EDUC- 6511-1 WK 8 Reflection

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Learning Theories Reflection

As I furthered my knowledge in this course what I found striking about how people learn is that there are several things that can motivate us to learn. As an instructional designer, I think it would be important for me to understand who my audience is and what motivates them to learn. I had never heard of the ARCS model and I think it is a good model to use when trying to understand students’ motivation. The ARCS model is a problem solving approach to designing the motivational aspects of learning environments to stimulate and sustain students’ motivation to learn (Bhat, 2011). The ARCS model consists of four steps for promoting and sustaining motivation in the learning process: Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction. Knowing how the ARC model can be used will help me develop appropriate learning activities for students. As an instructor myself, I have always thought that developing learning activities had to go along with learning theories and learning styles but I never really looked into how motivation played a big part in learning.

I also understand that learning theories and learning styles are two different concepts but play a big role in the learning process. “The term “learning style” refers to an individual’s preferred method for approaching learning and gaining knowledge. As a workplace educator, it is important to have some understanding of different learning styles in order to afford students a variety of ways to learn and acquire information” (Kodesia, 2014). Learning theories provides a framework for understanding how our students learn. As I learned more about learning styles and theories, I was able to reflect on my own learning style and the theory that supported my learning. I also was able to understand that most people have several different learning styles and theories that support their learning process. In my own personal learning process, I learned that I was a visual, kinesthetic, and auditory learner. I think that I mainly learn by hands-on. I also found that the adult learning theory and connectivism described how I learn best. I can truly see that with the adult learning theory, that I am goal oriented, like to see the relevance in what I am learning and am driven by my own personal experiences.

What have you learned regarding the connection between learning theories, learning styles, educational technology, and motivation? I think what I have learned regarding the connection between these concepts is that learning theories provides the framework for instructors deciding how they choose to deliver instructional materials. Learning styles also help instructors develop the best teaching strategies based on the preferred method of learning for students. Educational technology is another way that allows instructors to deliver content and for students to enhance their learning. I think motivation has to be considered when developing learning materials. Instructors need to know what keeps their students engaged in the learning process. Learning theories, styles, motivation and drive are all key factors that determine the effectiveness of instruction (Ormond, 2009).

My learning in this course will help me as I further my career in the field of instructional design by allowing me to understand the learning process of students. I will need to understand that as an instructional designer, there is more to creating a learning environment than just developing activities. I will need to create a learning environment that supports students learning needs. Students will need an interactive learning environment that will keep them motivated and engaged in the learning process.

References

Bhat, A. (2011, February 10). Instructional design for beginners-what motivates people to learn? Retrieved June 28, 2015, from http://www.upsidelearning.com/blog/index.php/2011/02/10/instructional-design-for-beginners-what-motivates-people-to-learn/

Kodesia, S. (2014, August 14). Learning styles and learning theory. Retrieved from http://www.jcu.edu.au/wiledpack/modules/fsl/JCU_090463.html

Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York

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EDUC-6511 Blog Assignment: Fitting the Pieces Together

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When I reflect back to week one and discussed what ways that I learned best, I discussed conventional methods such as hands-on, repetition, reading and writing.  Initially I discussed that the behaviorist method was one of the best learning theories that describes how I best learned. I choose this method because the behaviorist method is centered on the assumptions as cited by Smith (1999).

  • Observable behavior rather than internal thought processes are the focus of study. In particular, learning is manifested by a change in behavior.
  • The environment shapes one’s behavior; what one learns is determined by the elements in the environment, not by the individual learner.

Now that you have a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles, how has your view on how you learn changed? I do believe that my view of how I learn has changed because I feel that more than one learning theory will appeal to my learning style based on the situation or the context in which I am learning. I have had some experience with learning theories and learning styles prior to taking this class. Mainly because as an instructor I had to understand them in order to create learning activities that were fit for my students whom all had various learning styles and needs. But I never realized that students could actually have more than one type of learning theory that will fit their learning needs.

What have you learned about the various learning theories and learning styles over the past weeks that can further explain your own personal learning preferences? What I have learned about the various learning theories and learning styles over the past weeks is that I now believe that I have a little of all the learning theories and styles in my own personal learning. I really thought that I was more along the line of the behaviorist but I feel that the adult learning theory would explain my own personal learning style.  Malcolm Knowles described that the adult learning theory is based on six defining principles (Queensland, 2007):

  • Adults are internally motivated and self-directed
  • Adults bring life experiences and knowledge to learning experiences
  • Adults are goal oriented
  • Adults are relevancy oriented
  • Adults are practical
  • Adult learners like to be respected

I feel that as I understood more about my learning style, I am motivated by internal factors such as self-fulfillment. I am self-directed because I enjoy taking my classes online and having the pleasure of working at my own pace. I am very goal oriented because I like to stay on task and I have an ultimate goal in the end. I feel that I have to see some relevancy in why I am taking online classes and the content has to make sense to me. I am practical in the sense that I enjoy getting involved in my work, I learned by doing. I think the online environment instructors and classmates have more respect for one another and there is very minimal conflict among classmates.

When thinking about the other learning styles. I feel that it is important to understand them because they are tailored to fit most learners. I have also learned that most students/learners have more than one type of learning style and learning theory that will fit into their preferences. Most learners “learn best when there is a variety of learning opportunities that give them their chance to learn in their own way,” which is why it is important to include options when possible (Grantham, 2005).

What role does technology play in your learning (i.e., as a way to search for information, to record information, to create, etc.)? Technology plays an important part in my learning. I use computers, laptops, android phones and tablets to access my courses, complete assignments, research information for school, work and personal use. Technology allows me to use connectivism to learn. I have learned to connect all available learning tools to complete my school work, research information, create blogs and to perform my job.

Conclusion:

“Learning style” refers to an individual’s preferred method for approaching learning and gaining knowledge. It is important to have some understanding of different learning styles in order to afford students a variety of ways to learn and acquire information. By considering a student’s learning style, instructors can make the most of their opportunities to share their knowledge and experience, and can adapt learning situations to best match the preferences or strengths of the student. Individuals have a range of strengths and preferences for how they receive and interpret information and usually no-one person has one exclusive style or preference.

References:

Grantham, D.  (2005). Understanding student learning styles and theories of learning.  Higher Education Academy.  Retrieved June 21, 2015, from http://www.ukcle.ac.uk/resources/teaching-and-learning-practices/grantham2/

Queensland Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Collaborative. (2007, July 10). Adult learning theory and principles. Retrieved June 21, 2015, from http://www.qotfc.edu.au/resource/?page=65375

Smith, M. K. (1999) ‘The behaviourist orientation to learning’, the encyclopedia of informal education. [http://infed.org/mobi/the-behaviourist-orientation-to-learning/. Retrieved: May 5, 2015.

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EDUC-6115 Mapping Your Learning Connections

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Connectivism is a theoretical framework for understanding learning.  “In connectivism, the starting point for learning occurs when knowledge is actuated through the process of a learner connecting to and feeding information into a learning community” (Kop & Hill, 2008, p.3). I believe that my network has changed the way I learn in several ways. I have always been the type of learner that would prefer to work by myself. My main method of learning was through reading over information in the text or through a PowerPoint. I rarely liked working with others because I always felt that they slowed me down. When I first started working on my bachelor’s degree years ago, I first encountered collaborative learning through group projects and discussion boards. I wasn’t very fond of discussion boards because I do not think that I fully understood how to use it. I had the attitude that discussion boards were worthless and waste of time. As I worked more with discussion boards, I found that I really did like them. When I completed my first master’s degree, I encountered blogs, wikis and more discussion boards and I absolutely loved completing assignments through this way. I feel that I have learned a lot from my classmates by using these types of tools. It is an advantage to learners to have their work critiqued through these types of tools. I also think that it’s a good way to see how my classmates felt on a particular topic. By using tools such as LMS(learning management systems, discussion boards, wikis and blogs, has turned me into the type of learner that is more creative, collaborative and using technology to help enhance my learning.

The best digital tools that best facilitate learning for me are wikis, blogs, and discussion boards.

Wikis– A wiki is “a collaborative tool that allows students to contribute and modify one or more pages of course related materials.” (Vanderbilt University, 2015). The benefit of using wikis is that they are collaborative in nature and facilitate community-building within a course.

Blogs– Essentially, a blog is a personal journal published on the web consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first. Blogs are usually written by one individual (though occasionally by a small group) and are often themed on a single subject (Vanderbilt University, 2015). The benefit of using a blog is that they are simple to use and can rapidly lead to open discussions.

Discussion boards– Similar to a blog, a discussion board allows multiple people to respond to comments and questions. They are threaded, in that one in a response to a particular message is nested under the message to which it is a response. Replies that are associated with the same post are grouped together, creating message threads that can be expanded and collapsed.

The best way that I have gain knowledge when I have questions is that I first read over the content in which my questions are related to. I also research information on the internet or look for information in a journal article. If I still have questions, I will either ask my classmates or I will email the instructor.

Principles of connectivism (Siemens, 2004)

  • Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions.
  • Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources.
  • Learning may reside in non-human appliances.
  • Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known
  • Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
  • Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill.
  • Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities.
  • Decision-making is in itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision

Connectivism is driven by the understanding that decisions are based on rapidly altering foundations. New information is continually being acquired. The ability to draw distinctions between important and unimportant information is vital. The ability to recognize when new information alters the landscape based on decisions made yesterday is also critical (Siemens, 2004). Ways in which my learning network helps support connectivism is that my learning network includes a variety of resources that I am able to utilize for information. I have learned to connect all parts of my network to help facilitate my learning process through the use of technology. My network also allows me to decide what I need to learn, when to learn and how to best learn it.

References:

Kop, R., & Hill, A. (2008). Connectivism: Learning theory of the future or vestige of the past?. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning9(3), 1-13. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ815759.pdf

Siemens, G. (2004, December 12). Connectivism: a learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm

Vanderbilt University, the Center for Teaching and Learning. (2015). Center for teaching: Teaching guides. Retrieved from http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/

EDUC- 6115, Evaluating and Identifying Online Resources

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I have always had a fondness about how the human body works together as a whole to allow us as individuals to experience our unique characteristics. This week’s activities has really allowed me to explore the brain and how learning is affected by the brain. As I researched the key words, brain, development and learning, I came across various websites and resources that discussed the brain during its early development and throughout adulthood. The resources listed below are two resources that I found interesting and think would be beneficial to anyone involved in student learning.

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development @http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/107006/chapters/Related-ASCD-Resources@-The-Brain-and-Learning.aspx

I have used this resources on several different occasions and I am always impressed by the number of resources that are available for teachers who teach at all educational levels, to parents, students and communities. The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development website has a variety of books, online publications, multimedia, videotapes, online courses and print-based resources available for anyone who is interested in learning about how the brain and learning. The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development whom I just learned about in the last 3 years has been a supportive organization since 1943 for empowering educators to support the success of each learner/students. This organization has over 125, 000 members comprised of superintendents, principals, teachers, professors, and advocates from more than 138 countries—the ASCD community also includes 56 affiliate organizations. The nonprofit’s diverse, nonpartisan membership is its greatest strength, projecting a powerful, unified voice to decision makers around the world.

Examples of resources for brain and learning that are available on this website  consist are brain based learning, learning and memory, teaching students to remember, teaching with the brain in mind which is one of my personal favorite resources for brain-based learning. Another interesting resource that I found on this particular website were a series of videos that discussed the brain and learning, brain and mathematics, and the brain and reading. I found these title interesting because I feel these are difficult areas for teachers to help students make a connection and having these resources available can help teachers find create ways to teach the students.

BioEdOnline@http://www.bioedonline.org/lessons-and-more/resource-collections/the-learning-brain-neuroscience/

BioEdOnline is a very interesting website that is loaded with tons of resources for teachers who teach science and non-science teachers. The website provides information from related blogs, hot topics and informational links. The resource also has some online courses available for individuals to take and an educator certificate course. One of the most valuable asset to this online resource is that educators who may be struggling with developing unique lessons for their students, may be able to use this website to develop lesson plans. This resource provides teachers guide and lesson plans on a variety of science related topics. There are multimedia resources such as videos, slideshows, podcast and photos. Students and teachers can also assess the online library resource. I chose this resource also because of the resource collection, the learning brain: neuroscience project. This resource provides an understandings about brain function in health, aging, learning and disease. Topics include in this resource are brain structure, neurons and the nervous system, human senses and movement, learning and memory, diseases of the nervous system, and the effects of drugs on the brain and body. This resource is designed to be used in elementary and secondary level students. The Learning brain is also a part of the National Institutes of Health’s Blueprint for Neuroscience Education program, and is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Science Education Partnership Award program, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health.

                                                                                              Resources

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. (2006). Related ASCD resources: The brain and learning. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/107006/chapters/Related-ASCD-Resources@-The-Brain-and-Learning.aspx

 Baylor College of Medicine. (2001). The learning brain: Neuroscience. Retrieved from http://www.bioedonline.org/lessons-and-more/resource-collections/the-learning-brain-neuroscience/

EDUC-6115-1 The Doorway to Professional Learning Communities

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I have never really used a blog until about 3 years ago when it was required for a class that I was taking during my Master’s Degree program. Most of the blogging I did was within the class Blackboard learning management system. It was not until I took my first class here at Walden that I was required to blog outside of the course management system. It was a little overwhelming because there were so many blogs to choose from and I had no clue to which sites were best one to choose from. I think that when someone is ready to start blogging, they should research a blog that will help support their reasons for blogging. There are many different types of blogs out there that one can choose to engage in. Each different type of blog will differ based on the type of content that is posted and the manner in which the content is presented.

Short Review of 3 Blog Sites

Blog site: http://www.internettime.com/blog/archives/001083.html

I initially thought that this blog website was a little unorganized and difficult to follow but as I browsed through the various links, I could see that this blog site Internet Time Group helps organizations improve the performance of their people by accelerating their learning process. The Internet Time Group has developed a variety of plans, training programs, presentations, white papers, marketing campaigns, and development teams that are available to assist teachers, students, businesses and other to learn.

Blog site: http://edublogs.org/

After browsing though edublogs site, I found that this site could benefit teachers by allowing teachers to set up blogging for their students and then managing those blogs. Teachers can also post videos and podcast that could easily be used for delivering lecture content. There was also a variety of classroom tools such as portfolios, wikis and others to help enhance classroom instruction.

Blog site: https://wordpress.com/tag/instructional-design/

I personally am currently using WordPress for my classes here at Walden University. One reason why I like word press blog is because WordPress is a free website that has millions of users blogging on just about every topic that you can think of.  Since WordPress has millions of users, it can serve as a good place to network with individuals that are working within the same field as you. I also think that it is a good place to start blogging because it offers user friendly features that makes it easy for the first time blogger.

In conclusion, I think before a person is ready to start blogging, they should research how best to use a blogging site and choose a blogging site based on their interest. There can be a lot of confusion to and misinformation on blogs and it is best to understand how and why one wants to blog.

References

EduBlog. (2015). Edublogs: The world’s most popular education blogging service...       Retrieved May 9, 2015, from http://edublogs.org/

Internet Time Blog. (n.d.). Internet time blog. Retrieved May 9, 2015, from http://www.internettime.com/blog/archives/001083.html

WordPress. (n.d.). Instructional design. Retrieved May 9, 2015 from https://wordpress.com/tag/instructional-design/

Week #6 -Part 2: Blog Assignment: Plagiarism Detection and Prevention

plagiarism-Bart

Image retrieved from: http://watchdog.org/173229/school-board-mary-burke-plagiarism/

Plagiarism can happen in any learning environment rather it be intentionally or unintentionally. Plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else’s work and passing it of as one’s own (Plagiarism.org, 2014).

 According to the video Plagiarism and cheating (2010). Dr. Palloff and Pratt discuss that most students do not come into the classroom with the intention to cheat. Many students if called out on academic dishonesty do not realize that they have committed plagiarism. Dr. Palloff discussed that many institutions have institutional databases that student’s instructors use to detect plagiarism. Dr. Palloff and Pratt (2010) discussed several ways that institutions use to try to prevent cheating. These include, thumbprints, retina scans, remote proctoring with cameras. There are also several software that instructors and institutions used to help detect plagiarism. These software programs include. Turnitin, Duplichecker, Anti-plagiarism and Write check.

 The design of an assessment can help prevent academic dishonesty by instructors designing the assessment as authentic as possible. Dr. Palloff and Pratt believes that the assessment should challenge students to collaborate and uses their skills to seek out resources. Other ways that an assessment can help prevent academic dishonesty are to:

  • Use different assessment pools each time the course runs (or every other time for courses that run every five weeks).
  • Give students a time limit for assessments.
  • Set the assessment to automatically save student work and submit answers at the end of the time limit.
  • Have the assessment accessible only for a specific amount of time
  • Assume all online exams will be “open book.” As such, develop exam questions that require students to a) either know the material thoroughly, or b) look in several places in the text to construct the answer.
  • Only use automated assessments for progress monitors/content checks that are a small percentage of their grade. That way, the majority of the grade and course is made up of assignments addressing the higher levels of Bloom’s such as Analyzing, Evaluating, and Synthesizing. If instructors rely on automated assessments, they are most likely only addressing the lower levels of Bloom’s such as Remembering and Understanding. Making this change may be the best change to make. It will not only help prevent cheating, but will also make the course much richer and more dynamic (Academic Partnership, 2012).

 I believe that it is difficult to prevent academic dishonesty but as instructors we can minimize the number of students that cheat. Instructors should have a section on plagiarism, particularly what it is and how to avoid it included in the course syllabus and institutional academic policy (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010). Instructional designers and online educators should develop courses that provides a learning environment that allows for an interactive, deep, collaborative and multidimensional thinking and learning. The more we can keep students engaged, the more they will be interested in doing quality work.

 Additional considerations for online teaching should be made to help detect or prevent cheating and plagiarism include: to ensure the quality of online education, the instructor must ensure that the students’ learning outcomes can be achieved. Instructors should also develop learning outcomes that are not only measured through students’ grades, but also through their deep learning, higher order thinking, critical thinking, or problem-solving skills. Online discussion is usually regarded as the major communication tool between the online instructor and learners, and is regarded as the major vehicle to promote deep learning, and high quality learning outcomes. Instructors should also be able to accommodate student’s learning style. When students learning styles are accommodated, they are more likely to be successful in online class.

References:

Academic Honesty and Cheating on Online Course Exams. (2012). Retrieved December 6, 2014, from http://facultyecommons.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Academic-Honesty-Document-7.2012.pdf

Boettcher, J., & Conrad, R. (2010). Phase One” Tips for Course Beginnings. In The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips (pp. 62-99). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Kittle, M. (2014, September 25). Burke’s fellow school board members: What plagiarism scandal? – Watchdog.org. Retrieved December 6, 2014, from http://watchdog.org/173229/school-board-mary-burke-plagiarism/

Plagiarism and cheating [Video file]. (2010). United States: Walden University.

Week #5- Part 2: Blog Assignment: Impact of Technology and Multimedia

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What impact does technology and multimedia have on online learning environments?

Technology and multimedia supports learning by enhancing the learning process by offering a variety of learning formats which gives learners an authentic learning environment by providing multiple roles and perspectives. “Online courses with multimedia have the potential to generate new patterns of teaching and learning for students” (Song & Kidd, 2009, p. 569). “There is evidence that online courses and advanced in multimedia technology can lead to innovation in mainstream education, and may even have effects beyond the realm of education itself” (Song & Kidd, 2009, p. 569).

What are the most important considerations an online instructor should make before implementing technology?

In my opinion, the most important considerations an online instructor should make before implementing technology is to know who their students are such as age, gender, and their experience using technology. I would also want to know what are the overall manner in which the technology would be used and what are the learning objectives of the intended course? What types of technology is available and needed to meet the learning objectives? “Considering the potential value of multimedia, online instructors need to fully understand the capabilities, limitations, and applications of this technology and prepare for its use in their online courses” (Song & Kidd, 2009, p. 570). If multimedia courses are not designed properly, the integration of audio, video, and other multimedia elements will distract rather than enhance (Song & Kidd, 2009, p.570).

What implications do usability and accessibility of technology tools have for online teaching?

Implications for usability and accessibility of technology effect for online teaching include:  Before technology can be used, it needs to be accessible to its potential users. This is not merely a matter of access to sufficient quantity and quality of computers or the necessary environment. It is also about accommodating the many different abilities and disabilities that learners may have. There are many technical issues to be considered when ensuring that course materials are accessible to a wide range of students (Masters & Ellaway, 2008, p. 477).

What technology tools are most appealing to you for online teaching as you move forward in your career in instructional design?

Technology tools that are most appealing to me would be Ipads, smartphones, wikispaces, Blackboard, Moodle, blogs, Twitter, Voice thread, and Camtasia.

References:

Boettcher, J.V., & Conrad, R. (2010). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Masters, K., & Ellaway, R. (2008). E-Learning in medical education Guide 32 Part 2: Technology, management and design. Medical Teacher, 30(5), 474-489.

Song, H., & Kidd, T. (2009, January 1). Multimedia Integration in Active Online Learning Environments. Retrieved November 28, 2014, from http://www.igi-global.com/chapter/multimedia-integration-active-online-learning/13407