Week 2: Evaluating and Identifying Online Resources

In this post, I would like to list some resources in which you could find information about the brain and learning, information processing theory, and problem-solving methods during the learning process:

 Journals:

The Journal of Interactive online learning, this journal is a peer reviewed electronic journal. The focus is on interactive online learning, in terms of research, theory and practice. I found  articles related to information processing and problem-solving methods during the learning process. Here is an some example of the papers available through this journal “Self-Explanation Prompts on Problem-Solving Performance in an Interactive Learning Environment”, in this article the authors examined the effects of self-explanation on problem-solving performance, and they studied self-explanation strategies in the online environments, which require students to be more self-regulated (Kyungbin, Kumalasari & Howland, 2011).

The Journal of Educational Psychology, a collection of articles about psychological research in relation to education for all ages and educational levels (American Psychological Association, 2011). The journal started in 1910, and published enormous articles in relation to the brain and learning. Access to all articles is available through Walden University’s Library website here. This journal is very popular; many researchers are publishing their work through this journal.

The Mind, Brain and Education Journal, the journal features several articles by educators and researches. Some of the topics discussed through the journal are about “connecting cognitive neuroscience to education and historical changes in concepts of person in relation to brain science” (Wiley Online Library, n.d.). Read the complete list of highlights and topics here. Note that you will need an account to view articles, as a member of Walden University you could login here.


Websites:

Faculty Focus  Website,  I have been following this site for a while; it has very informative articles, reports and newsletter about education. The reports are based on extensive research; they survey educators and send reports with data, notes and recommendations. The site includes access to free reports, newsletters and a wide range of articles; including brain-based learning in classroom and information processing. In the article about “A Brain-Friendly Environment for Learning”, the author lists methods used in teaching and learning that is based on the brain’s function and cognitive research (Davis, 2008).  Davis (2008) findings include alternating teaching modes to maintain students’ attention, the use of prior knowledge in learning, and the associating learning with feeling and values. The information on this website is very organized and easy to track, with pictures, podcasts and videos. It also has a section on instructional design.

Brains.org offers information about applying practical application in the classroom based on current brain research. The site is created and maintained by Dr. Kathie Nunley, her publications and research is on the brain and teaching in mixed-ability classrooms (Brains.org, n.d). The site includes a free newsletter, with teaching tips and a section on the latest research on neuro and educational psychology.

What is valuable about these journals and websites is that the articles are based on extensive research which is supported by literature reviews for each topic. They present reliable sources of information that reflect original ideas and its applications. The journals are either peer reviewed or are reviewed by professional editors. The research provided through these resources is mostly supported by evidence. As the internet now is full of information that could be based on personal opinions and views, it is always recommended basing our study on credible and well referenced resources. When looking into evaluating electronic resources, many factors should be taken into consideration, like the reason for the research, the author, author bias and citation and references (Cornell University Library, 2010). This website from Cornell University offers tips on how to evaluate websites and electronic resources http://olinuris.library.cornell.edu/ref/research/webeval.html

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References:

Braine.org (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://www.brains.org/

Cornell University Library (2010, October 5). Evaluating web sites: criteria and tools. Retrieved from: http://olinuris.library.cornell.edu/ref/research/webeval.html

Davis, D. (2008). A Brain-Friendly Environment for Learning. Retrieved from the Faculty Focus website: http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/instructional-design/a-brain-friendly-environment-for-learning/

Kyungbin K., Kumalasari C. D., & Howland J. L. (2011). Self-explanation prompts on problem-solving performance in an interactive learning environment. Journal of Interactive Online Learning. 10(2), 96-112. Retrieved from: http://www.ncolr.org/jiol/issues/pdf/10.2.3.pdf

Wiley Online Library. (n.d.). Mind, brain, and education. Retrieved from: http://www.wiley.com/bw/journal.asp?ref=1751-2271

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Week 1: The Doorway to Professional Learning Communities

I am excited about starting my blog in instructional design, in this post I am going to highlight some resources that I will be using through my study. I am planning to contribute to the blogs and use the resources in the instructional design and e-learning fields.

I connected to the blog, “IDEAS: Instructional Design for eLearning ApporoacheS” by Ferdinand Krauss. This blog has various links to topics related to instructional design and e-learning. Krauss, provides a concise overview about each resource, whether it is a book, an article or an interview with a faculty member. Moreover, the entries are cited and referenced professionally. His focus is on faculty development in higher education which is related to my current work. The information provided on his site will be helpful in my work, and in creating online learning tools for faculty in higher education at my institution. It is interesting that Krauss is from the University of Toronto, in the same city where my institution, Ryerson University, is located; maybe in the future we could collaborate on some projects that could benefit our institutions.

This is a feed that aggregates different blogs about instructional design posted through WordPress using tags, there are blogs by teachers, instructional designers and students who are enrolled in instructional design programs. It is very valuable  to read entries from various instructional designers in their different career stages. There are professional posts, like the blog by Dianne Rees, here blog’s title is “Instructional Design Infusion“. For example, in her post on October 21, 2011 she described how to create digital booklets and how to use these booklets as an instructional tool in education and social learning (Rees, 2011). Another  example is by a student who just created a blog, design2instruct, on his first post he shares his anxiety about using blogs then he posts his reflections and assignments from a graduate course he is taking at the University of Utah (Gallagher, 2011). This wordpress feed is a source of many networks, and as Ferriter (2009) indicated, networked learning is going to be the future of learning. Learning from others and contributing to their posts serve as a learning process for me and help in expanding my knowledge in instructional design.

Blogging about the Web 2.0 Connected Classroom: A Blend of Technology and Education” by Steven W. Anderson. Anderson is a blogger, teacher and speaker and his posts are about using social media and Web 2.0 tools in the classroom. His posts are very helpful as I am also interested in these tools and how to use them effectively in classrooms. These tools are used in e-learning and blended models, and using it effectively could enhance learning; in addition, the tips and ideas provided in his blog are simple and easy to use among students. He also provides information about the latest technology, I find it useful to be up-to-date about technology, and understand how student use it in the classroom. He is also very active on twitter @web20classroom.

I subscribed to Bill Ferriter’s blog “The Tempered Radical” I enjoyed his article about “Learning with blogs and wikis”, he is dedicated to professional development, and he writes with integrity; additionally, he describes the educators as leaders. As a future instructional designer, I see myself as a leader in my organization in which I could promote innovation and change.

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References:

Ferriter, B. (2009). Learning with blogs and wikis. Educational Leadership, 66(5),  34–38.

Gallagher, A. (2011). Re: About. [Blog message]. Retrieved from http://design2instruct.wordpress.com/about/

Rees, D. (2011, October 21). Re: Create versatile digital booklets  with Simple Booklet. [Blog message]. Retrieved from http://instructionaldesignfusions.wordpress.com/2011/10/21/create-versatile-digital-booklets-with-simple-booklet/