Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fitting the Pieces Together

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When this course of Learning Theories & Instruction began how I best learned was most aligned and limited to the theorist of John Dewey. Dewey’s experiential based education explained that knowledge is best understood through reflective experiences (Ormrod, Schunk & Gredler, 2009). While my learning style still aligns with Dewey’s methods it has since expanded and deepened tremendously. Now, not only do I learn best through experience, but through social learning theory, connectivism and adult learning theory. Through these past seven weeks I’ve been able to put a word to my own learning style and pinpoint exactly why I enjoy which style the best. Learning each of these learning theories have given me a framework of thought where I can now intelligently understand my own learning style and intentionally educate others. How I learn has now expanded and can take place in social settings (social learning), connected networks (connectivism) and have a relevance of my life (adult learning) (Ertmer & Newby, 1993).

As the course progressed, learning each new learning theory was like discovering a treasure map for my own personal learning style quest. The three learning theories that have influenced how I learn the most are social learning, connectivism, and adult learning. Each of these three theories has changed my paradigm for education and instructional design. After learning about social learning theory, I began to see the power of guided participation through modeled behavior and its effect on social settings (Bandura, 2004). After learning about connectivism I began to see how a pattern of networks when leveraged correctly through technology can create tremendous learning scenarios across multiple disciplines (Davis, Edmunds &Bateman, 2008) Finally, after learning about adult learning theory I began to realize my own internal motivations for learning and how shaping a course for adult learners needs to be self-directed and goal based to be highly effective (Cercone, 2008).

Technology has played a major role in my own personal learning through fostering learning communities, facilitated creative strategies and storing and retrieving information.
-Fostering learning communities:
Davis, Edmunds and Kelly-Bateman (2008) note that, “learning does not happen in a vacuum, it is at the intersection of prior knowledge, experience, perception, reality, comprehension and flexibility that learning occurs” (p.1). Technology has enabled modern day communities like Khan Academy, Skype, TED, LinkedIn, ATD, Wiki,  and selected Google sites to not only find the answer to the questions I’m seeking, but more importantly they invite me into a community of learners that share my relational learning style.
-Facilitated creative strategies:
Technology has enabled me to visually design performance solution models through story boarding and mind-mapping techniques. Technology has also facilitated creative strategies such as animation and digital story-telling techniques to improve employee improvement and enhance training modules.
-Storing and retrieving information:
Technology is also redefining the way I store and utilize information. Technology companies such as Namely, Xyeleme and others are redefining information storage within learning and development organizations so that information can be accessed quicker and personalized to each given task. Smarter ways of doing business are helping learners leverage technology in tremendous ways and instructional designers are playing a crucial role in this process. Learning from these companies has enabled me to use technology in tremendous ways to store and retrieve information effectively.


Bandura, A. (2004). Social cognitive theory for personal and social change by enabling media. Retrieved from

Cercone, K. (2008). Characteristics of adult learners with implications for online learning design. AACE Journal, 16(2), 137–159. Retrieved from

Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.),
Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (1993). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(4), 50–71.

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

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