1. What were the most important things I learned this semester?
This semester I learned about a variety of learning theories. Some of those included the more traditional learning theories such as constructivism, behaviorism and cognitivism and this provided a refreshing review of those. What was most valuable though was to see how these theories relate to the new “emerging” theories related closely to the spread of educational technology in learning.
Another thing I learned is that the learning theories are quite often complementary to each other or contain elements of each other and that the important aspect of all is to help educators enhance learner’s performance and knowledge. The role of educational technology and e-learning nowadays have been based on many of those learning theories
and there has been a lot of research to make that possible.
And one final thing I learned is to write a synthesis paper as this was my first time to do so. Although it was not an easy task and required a lot of research and reading I consider it a valuable skill.
2. How was my teaching (or thoughts about teaching) impacted by what I learned or experienced this semester?
My research for this course focused on cognitive learning and cognitive load theory and it was very interesting to recognize some of the features of cognitive load in the experiments conducted by various researchers. I was able to relate their results to the reality of my own online teaching and course design and made me thinking of improving some features in the online course I teach, e.g. discussions.
3. Did I (or will I) use the projects, skills, or ideas from this course in my teaching, training, or professional practice? If so, how?
As I mentioned above the research for the final synthesis paper of the course made me relate the cognitive load theory to some of the load that my online students experience in their learning. It made me think of how I can improve on the instructional design of the course I teach so that students improve their performance. I definitely will use some of the ideas of the cognitive load theory.
The skills I learned while researching materials for the final synthesis paper will be useful in the future if I decide to so another research.
4. Select three of the projects/assignments you created/wrote in this class and read the description of the related AECT standard. Then answer this question: How do these projects/assignments demonstrate my mastery of the AECT standards?
1/ Final Synthesis paper
Learner Characteristics: 1.4.b – Describe and/or document specific learner characteristics, which influence the selection
Learner characteristics are crucial in determining the instructional strategies and pedagogical approach in order to maximize of instructional strategies. learning.
Media Utilization: 3.1.1 – Identify key factors in selecting and using technologies appropriate for learning situations specified in the instructional design process.
My paper on cognitive approach to online learning underlines that effective instructional design for online courses needs to pay close attention to the types of cognitive load of tasks as these types affect learning.
2/ Learning Theories Paper
Instructional Systems Design: 1.1.c – Identify learning theories from which each model is derived and the consequent
This paper required that a learning theory is considered in relation to an educational model.
I chose to explore Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive development and relate it to the growing interest in more inquiry-based instruction and learning in high school.
3/ Annotated Bibliography
Computer-Based Technologies: 2.3.4 – Incorporate the use of the Internet, library online catalogs and electronic databases to meet the reference and learning needs of students and teachers.
This task required of me to research peer- reviewed professional resources on a topic of my choice related to a learning theory. The completion of this assignment involved the use of Internet, online catalogs and libraries.