Week 7: Fitting the Pieces Together

When I wrote my first post on the discussion board in this course, I had very limited knowledge of learning theories.  Initially and after reading information about the various thinkers and their theories, I felt that Knowles theory about adult learning is the closest to how I learn. Now, after reading rich resources about each theory I still believe that adult learning theory is the closest to my learning, but with more deep understanding to what it means. I enjoy the independence of finding information and the self-direction. Connectivesim, which I also mentioned in my post in Week 1 as a discovery for me, is a theory that I use in my learning. But over all I feel that I am using part of each theory in my learning.

The part of the behaviorism theory that I use in my learning is setting goals and outcomes to my learning, in terms if asking myself why I want to study this, and where do I want to end up in my learning (Laureate Education Inc., 2009). As a self-regulated learner with metacognitive awareness (Gitomer & Glaser as cited in Ormord, Schunk & Gredler, 2009), I am learner that always monitor and direct my learning towards my set goals, and use different strategies to complete the tasks (Ormord et al, 2009). From the constructivism theory, I consider myself an active learner that thrives to construct knowledge by discovering and researching information by myself (Ormord et al, 2009).  In this course, about “Learning Theories and Instruction” and through the social interactions in discussion boards, I was challenged to learn within the bounds of my Zone of Proximal Development (ZDP) and experienced instructional scaffolding (Ormord et al, 2009).

Online learning in a social environment, and communication with my learning community helped me in understanding new information (Kim, 2001). In addition, I became a member in many connected networks and learning communities. Through these networks and connections, I acquire further information continually, and I am able to distinguish between the important and irrelevant information (Davis, Edmunds & Kelly-Bateman, 2008). As an adult learner, I am self-directed, and I am motivated by gaining new skills and knowledge to improve my work performance (Conlan, Grabowski & Smith, 2003).

I believe that technology plays a significant role in my learning, for example, when researching information I use Google and Walden Library resources. Through Google reader and Diigo, I am able to connect information together and arrange it in a way that is easy for me to follow and find. With social media tools like Twitter, I could read instant and short updates about topics that I selected, and people I wanted to follow.

Through this course, I started this blog site, which I am planning to maintain through the study in my Master’s and beyond. I use my laptop and sometimes my smart phone to access the course resources and search for information. My main study is online, through a learning management system (LMS); now through the understanding of the various learning theory I am more convinced that online learning is the most convenient and suitable environment to learn. Through online learning, I have more control over my learning and I am more engaged in it (Lim, 2004).

In conclusion, I gained a wide and deep knowledge about how I learn; my learning networks help in enhancing my learning experience. Understanding how I learn will help in understanding how others learn when designing instruction.

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References

Conlan, J., Grabowski, S., & Smith, K. (2003). Adult learning. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Adult_Learning

Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Connectivism

Kim, B. (2001). Social constructivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Social_Constructivism

Laureate Education Inc. (2009). Behaviorism and instructional design. [Transcript]. Baltimore: MD. Ormrod.

Lim, C. P. (2004). Engaging learners in online learning environments. TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, 48(4), 16–23

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

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