Connecting the Dots……!

Connecting the Dots......!

Before starting this graduate program, I never really thought in detail about my learning style. I mean I figured everyone had their own preference of how they processed information, for me I followed methods that were comfortable for me, like writing things down readily, or seeing visual examples along with lessons that were given. Since this program I think I have been challenged to look closer into myself as a learner, and I have found understanding of the type of student and employee I am and I have a clear picture of where I want to be. Learning about the different learning theories ( behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism, connectivism, social learning and adult learning) I understand what areas of my learning style fit into each of these different theories. I learned that these theories just like everything else have evolve from what they began from. Now that I have a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles, I look at learning like eating habits and working out, In order for our body ( including our brains) to grow stronger and remain healthy, we have to make sure we are feeding it the proper nutrients and exercising regularly. Learning is the same, during the course we learned about the brain functions, and it is our job to make sure we are properly feeding our brain in order for it to function. The learning process is an exercise for the brain. I look at It learning as a daily routine, versus something I will need to do while in school or at my job. it is important that we are challenging ourselves and going beyond the surface of the learning process. One of the most significant things I have learned over the past few weeks that give me a better understanding of my own learning style is that I am a completely different learner now than I was as a kid. As a kid I was more dependent than I am as an adult learner, I am able to define my own needs. As a young learner, I was given requirements and boundaries, I was not aware of all resources that we have available to day. Also, my focus and goals are different as an adult learner, and I am equipped with different learning skills now. “In today’s environment, many educational structures exist with the primary intent of preparing individuals for the workforce. Much like previous societies aligned education with the higher ideals of their era, work and employment—as cornerstones of life—drive much of today’s education” (Seimens, 2006). Since we are now living in the digital age, my learning style closely connects with the connectivism learning theory. As we we learned, connectivism integrates informal learning with technology. The role that technology plays in my learning; first and foremost I attend classes on-line for my graduate program. Every thing I do for school is practically on-line. I utilize all the resources such as the University Library when needed, I am able to create communication forums. I have learned about several programs such GoogleDocs that allow me to store and share information with others anywhere. Technology is becoming my livelihood, because it allows access to so many things. I never have to leave my house to pay a bill or to shop. When it comes to my professional life, I am able to work from anywhere when I am no in my office, I can communicate with other co-workers and clients. Technology allows me to stay prompt when I have deadlines. It exposes me to place that I only imagine going and provides me with in depth knowledge. For me, i know look at learning as my golden ticket, just like in the story Of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory, learning will take me places I have only talked about going and provide me with skills I only thought about having. As my learning style evolves, so will I.

Mapping Learning Connections

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It s hard to be leave in just 3 weeks I will have completed my second graduate course. One step closer to my career goal in the field of instructional design. There were several topics discussed this week, one in particular was the the Adult learner and the distance learning environment.  We were  all at one point the traditional student, we went to school everyday, entered a classroom with a teacher, and anywhere between 25-30 classmates. The face- to-face interaction with others, and the connection with the teacher is important to the young learner because it is building the foundation for them to create who they are as a learner.  A lot of us do not all get to stick to the traditional path of attending the traditional university, life happens and we are forced to take alternative routes to reaching educational goals. The vehicle of technology had afforded us working adults an opportunity to start, complete, or continue a higher education.  Although distance learning has been around for years, it has recently started to make a big mark in education. When we decide to enter a distance learning program, as adults we are intimidated most times because we do not know what to expect. As an adult learner that is currently in a distance learning program, I am here to say to my fellow comrades, that we will face challenges in everything thing we do. The traditional classroom has the benefit of physical social engagement, while distance learning doe not; however I feel that this has no affect on you and the type of learner you are as an adult. Remember your learning style foundation, and use that a guide. Pull you resources together to help you. The mind map, is a great tool to organize thoughts, your plan, and resources. The mind map can be used to help you stay motivated, and as reminder of what ones goal is.  The challenges I faced in distance learning course, were not the fact that I was not motivated, more that time was never on my side. More and more I had to learn sacrifice.  Today I know myself as a learner, and I know that I have a guide for challenging days and I may forget who, what,and where to go for assistance.  Build a network, my network has changed the way I learned because I have changed my network. I look to the experienced and knowledgeable individuals that can guide me along on my journey. I have been able to organization between my network, education and school, social and lifestyle. I had designed my network to fit my specific needs in my life.  The best digital tool that facilitates learning for me is the internet, and more specific Google. There is nothing I have not been able to find. It is a great resource that I can go to from anywhere, computer, iPad, or iPhone.  Connectivism is said to integrate technology, social works and the learning environment; with my network, supports the central tenants of connectivism because it reach a broad avenue of learning needs. My life goal, educational and career goals are all wrapped up together, my network can be looked at a a chameleon, one resource and be used to guide me through 4 different things.  I heard a saying you network determines your net worth, while the financial reward can  be a motivator the satisfaction of completing life long goals is more, but I would not cheat myself.  My network will always be a vital part of my learning.

EeeBee and the Brain

As I continue on this journey to becoming and Instructional design professional, I have realized that the content of the coursework we are being provided is laying an essential foundation that will be useful when that time comes to begin creating instructional outlets for others. What I have learned this week in my class assignment, is that one of the key tools in this field is knowing and understanding how the human brain functions and understand how learning takes place within it. Did you know that there are people out that learning strictly from seeing or hearing material once and the are able to compartmentalize that knowledge and stored for future learning use. There are also learners such as myself that have to see, hear, repeat and other things to effectively learn.  As I continued on with my assignment, I searched for information about the brain and how individuals learn. I found an article I felt turned on a light bulb for me because, as individuals we were each created differently, we do things differently, so it is definite that we all learn differently. I read this article from the Walden Library titled “The Effects of Brain-Based Learning on the Academic Achievement of Students with Different Learning Styles”, this article discussed a study that was done on students at Mugla University in the Department of social sciences teacher education. They performed and pre-test and a post-test on the students to see the effectiveness of brain-based learning on students that each a different learning styles. The purpose was to reveal their levels of academic achievement based of the learning styles. It discussed how learners preferred style of learning can be categorized by these four characteristics: converger, diverger, assimilator, and accommodator. This article gives insight for both the learner and the teacher, and in this case instructional designers. Readers are able to follow this to see where they fall as a learning, and teachers are able to see what style best fit and meet the needs of each of these type of learners.

Another article I came across talked about Information Processing. “The Role of Unconscious Information Processing in the Acquisition and Learning of Instructional Messages”, describes how adequate learning can take place from unknown information processing and it give educators an understanding that all instructional messaging may not work to fulfill effective learning even with conscious processing is taking place.  Educators will learn how the unconscious processing plays a role in these functions : encoding, storing, retrieval process and learning activities.It offers method educators can incorporate when providing instruction to learners.

Duman, B. (2010). The Effects of Brain-Based Learning on the Academic Achievement of Students with Different Learning Styles. Educational Sciences: Theory And Practice10(4), 2077-2103. Retrieved from Walden University Library September 15, 2013.

Kuldas, S., Bakar, Z., & Ismail, H. (2012). The Role of Unconscious Information Processing in the Acquisition and Learning of Instructional Messages. Electronic Journal Of Research In Educational Psychology10(2), 907-940. Retrieved from Walden University Library, September 15, 2013.

Instructional Design Resources

I wanted to take a moment to reblog this post from a classmate of mines that offered links to three blogs I found to be very resourceful. I express often that the field of instructional design is fairly new to me and everyday I am taking the time necessary to gain as much knowledge about what my future will involve. I highly recommend all four of these blogs, I have made it apart of mission to find resources for others like myself that new to this world. Often time we get intimidated by the amount of experience and knowledge professional in this field have, but I say embrace that we have guidance and use their experiences and resource for yourself along the way.

Where My Mind Wanders

The world is a very different place today than it was when I went to college to become a teacher.  In college, I was taught learning theories and teaching strategies and then was sent off into the world to teach.  Aside from some magazines that were dedicated to teaching, there was nothing else to guide me other than the veteran teachers and the teacher’s editions of the textbooks that were used at the schools that I taught in.  However, the world has changed tremendously since then.  I now work in a school that doesn’t use textbooks, so I don’t have a teacher’s edition to guide me.  But most importantly, education is going through huge changes right now due to many factors, one of which being the technology that is now available.  And the technology, in and of itself, is what has become my “professor”.  Over the course of the past…

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Careers in E-Learning Management

Managing eLearning

Opportunities Abound

Who becomes an e-learning manager?

Many managers may be moved into the e-learning realm due to being highly qualified within their current managing positions.  It may be considered an easy transition, or even a promotion, for a company to move someone into that role from a prior managerial position.  Other practitioners become e-learning managers out of necessity, having no previous managerial experience.  The “Well, you’re it!” moment, so to speak.

How do people prepare or study to become an e-learning manager?

Employees moved into an e-learning position may not necessarily feel prepared for the responsibilities of managing an e-learning team.  This is particularly true if the individual has no prior managing experience.

This is certainly not a reflection on their capability to perform duties and be successful.  An effective leader can organically grow into a changing role, adjusting to new responsibilities in any situation.  However, educational best practice…

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Instructional Design –and— Quality Assurance

Dr Shimek's Education Blog

In order to operationalize (put a handle on) and measure quality assurance, we must first define “quality”.

The Merriam Webster online dictionary defines quality three ways:

1) how good or bad something is

2) a characteristic or feature that someone or something has : something that can be noticed as a part of a person or thing

3)  a high level of value or excellence

Quality Assurance

Merriam Webster’s — quick version definition — the activity of checking goods or services to make sure that they are good —- and the long version — a program for the systematic monitoring and evaluation of the various aspects of a project, service, or facility to ensure that standards of quality are being met.

Quality Assurance–in other words–is a systematic plan of evaluation to ensure that what an organization claims it will do has been done. Quality Assurance is about accountability…

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Rapid eLearning helps the L&D survive

The Learning and Design Realm

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Learning could be either synchronous or asynchronous. There can be times when classroom-training is simply not possible for say, the numbers involved in target audience and thereby, feasibility of it. There can also be times when you need to get some training out there really very quickly and you just don’t have the time to go through the lifecycle of a great elearning module. What do you then? Worry not because there is a solution for this too and the answer is Rapid eLearning.

There are quite some situations wherein rapid elearning is the best possible solution. Here are a few:

Budgetary constraints

Often it so happens that the L&D department doesn’t have enough moolah to spare to train a group of people yet there is an impending need to provide this training.  Managers tend to go with silly slideshows which are totally not the solution for the audience’s learning…

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Tips, Tricks, & Trends in Instructional Design (Part 1)

VOICES of Global Online Academy

DSC_0040-001By Eric Hudson, GOA Instructional Designer

In my role as Global Online Academy’s Instructional Designer, I recently finished an intensive review of the 20 classes GOA is offering this fall to nearly 300 students. I spent a few hours with each course, immersed in the world the teacher had created, and then I met with that teacher for an engaging, fruitful discussion about pedagogy, instructional design, and the challenge of adjusting one’s teaching to an online learning environment. This post and the next will share the tips, tricks and trends I learned from the courses and our teachers. First, I’ll address the importance of leveraging the online learning environment to create innovative lessons and manageable workloads for teachers, and in my next post I will focus on how to design a course with the student experience in mind.

PART I: When Teaching Online, Free Your Mind

The primary challenge…

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