Sunday, April 28, 2013


At this point in my life, nothing about learning surprises me because I am always open to learning opportunities.  However, what I found most striking was the many learning theories presented throughout this course.  I have been in the field of instructional design, as an instructor for 5 years and as a writer for just little over a year, and I knew about Skinner operant condition (Ormrod, Schunk, & Gredler, 2009, p. 147) and Maslow hierarchy of needs (p. 230), but  it was extremely interesting learning the different philosophies and theories on how people learn.  My personal favorite is Howard Garner’s (2009) take on the multiple intelligence theory (as cited by Armstrong, p. 6-7), as he was able to “dumb it down” in terms in which every non-scholar can understand.

As with anything in life, understanding the theory behind what we do can assist us in closing the gap between where we are in our learning and where we want to be, also known as the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) (Ormrod, Schunk, & Gredler, 2009, p. 192-193).  Along with understanding the ZPD, I was introduced and/or reintroduced to learning concepts that will be beneficial to how learn, retain and recall information more effectively, such as elaboration (relating information to something already known) and maintenance rehearsal (repeating information over and over) (p. 71). 

The connection I have learned between learning theories, learning styles, educational technology and motivation is that theories tell us of why, styles describes how, technology focus on additional methods, and motivation is the catalyst behind it all.  We cannot truly understand the how without the why and we cannot reach our full potential without using additional resources, but in the end, if we do not have motivation  (the internal state that arouses us to action) (p. 224), then it all will be for naught.

It goes without saying that I having a deeper understanding of the theories behind the reasons why people learn will without doubt aid me in being a better instructional designer.  The day after I posted my week 8 discussion response, I was able to use information covered in week 8:  Motivational Factor in the Online Classroom.  I was extremely proud that I was able to use some of what I have learned over the duration of the course because it solidifies how I learn, as  stated in my week 1 discussion: being able to apply the information that I learn. I look forward to other opportunities where I am able to apply the information I have learned so far in this degree program as well as what I will learn in future courses. My attention has been aroused; I am able to see the relevance, which heighten my confidence, thus leading to a sense of satisfaction.  This is what Huett et al (2008) refers to as ARCS as it applies to motivation, but without the distant education.


Armstrong, T. (2000). Multiple intelligences in the classroom (2nd ed ). Alexandria,

VA:Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Huett, J., Kalinowski, K., Moller, L., & Huett, K. (2008). Improving the motivation and retention
            of online students through the use of ARCS-based E-mails. American Journal of
            Distance Education, 22(3), 159–176.
Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate

custom edition). New York: Pearson.

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