Monday, June 27, 2011

Final Reflection

Taking this course has been a great experience rich with information that will help me in my personal and professional life. I was amazed with the information gathered about many learning theories, and at the same time, this helped me to identify my own personal learning process. I gathered information about how motivation is indispensable for learners and how all this knowledge can assist me in my future career as an instructional designer.
I was shocked to find that learning styles may affect the way learners acquire and process information, when teaching method does not match the learners preferences. When I was a child, I felt that some teachers did not help me to understand some of the topics. I felt left behind, and I thought the I was the only one with problems. While I was growing and gathering information about child development and psychology through my classes, I realized that people have different learning styles. The learning styles can be included in the three basic types of learners; visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Reading the articles from my class I found that teaching methods vary and that "some instructors tend to lecture, others demonstrate or lead students to self-discovery, some focus on principles and others on applications, some emphasize memory and others understanding"("Learning Styles." - The National Science Digital Library. Web. 26 June 2011. Some of the theories that we talk about and discuss in my class were the behaviorist, cognitive, constructivist, social learning, connectivism and adult learning. I recognize that it does not matter which theory people follow; the learning style and preference styles can be include on each and one of them. For example, a visual learner can follow the cognitive theory where to transfer information is occurring through exposure of similar context.
Taking this course and learning about the different learning styles and theories helped me to understand that since I was a child my learning approach have been visual and kinesthetic, and using most of the learning theories. I identify that I am using approaches from behaviorism to adult learning theory. I use reminders and environmental stimuli from behaviorism, and I am interacting/participating on e-courses using my experiences and learning strengths on technology.
Dr. Ormrod stated that people learn in different ways and may have a unique style to gather and process supplementary information. We can go from multiple intelligences that according to Gardner describe as capacities (8 or more) to learning styles that describe preferences and non-preferences in 49 different areas (Prashning B. 2005) where both concepts can help enhance learning and teaching. It is We need to take into consideration these two concepts of learning styles and the learning theories that describe how people learn, and fit this information with educational technology that "is a practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources ("Educational Technology." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 26 June 2011. ). Then we need to consider also motivation that is an important factor that can impact the learning environment and the effectiveness of the learning experience (Ormrod 2011). In my opinion, the connection of all of the components mentioned previously is like pieces from a puzzle. In order to learn and teach, it is necessary to know how to consider all the factors, to help a great variety of students or learners.

I think that the information that I gathered taking this class can give me the tools to design practical instructions. As an instructional designer, it is necessary to know how people learn and what I can do to help all learners. Using the computer as a tool to design programs that can facilitate the learning process is a great opportunity that we have on these days. This course has been helping me also in my current job as an educator of children and parents. I had the experience to teach young children, and recently working with adults providing training. In the future, I would like to teach adults using online courses, but what I know is that technology with intelligent application of learning theory and strategies I can help all learners in training or educational fields.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Week 7: Fitting the Pieces Together
Now that you have a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles, how has your view on how you learn changed?

I realized that every time when I was studying about any learning theory I had one of those moments of "aha" and related to my way of learning. During the first weeks we learned about behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism and discuss about how we personally learn in relation to those three theories. I posted in the classroom discussion board that I was using multiple ways to learn from behaviorism to constructivism.
Then we continue our quest studying about constructivism and social learning and again the moment of "aha" was present acknowledging that we construct what we learn and understand, and that social context affect the our environment and ways of learning. Since online courses are increasing in the last years we discuss about if online environment can provide meaningful and effective social learning. During my discussion I stated that self-regulation on the students side and instructors ability are indispensable for e-learning environments. We finished gaining information about learning theories with connectivism and adult learning. In other words my view has changed realizing that it is important to know all the learning theories and that this days technology plays an important role helping all type of learners.

What have you learned about the various learning theories and learning styles over the past weeks that can further explain your own personal learning preferences?
I learned that sometimes I need and use the behaviorism approach to stimulate myself through reminders and environmental stimuli. In other words if I use the concept of terminal behavior a step further like Dr. Ormrod suggest, then I think about a goal and all the necessary steps that I need to follow in order to achieve it. "Stimuli and Responses"Sometimes I used the cognitivism theory encoding information and related to previous information to store it and use it when need it. I learned that sometimes is easier for me to organize information in chunks, and that the more senses I use to learn then it will be easier for me to retrieve information. 


"Constructivism"Many times I find myself talking with peers about any specific topic and helping each other to construct our  ideas using our past knowledge and discussing how to use and implement the new information. Sometimes I construct my knowledge using the information that I know with the one provided by the instructor to understand better the new information.

Using the Social Learning theory I realized that I have been learning a lot through interactions with my colleagues and environment in any social setting. With social interactions my knowledge increase and I am always willing to learn from somebody and assist to the person that might need assistance understanding something.

As an adult learner I found that the experiential learning theory was another of the "aha" moments in my way of learning. "This cyclic process involves learner to set goals, thinking, planning, experimenting and making decisions, and finally actions, followed by observing, reflecting, and reviewing." With this theory I am able to use my own experience and reflection about that experience helping me to transfer the knowledge and skills. I found that as adult learner the factors of  life experience, work experience, and positive/negative previous experience have been beneficial for my learning helping me to make connections and retrieve information.

What role does technology play in your learning (i.e., as a way to research for information, to record information, to create, etc.)?
As you can see at the end I realized that in one way or another I has been using all the theories without knowing, the benefit of this review of information is that I can find the advantages of all of this theories and adapt them for my own personal learning style. After all we are in the twenty first century and learning is changing with the use of different tools. Technology plays a very important role here. Imagine we can read book online, do some research, translate documents from one language to another, have all the benefits of visuals and video tape recording to boost your memory and learn on the best way you can. Probably one decade ago my thoughts could be different about this topic, now I am part of e-Learning and I am using those befits. The best part is that I'm able to participate in discussion forum with many students that have been helping me with their wise as well as the instructor with his/her wisdom and guidance. Walden University has been giving me the tools to succeed as adult learner.
Laureate, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Behaviorism and Instructional Design [Video]. Available from

Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York: Pearson.
Conlan, J., Grabowski, S., & Smith, K. (2003). Adult learning. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Sunday, June 5, 2011


How has your network changed the way you learn?

I think that my learning network move from a typical learning methods to a e-learner. Computer and internet now are part of my learning methods. It is incredible the way technology has been changing in the last two decades. Before I was taking classes face to face and using a typing machine to finish important papers. With the years I was using the fax machine to send some papers to teachers. With technology changes during the last decade the computer was part of my life, but I was using it to type, and do some research using eric journals, as well as to create presentations for my classes. Then I started to send some papers by e-mail and to receive CD-rooms and DVD with video programs. Today  my network change drastically, I am taking online courses using internet and computer to observe videos, post discussions, research e-libraries and e-journals, and creating blogs. In the past, I used to save a lot of papers to storage all my learning materials, today I am using my computer to save most of my learning materials.

Which digital tools best facilitate learning for you?

Definitely my computer is the best tool I can have, I have installing some programs to my computer so I can create some papers, presentations, read and send my e-mails, download my photographs, blog and have a calendar with my things to do, etc. I can watch videos and other programs through CD-rooms, or educational videos. The internet access give me the opportunity to save some papers online and have access everywhere, although I am still using the memory sticks to save most or all of my papers.  I bought a webcam to communicate using messenger or skype with family, friends, instructors, and peers as well as to record interviews for some projects. I am depending also of my cell phone were I receive texts or messages indicating that I have new e-mails in my account. In the near future I want to buy a blackberry where I can have access to internet and check my e-mails as well as develop some papers.

How do you learn new knowledge when have questions?

When I have questions about my courses or any information that I want to gather for me or my family, I use the computer to do some research using journals or e-books, blogs, wikis, and other documents. I can do it also by accessing a wide range of different learning communities such as instructor, fellow students, and friends. Since I think my learning boost by participating actively, I am part of the e-learning community sharing what I have been learning through different methods such as my blog, responding to questions from my fellows and friends, and by making the connections with my life experiences.

In what ways does your personal learning network support or refute the central tenets of connectivism?

The central tenets of connectivism as supported by Bandura and Lev Vygostky is by social learning theory. Bandura's theory emphasizes "the importance of observing and modeling the behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others" while an important concept in Vygotsky's theory is that "the potential for cognitive development is limited to a certain time span which he calls the zone of proximal development" (Kearsley 1944e). The connection to this theories and my learning network is that I am learning from the model of my instructors and fellow student peers, and by being a part of a learning community to assist and support other students. I can use the ZPD by learning from instructors and more skilled peers. I am socially interacting in my learning community that is composed of instructors, fellow students, friends, family, and technology benefits as mentioned before.


Patsula, Peter J. "Learning_theories_full_version." SMBTN™ - The Small Business Town Network of Websites for Entrepreneurs. Web. 06 June 2011. <