8 Weeks of Life Long Learning

Reflection Paper

What did you find surprising or striking as you furthered your knowledge about how people learn?
I found the learning about how the brain functions when it comes to processing and storing of information to be the most intriguing. In Week 2, I posted this in my discussion… “Instructional Designer’s cannot meet the psychological and stimulating needs of every student, but by understanding how the brain works, we can try to present the material in a way where it is stimulating and repetitive to help students encode and transfer short term memory into long term memories” (Ormrod, 2009). As I will note in question 3 of this assignment, understanding how the brain functions is important, but knowing the difference in learning styles and teaching different learning strategies is just as or even more important.

How has this course deepened your understanding of your personal learning process?
Implementing mind mapping has helped me quite a bit in understanding how exactly I gain my information and how I can use expanded networks to learn more. I have been implementing a mind map every week to seek new avenues of information and to keep track of how I obtained information. I have to admit, and Dr. Artino pointed out, my original mind map was weak in the sense of I did not fully track or list all my avenues of resourcing and networking paths. Since that point, I have updated and expanded my mind map so I can keep up with all the avenues of pulling information and I have even color coded my map differently so I can list them by frequency, importance, and relevancy.

One note of importance with respect to understanding my personal learning process is that I fully acknowledge my adult learning lifestyle and the motivations of others in this degree path. Being in a course of study where the greater majority of students are motivated to be involved has really helped me understand the importance of why I chose this university and program and why at this point in my life. Knowing the answers to these questions has allowed me reinforce my decision to be here all the time.

What have you learned regarding the connection between learning theories, learning styles, educational technology, and motivation?
Before taking this class I never considered fully understanding each and every student’s learning styles through way of questionnaire or survey. Taking this course has enlightened me to understand who the audience is and how each student prefers to learn so that I can tailor instruction to meet at minimum the majority of one or two styles because it is simply too daunting to tend to every students learning style. What I have come to learn is that even though each student may learn different, it is not just the learning style that is important but rather the combination of style, strategy, the technology, the presentation/delivery, and motivation that matters. Focusing on presentation, the environment (say lab vs. classroom), and multimedia and learning aides can make up for a non-preferred learning style.

Lastly, motivation from the educator/teacher is just as, if not more than, important than the learners motivation. The learner must me motivated to learn and that can come from presentation of the information or just pure enthusiasm to learn (adult learners), but that motivation can wear off quickly if the educator is not excited about presenting the information and motivated to ensure learning is occurring.

How will your learning in this course help you as you further your career in the field of instructional design?
Learning about the learning processes, learning styles & strategies, the difference in all –ism’s, and motivational factors will better prepare me for my future job as an instructional designer. This foundation will allow me to speak intelligently with the Engineers and software developers on why courses are built the way they are. In addition, this foundation will allow me to speak intelligently to the trainers on how to better understand the audience, their learning styles, and ways to influence their learning strategies.

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


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