The first week of this course we were asked to reflect on how we best learned. I chose constructivism and cognitivism as the theories that best suit my style. Though we have learned so much, I still feel that these two learning theories best describe my learning preferences.A few years ago I may not have even listed the constructivism learning theory, but after being trained in an International Baccalaureate school, which is tightly aligned to the constructivism theory, I have to admit that I really like it. I have gone to a number of I.B. trainings and they are all conducted in this format. How many trainings have we all been to that were straight direct instruction, even when they were teaching other strategies? I love the collaboration with other learners, relevant problems to be solved, and the digging for answers instead of just being spoon fed the information! I get so much out of my trainings and I actually retain so much more. Sure, the activities do take a little longer to accomplish and maybe a trainer/teacher could cover more material, but at what cost? Doesn’t it make more sense to take a little more time and have the students complete an activity that will really drive home the current educational concept they’re learning rather than “cover” the topic and then reteach it three more times until they finally get it? Okay, sorry about the rant. I’ll step down now.
Though most think of collaboration as a face-to-face activity, anyone reading this blog would probably disagree. We know that wikis, blogs, discussion forums, and Google docs are ways to collaborate online. Collaboration can be done and I would go so far as to say that, at times, the discussion is more meaningful than one being conducted face to face.In addition to constructivism, I still feel strongly about cognitivism also. As a teacher, I teach the kids to think about how they think. I have them create mnemonic devices and use imagery to remember different information. In week 2 of this course, Dr. Jeanne Ormrod stated that information that is encoded in at least two different ways is more likely to stick. When designing courses, we would do well to remember this. For example, presentations could include diagrams, images, and verbal explanations .
These are important tips for the instructional design field because many of our learners are adults. According to Kathleen Cercone (2008), memory decreases with age so it is important for instructors to chunk important concepts together. This will help ensure that the information is properly retained.We have learned much about learning theories in this course. Truly, I will be referencing my learning theory matrix often when it is time for me to start designing courses!
Dr. Jeanne Ormrod. Laureate Education. Information processing and the brain [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu.Cercone, K. (2008). Characteristics of adult learners with implications for online learning design. AACE Journal, 16(2), 137–159. Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Reader.ViewAbstract&paper_id=24286