I found this course overall to be a great foundation for my future as an Instructional Designer. The course opened up a greater awareness of knowledge and information resources that are available in the world of Instructional Design. I was aware of the fact that people have different learning styles and ways in which the learner comprehends, retains and retrieves information varies. However, I was not aware of the intensity of the studies conducted and the variety of learning theories that exist in the realm of learning and education. The information that I found interesting was Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence (MI) theory. The MI theory provides a broader assessment of intelligence and allows for a more pragmatic way to determine intelligence levels. MI also provides the educator or trainer with tools to create learning experiences that develops and strengthens perhaps untapped intelligence in the learner. Incorporating MI when creating learning experiences can also foster an environment of attention, relevance, confidence and satisfaction. As recommended in the resource reading by Thomas Armstrong educators and adult learners should apply the model of learning to themselves to help them understand their own multiple intelligences (Armstrong, T. 2009). I believe that this is a crucial undertaking that can yield better understanding of the needs and requirements to support successful learning for students.
My style of learning as an adult learner can be classified as self-directed, autonomous, goal-oriented and practical, as well as an intrinsic learner. I align with many of the characteristics assigned to adult learners in the Adult Learning theories as well as the motivating factors for learning. I am very eager today to develop meaningful relationships and develop associations with a diverse group of people. I call it networking. I believe that forming meaningful relationships with professional organizations and social groups provides support and fulfillment in pursuing goals and in supporting others.
The knowledge that I gained on learning theories, learning styles and educational technology and motivation is vast and provides me with a solid foundation on the functions of these learning elements. All of the learning elements provide insight into the learning process. However, as I learned from the course resources that many of the learning scholars believe that there is no one theory or style that provides the principal theory or solution to managing the learning process. Marvin Minsky said the trick is that there is no trick. “There is no single secret, magic trick to learning; we simply have to learn a large society of different ways to learn”. So we need to study a wide variety of learning theories to learn about the wide variety of tricks that different people use to learn (Kerr, Bill 2015). The learning elements are also very much connected and serve as support to bringing success to the collective learning experience. I believe that the understanding of a student’s learning style will help the educator or instructor understand how information is processed and in turn create learning experiences that will motivate the learner. Technology today is a magnificent catalyst in supporting the educators’ or instructors in creating engaging and dynamic experiences for the learners that keep them motivated to learn.
This course has provided me with a wonderful foundation for success in becoming an outstanding Instructional Designer. The knowledge and information that I have gained is crucial in my path as an Instructional Designer in that it provides me the tools and foundation I need to analyze and construct engaging and diverse learning experiences for a variety of learners. I feel like I am very wealthy and have gained tremendous knowledge as it pertains to learning theories, learning styles and technology and education.
Armstrong, T. (2009). Multiple intelligences in the classroom (3rd ed.). Alexandria, VA
Kerr, Bill. 2015. Learning Evolves. Retrieved from http://learningevolves.wikispaces.com/