Sunday, January 9, 2011

Blogging and Instructional Design

This week’s reading materials were based on learning theories and the learning process.  The assignment was to bookmark three useful blogs or newsletters we felt would have relevant content as we proceed in the instructional design field.
Shirley A. Gable speaks about online learning, memory, and aging in her June 21, 2010 blog.  She notes that critical thinking must take place about information that is presented within a new course not just memorize the information for recall later. Gable states, “Memorization rarely leads to actual learning. In order to learn something well enough to recall it later, you must think about newly learned knowledge in a way that is meaningful to you personally.” When studying the cognitive theory the memory plays a role in learning, “learning takes place when information is stored in memory in an organized, meaningful, manner” (Ertmer and Newby). She also states the importance of being proactive in your learning and going out of your way to discuss newly learned information with a colleague (Gable, 2011). 
Cathy Moore’s Blog focuses on creative elearning.  Cathy has used technology for more than 25 years to encourage and strengthen people with instructional design skills and has written elearning for businesses.  Within her blog you can comment and ask questions and she provides almost immediate feedback. Cathy’s post Learning styles: Worth our time? on September of 2010, focusing on each learning style is worth the time to research.  This post is supported by works from psychologist Harold Pashler, Mark McDaniel, Doug Rohrer, and Robert Bjork. In the article, Concepts and Evidence, they concluded that literature fails to provide significant support for applying learning style assessments in education. This brings a question to mind, is there a single best approach or one that is more effective than others? According to Ertmer and Newby, “Learning is strongly influenced by many factors from many sources; the learning process itself is constantly changing, both in nature and diversity.”
Not only does Cathy’s blog focus on instructional design, but she has multiple topics relating to elearning and motivation.  Cathy provides superb feedback to each of her bloggers.  Her posts are unique and enduring. Her blog can be used throughout the field of instructional design because of her unique and motivating ideas. 
Training Magazine is a resource for business professionals with research based studies and articles for leadership, human resources, and training. The April issue of 2009 has an article entitled, Head First.  Head First gives a detailed look at why some lessons get absorbed and other lessons seem to be washed down a drain.  Many businesses today have many different types of learners employed, “Some of our people prefer things such as podcasts, vodcasts, and Webinars on a just-in-time basis rather than more traditional methods” (Training 2009).  On the other hand, “many learners still prefer classroom instruction for certain types of training, particularly when it comes to skills that require practice” (Training 2009).  Allowing learners a hands-on approach keeps them challenged, engaged, and motivated throughout a training.
 The current issues of Training provides information about upcoming trainings and seminars that are approaching, motivational articles to help with training and motivating employees, and current data on training expenditures within the workforce today.  This site can be used as an ongoing resource throughout the field of instructional design because of the training techniques and motivational articles found within the magazine. 

Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (1993). Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features from an Instructional Design Perspective Performance Improvement Quarterly. 6(4) 50-72.
Pashler, H., McDaniel, M., Rohrer, D., & Bjork, R. (2008). Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 9(3), 106-119.
Weinstein, M. (2009, June 9). Head First. Training, 20-23.

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