Sunday, October 25, 2015


Learning is a complex and multifaceted process that requires various fields of study to understand how each individual learns. As an instructional designer, this understanding requires a deep knowledge of how learning occurs, the motivation behind that learning, and also a creative response in how to design the most effective instructional tool. Through this paper I will not only be reflecting on how my own personal learning style has deepened throughout the course, but showing how learning theories, learning styles, educational technology and motivation need to be weaved together in order build effective instructional design. 

At the beginning of this course of learning and instruction my personal learning style and knowledge of how people learned was limited. 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 learning theory the most. This course has given me a framework of thought where I can now intelligently understand how people learn and effectively educate others. Not only has this course helped be build a framework for learning theories, but it has empowered me as an instructional designer to see the connections between learning theories, learning styles, educational technology and motivation. Each of these elements has impacted my future work as an instructional designer and taught me how to develop a balanced approach.

Developing a balanced framework for various learning styles is something that will aid me in my career as an instructional designer. Incorporating visual, auditory, and kinesthetic elements into each lesson design will give me a balanced approach to the learning design. These learning styles are enhanced when paired with the correct educational technology. This course has not only been foundational is showing the value of learning styles and multiple intelligences, but it has introduced me to how using educational technology can serve the learning objectives in effective ways (Gardner,2003).

Behind every great instructional design course is a learning theory anchoring it all together. This course has not only anchored my instructional design to foundational theorists, but it has connected instructional design, motivation and the future of learning together. Each of these learning theories has changed my paradigm for education and impacted my current and future work in instructional design. Developing a balanced approach has been key. Kapp (2007) states, “cognitivism doesn’t explain 100% how humans process information and neither does Constructivism or Behaviorism. What we need to is take the best from each philosophy and use it wisely to create solid educational experiences for our learners” (p.1). Therefore, after studying behaviorism I have learned how to shape a correct response using a specific environmental stimulus (Ertmer & Newby,1993). In cognitivism I have to consider the learners pre­existing schema in shaping design (Smith, 2008) In constructionism I began to see how meaning is created by each learner within a social environment (Kim, 2001). 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 self­directed and goal based to be highly effective (Cercone, 2008). Without these learning theories the instructional designer is lost guessing as to how organize information effectively and motivate the learner directly.

As I seek to develop my career in instructional design, specifically in training and performance this course has laid the groundwork. Far too often in most organizational settings, learning and performance improvement training's spend too much time focusing on the content of what people need to know rather than how they will learn. This tends to result in an information transfer that is ineffective and as a result, the learner fails to transfer this knowledge into action. As a future instructional designer working in the the midst of emerging technologies that are having an impact on learning design it will be crucial for me as an instructional designer, not be driven by the “next best thing.” This learning and instruction course has anchored my learning and given me a complete toolbox to educate others 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.

Gardner, H. (2003, April 21). Multiple intelligences after 20 years. Paper presented to the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL. Retrieved from

Kapp, K. (2007, January 2). Out and About: Discussion on educational schools of thought [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Kim, B. (2001). Social constructivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

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

Smith, D. S. (2008). A case study in situated cognition. Retrieved from

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