Sunday, August 19, 2012


As I spent the past few years wondering what I was going to do with my master’s degree in Training and Development. I tried embarking into another career path in the pursuit of a Doctoral degree in Epidemiology. Things were not going well for me, since I was a first time user of obtaining my degree online.  After searching I saw this program, and said I think this will fit right into my Training and Development degree that I have obtained.

 After switching over into this program EDU 6115-2, the first course that I saw was “Learning Theories and Instruction”. I was never fund of psychology, because there was so much to remember about each theory. Some was interesting, such as Piaget, Skinner, and Maslow. I figured this class would be very boring and I would have to motivate myself to continue. I was wrong about my anticipation for this class. It was not boring; my eyes and mind was opened to many new ideas, and my knowledge was deepened in many other areas.
This course has deepened my knowledge regarding the fact that we all have different learning styles and to some degree we may utilize the learning theories dependent on the situation. Initially, learning never happens by itself; an individual learns in a place, event, and in time. Any situation can be a context for learning and an individual’s own learning approach is adapted when they shift from context-to-context. However, change is never constant; therefore, neither is learning.

At the beginning of the course, I wasn’t sure which learning theory I followed and I also had difficulty with comprehending the learning theories. However, having completed a
theory matrix, I believe I now have a better understanding of the learning theories. I have learned that I mainly approach learning from a Constructivist’s theory perspective.
Learning occurs from creating meaning from experience. I have also realized that in my learning approach I’ve incorporated some aspects from the Behaviorist Theory (i.e. depending on the task at hand or the course subject, I’d like to know what the outcome is before starting (Ormrod, 2009)), Cognitive Theory (e.g. metacognitively astute (Ormrod, 2009)), Social Learning Theory (e.g. receiving guidance, structure, and assistance (Ormrod, 2009)), and Connectivism Theory (e.g. utilization of technology, social networks, and information (Siemens, 2009 I am now at the end of the course and I’m able to comprehend my own personal learning process better.

There’s a large connection between learning theories, learning styles, education technology, and motivation; they all intertwine. I have comprehended that students, as well as I, have different learning styles, depending on the learning situation and the environment. That allows me to employ and adapt the learning theories accordingly. Utilization of education technology should be integrated into the curriculum to support student learning.
 If we are capable of learning something, motivation often determines whether and to what extent we actually learn (Ormrod et. al., 2009). However, I will integrate Keller’s ARCS model (Keller, 1999) of motivation into my curriculum, which provides effective motivational tactics that are based on the four dimensions (Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction) of motivation (Huett et. al., 2008).

My learning in this course has assisted me to further my career in the field of instructional design, because I have learned to truly comprehend how and why individuals have difficulty learning. A successful Instructional Designer will take pieces from each theory of (Cognitivism, Constructivism, and Behaviorism) and integrate it effectively during one’s learning process (Kapp, 2007). In the video “An Introduction to Learning”, Dr.Ormrod (n.d.) explains the way to teach effectively; you've got to know how students learn, and in particular how they think,  what's going on in their heads as they're studying, reading, and responding to questions. Without knowing how individuals think through things, you're not in a good position to help them think more effectively about the subject matter that you're teaching.
Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (1993). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(4), 50–71.

Huett, J., Kalinowski, K., Moller, L., & Huett, K. (2008). Improving motivation and retention of onlineStudents through the use of ARCS-based E-mails. American Journal of Distance Education, 22: 159-176

Kapp, K. (2007, January 2). Out and About: Discussion on Educational Schools of Thought. Retrieved from

Ormrod, J. (2009, September 14). An Introduction to Learning. [Video Production]. [Transcript].
Available: Laureate Education, Inc.

Ormrod, J. (2009, September 15). Information Processing and Problem Solving. [Video Production].
[Transcript]. Available: Laureate Education, Inc.

Ormrod, J. (2009, September 15). Theory of Social Cognitive Development. [Video Production]. Transcript]. Laureate Education, Inc.

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

Siemens, G. (2009). Connectivism. In Wikiversity online. Retrieved from
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