Sunday, August 22, 2010


The Learning Theory course has been enlightening as I furthered my knowledge about how people learn. It was great to read about the various learning theories again. I took a learning theory course some years ago in my preparation to become a classroom teacher for middle school and high school aged students. During that time I applied what I learned to younger students, now it is fascinating to think of the same theories as they relate to adult learners. One key factor was realizing how a combination of the various theories make up an effective lesson, course or learning experience.

This course has deepened my understanding of my personal learning process. Because the cognitive learning theory was one that I recalled most from my earlier training, it has also been at the core of my teaching practice. However, reading again about other learning theories broadened how I thought about my own learning. Giving a name to how I learn through connectivism also increased my understanding of how I learn personally.

Learning theories, learning styles, educational technology, and motivation are all connected and important points of consideration for instructional design . Learning theories discuss how people learn; learning styles show learning preferences; educational technology focuses on the delivery of the information; and motivation impacts of the effectiveness of the overall learning. Understanding the learning process can help when breakdowns in learning are encountered. Having knowledge of various learning styles and preferences can possibly serve as a remedy to the breakdown or blocks to learning. Educational technology creates various ways to deliver learning, which also serve as outlets to appeal to different learning styles and modes of learning. Keller’s ARCS model of Attention Relevance Confidence and Satisfaction highlights key components for application in learner motivation.

Keeping in mind the principles of learning theory discussed in this course will have a great impact on my work as an instructional designer. The information discussed will provide strong guidance as I strive to deliver creative, effective and engaging learning experiences.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Connectivism: How Connections Facilitate Learning

Walden University is the latest addition to my learning network. Since becoming a student at Walden University, the way I learn has changed. The online classroom is a new learning environment for me. Although there is not the face-to-face of the traditional classroom, the methods used do increase my learning. The discussion posts and application assignments provide effective outlets for gaining knowledge and building skills. Having the opportunity to use different technology such as blogs and web tools such as webspiration really expands my learning network. I heard of blogs before joining the Walden University, but I had never used one before. Creating a blog is a fuller learning experience instead of simply reading and posting to another blog.

My laptop makes it easier to access digital tools. Web search engines facilitate my learning the best. Being able to do a search on any topic whether personal, professional, social, or just for fun really adds to my learning. Research databases where I can look up professional articles and books is also helpful. E-mail is another tool that facilitates my learning. For example, on my current job, the staff received a training requirement through e-mail. We have information to read and a video to view. We must then complete a short quiz to turn in for credit.

I gain new knowledge when I have questions because I look for the answers. More reading and more research to gain knowledge. Questions also lead to reflection and application. Through reflection and application I make connections to other experiences which then makes the learning practical. The connections I am making now involve my former training and experience as a classroom teacher. I have also developed workshops for parents and adults who work with children.

Technology, other professionals, and information, my personal learning network supports the central tenets of connectivism. All of these components are working together to facilitate my learning.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Greetings Everyone!

Welcome to The Learning Chat! I am excited about using this blog to share information about learning theory and its impact on the field of instructional design and technology. This is my first time creating and using a blog. I look forward to the learning possibilities. Here is a list of useful resources...

Instructional Design Central is a website which provides useful information for instructional designers. This website provides a list of professional organizations for educators in the Instructional Design and Technology(IDT)field. There is also a listing of publications and conferences. Job banks, podcasts, and video casts are also among the resources listed. A dictionary of terms and a list degrees is also a part of the information provided.

Making Change is a blog that shares practical ideas for developing "lively" elearning experiences for adults. There are links to webinars and downloads of pdf slides. Cathy Moore is the blogger. She has 25 years of experience in the field. Videos of explanations and demonstrations are incorporated into the blog. Moore also uses a link to Twitter. Books are listed as well.

The Upside Learning Solutions Blog provides a list of "30 Top Online Resources for Instructional Designers to Keep Up With". There is also a link to the "Top 100 Learning Game Resources". White papers can be downloaded and there are also articles listed. "This blog is about innovation, design, development, and trends in the Learning Solutions domain."

Each of the links listed here give a vast amount of information. Insight into the IDT field can also be gained. I found the resources to be great inspiration for creating effective and engaging learning experiences. Enjoy...

Terry Richard