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.