“Instructional designers have been charged with ‘translating principles of learning and instruction into specifications for instructional materials and activities’. To achieve this goal, two sets of skills and knowledge are needed. First, a designer must understand the position of the practitioner… In addition to understanding and analyzing the problem, a second core of knowledge and skills is needed to ‘bridge’ or ‘link’ application with research – that of understanding the potential sources of solutions. Through this understanding, a proper prescriptive solution can be matched with a given diagnosed problem. The critical link, therefore, is not between the design of instruction and an autonomous body of knowledge about instructional phenomena, but between instructional design issues and the theories of human learning” (Ertmer & Newby, 2013, p. 43 – 44).
This is a lengthy quote from Ertmer and Newby’s paper, but it speaks to the heart of what I’ve learned about learning and the learner relationship to the instructional designer’s mission. In addition, I’ve had my opinions about the learning process, styles, and theories being useful to the learner based on content being taught. After learning more in depth about these topics, my opinion about these topics has not changed from the beginning of my instructional design journey. I am still in full agreement with having a fuller learning experience by being open to using all the theories or -isms because each one has its place in learning (Kapp,2007; Kerr,2007). The most valuable lesson I’ve learned about the learning theories, styles, and strategies is that they are apt to evolve with the more we know about the brain, behavior, and learning.
In my own learning, I didn’t think much about learning style except when prompted to answer the question in classes I’ve taken. Therefore, after thinking about it I would always reply visual and kinesthetic. However, I mentioned this to my sister at one point and we discussed if it was possible to be one style of learner because we use all our senses to learn; unless, we are physically incapable of using a sense. In “Matching Teaching Style to Learning Style May Not Help Students”, Mr. Pashler argues to stop wasting time with this notion because it is not improving the students learning (The Chronicle of Higher Education, n.d.). He suggested to match content to teaching. I agree with his thoughts because different content requires different activities or methods to deliver the material being learned.
Finally, it is important to acknowledge the role of technology in learning. This has become the mode for information at our fingertips. It is something I find myself constantly using in one way or another. I am avid Googler. If I don’t know something I make sure to use Google as my launching point to find information before going to my alternate sites such as: library databases, Kahn Academy, YouTube, etc. Much of the information I collect nowadays comes from an internet/technology source. However, I also use technology to write blogs, assignments, and create PowerPoints to share information. Technology has really made a mark in my learning, what about you? I predict that as technology continues to advance we will continue to find new and creative ways to utilize it to assist the learner like me.
Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (2013). Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features from an Instructional Design Perspective, Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26, 43-71
Kapp, K. (2007, January 2). Out and About: Discussion on Educational Schools of Thought. Retrieved from http://karlkapp.com/out-and-about-discussion-on-educational/
Kerr, B. (2007, January 1). _isms as filter, not blinker. Retrieved from http://billkerr2.blogspot.com/2007/01/isms-as-filter-not-blinker.html
Matching Teaching Style to Learning Style May Not Help Students – The Chronicle of Higher Education. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/article/Matching-Teaching-Style-to/49497/