the different learning styles and theories that I originally learned about six years ago. I learned that a learning style, learning theory, and learning strategy are all different things. I first thought that they were all the same just with different names, but I now understand the differences.

Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence is a model that I remember talking about and evaluating during my undergraduate years, but I had forgotten some of the dimensions of the intelligences and what they mean. I now remember that it consists of visual/spatial, musical, verbal/linguistic, logical/mathematical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and bodily/kinesthetic intelligence. It was very shocking to me to find out that there is a lot of controversy about learning styles. My educational psychology teacher drilled us about being able to address all the learning styles and incorporating them into our lesson plans, and now some educational psychologist are saying that they are not valid and there is no scientific evidence to support learning styles. I have learned about the process of storing information, and how the information must be meaningful in order for it to be stored into long-term memory. If the information is meaningful then a person can recall the information and connect it to current situations.

Motivating students was one of my favorite topics. Being able to motivate students that you have no physical contact with and that you know nothing about can be a difficult task, but after reading some of the resources provided, I know that it is possible to motivate students without physically seeing them every day. I have always thought that in order to be able to help motivate students the teacher must be able to see them to make a connection.

I learned that ARCS has four steps and they are attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction. I have never heard of this motivational design before until taking this course. ARCS can be used to boost the motivational level of online learners. It was very interesting addressing all the steps to create a plan that will be beneficial to students in helping to promote and sustain motivation. It made me think about my needs as an online learner and what things can be used to motivate me and keep me focused on successfully completing my program. I was also refreshed on the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic is motivation that comes from within yourself and is something you do because you enjoy doing it. Extrinsic is motivation that has desirable consequences or is done because something valuable will be given for completing the tasks.

Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed this class. I have learned so much new information that will be useful in my classroom as an instructional designer, whether it be online or in a physical classroom environment. I have also learned that students can receive the same attention and motivation online and in a classroom. Although some psychologist don’t believe that learning theories are valid, I will still address them and if they prove not to be beneficial to my students then I will adjust the learning environment to better fit my students. My ultimate goal is to make sure that my students are learning and that every lesson taught will be valuable to them. I believe learning should be fun.


Fitting the Pieces Together

My view still has not changed about how I learn. I still believe that the behaviorist and cognitive learning theories best describe the way I learn. Honestly, I could probably take bits and pieces from each learning theory to explain how I learn but I believe that cognitive and behaviorist theories are more closely related to my learning experiences. I have learned a lot about the different learning theories and learning styles discussed over the past weeks that can help me explain my own personal learning preferences. I may be wrong, but from what I have read and comprehended the cognitive and behaviorist theories best describe how I process information. Behaviorist use positive rewards and punishment to influence learning and the Cognitive theory uses previous experiences. Behaviorist learning occurs through observable behavior that can be measured and cognitive learning occurs through association and repetition. If I am going to learn a new concept and actually store it in my long-term memory, the information must be meaningful to me. I have a bad habit of learning information to get through a test and then after the test is over I won’t remember hardly any of it. I believe this happens because I did not believe the information was meaningful or that I would need to use or recall the information again in the future. Technology plays a major role in my learning experiences. It has become a great tool that makes learning, communicating, sharing ideas, and researching information an easier task that can be completed in the comfort of my home. I use social networks, blogs, blackboard, online classes, online libraries, PowerPoint, and many other resources to enhance my learning experience. I no longer have to drive to my local library to research information because most libraries have resources that you can download and read or listen to online. I use the internet to research topics and share my thoughts with other people. I can also communicate with people all over the world through video conferences. Technology is awesome!

Connectivism helps to facilitate learning by providing me with resources on the different topics my professor asks questions about and provides an opportunity for me to collaborate with my colleagues and professor. G-mail and yahoo allows me to send a receive information from people that are all over the world. I can use Google, online libraries, and to look up anything and learn as much as I want about anything.,, and allows me to share my thoughts on different topics and also allows me to learn about many different topics and the views of other people. Twitter and Facebook allows me to connect with people all over the world, learn things about them, collaborate with them, and share my ideas. Groupme allows me to create groups and share messages about many different things with a group of people at the same time. Thebox allows me to share all types of files with people and learn the information that is being shared among everyone. I believe that online search engines, such as Google, online libraries, such as Walden University’s, Thebox, and the blogs I use help to facilitate my learning better. I can research any questions I may have and collaborate with other people using blackboard on Walden University’s website, e-mail applications, and through Thebox. I believe that my personal learning network supports the tenets of connectivism because when collaborating with the digital tools I use, I am able to learn from others, there is diversity of opinions, some of my tools are non-human, the materials are up-to-date and mostly accurate, and I can make connections with work, everyday life, and my resources.