What did you find surprising or striking as you furthered your knowledge about how people learn?

The unanticipated thing that I found the most about this class was the delusion that I had going into the class. My understanding at first was that learning theories and instruction was about common learning. However, much to my amazement, this class delivered a comprehensive collection of knowledge that dealt with each specific skills and how each of these theories are used to regulate the best approach for developing instructional design syllabus pertinent to the whole learning process. I was a corporate trainer for 25 years teaching adult learners the basic skills needed to execute the functionality of their occupation. Just think if I had known about this knowledge and how to appropriately apply each of the learning theories to my syllabus, my teaching styles’ would have been  tweak to specific skills germane to not only the functionality of the learners’ occupation, but also in increasing those skills to meet the optimum knowledge level for future business advancement.

 How has this course deepened your understanding of your personal learning process?

This course, Learning Theories and Instruction, has increased the compass of my learning in voluminous ways, for case in point, I absorbed that it is central to make the most of the segment of learning theory apropos to the book learning student’s needs; that the student learning is centered on these theories: Behaviorism, cognitivism, social learning theory, adult learning, and constructivism. Appreciating the scale of these theories has ameliorated me to structure improved teaching syllabus with key influences than before, as well as increasing my personal learning progression. They are as follows:

Constructivism – This theory materialized throughout the 1980s and has been implemented into voluminous educational cultures today, and has connected breaches in education for teachers and students. The focal range of this theory, as it is pragmatic to individual learning, are, for illustration, social negotiation, juxtaposition of instructional content, nurturance of reflexivity and student-centered instruction. This theory also has stirred me as an educator to scrutinize each learning theory and apply its relevance to education based on the specific learning requirements. It has not only exposed me to map and create learning aids, but also how significance collaboration is between me and my students as well as them studying the material. Constructivism presented me an outlook to rethink how my students learn and concentration on the developments of diverse ways to learn, e.g., distance learning, web 2.0, communities, conversation, interaction with others, email, blog, internet, MWDs, MUVE, World to desktop, gaming, PDAs, iPod, podcasts, collaborative writing, voice thread, etc., these learning initiations are provided by illustrious theorist, such as (Dede, C. Siemens, 2005). In the Constructivism Theory, J. Bruner, 1966, states that “A theory of instruction should address four major teaching (1) predisposition towards learning, (2) the ways in which a body of knowledge can be structured so that it can be most readily understood by the learner, (3) the most effective sequences in which to present material, and (4) the nature and pacing of rewards and punishments.” All of these are founded on stimuli and responses. The key ideologies of Constructivism theory includes, but not limited to, instructions that must be concerned with the experiences and frameworks that make the students enthusiastic and capable to learn (readiness), instructions must be structured so that it can be clearly understood by the student (spiral organization), and instructions should be propositioned to simplify extrapolation and seal in the gaps (going beyond the information given) Bandura 1973.   According to Abdal-Haqq 1998 writing, I am prompted to look for ways to involve learners to foster valuable  lesson learned for exporting and to prepare my students to accept challenges that center on the definitive education result.

Cognitivism – epitomizes learning of such renowned theorist as, Thorndike, Piaget,  Bruner, Gagne’, Lewin, Kohler, Koffka, Ausubel, Ertmer/Newby), which has motivated me to write instructional design teaching syllabus based on the building chunks of knowledge and identifying precondition associations of content. To place prominence on configuring, consolidating and sequencing material to facilitate optimum dispensation for my students in learning.

Connectivism is compelled by the understanding that assessments are based on faster foundations of learning. New information is repetitively shifting and the ability to make dissimilarities between what is essential and insignificant information is dynamic. “The ability to recognize when new information alters the landscape of learning based on decisions made yesterday” (Siemens 2005). This theory is essential to me for the reason that as an instructional designer, I have got to be in a position to keep well-informed of all new emerging technologies that would support me in my improvement before developing others. The key modules of this theory is contributory to my  learning and knowledge base that speaks to the diversity of opinions, linking of specialized nodes or information resources, it is learning that not only in human devices, but also in non-human devices. Studying this theory has prepared me with the aptitude to know supplementary is supplementary perilous than what is currently known. I feel that the cultivation of these connections is needed to facilitate continual learning today and the facility to see connections between fields, designs, and theories is a core skill.  Today, I am ready to integrate these key elements of the connection theory into my teaching.

Behaviorism – A learning theory that goes back as far as Aristotle, “Memory” essay. This theory focused on what happens when a correct response is confirmed following the exhibition of a specific environmental stimulus.

Social Learning Theory – In this theory, I studied the significance of Bandura’s (1977) theory as it highlighted the consequence of observing and modeling the behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others. I ascertained that the principle components of observational learning are attention, retention, motor reproduction and motivation. The key apparatuses of this theory are: learning is achieved through rehearsing behavior and individuals are likely to adopt the modeled behavior if it is similar to their behaviors. It is also a precarious factor in that we learn according to our environment. Since learning more about social learning theory, I have applied key concepts of this theory to my personal situation dealing with my grandchild to understand the aggression and psychological disorders, particularly, in the perspective of his behavior. According to Bandura, 1973 the most pervasive example of social learning situations are television commercials. Bandura suggests in commercials, drinking a certain beverage or using a particular hair shampoo will make us popular”. I took this theory a little further and applied it to cartoon characters. For illustration, physiognomies of some cartoons that demonstrate violence depictions on television have had a profound effect on my grandchild’s behavior. Watching such physiognomies in cartoons has caused him to act out according to how the cartoon characters acts. The results of imitating these characteristics are that he is no longer permitted to watch cartoons, which depicts violence. Consequently, his aggressive behavior had deceased.  You might be asking yourself why as am I using my grandchild as a model for this theory? It is a good question. After examining the social learning theory, I was able to not only recognize why certain behaviors were occurring, but also where they were occurring, and how to deal with the occurrence.

Adult learning – In this theory, I studied that Knowles conceived the vernacular Andragogy to indicate specific learning development for the adult learners. Knowles stressed that adults are self-directed learners and take responsibility for their learning decisions. As stated by Knowles there are basic assumptions about adults learning that are beneficial to us as instruction designers: (1) Adults need to know why they need to learn something, (2) Adults need to learn experientially, (3) Adults approach learning as problem-solving and (4) Adults learn best when the topic is of immediate value to them.

Throughout my occupation as a corporate trainer training adult learners, it was precarious for me to elucidate why specific skills were being imparted. Why instruction was planned around task oriented and  not memorization, why  learners needed to navigate through problems for themselves, and sanction, if appropriate, adult learners to take part in the planning and evaluation of their learning desires. Learning the key use of this theory has inspired me to write useful and specific syllabus assignments appropriate for the learners’, which I did not do previously. 

Coinciding with Simoneaux and Stroud (2010), there are fundamental age group in the place of work—Baby boomers, Gen Xers and Millennial. (See table below), Simoneaux and Stroud looked at how the different generations view mentoring. Millennial are the most active in seeking mentors, retirement boomers have knowledge to share with the younger generation ,but they can feel vulnerable in using technology to transfer that knowledge.

 GENERATIONAL ATTRIBUTES – Simoneaux and Stroud (2010)

Table Baby Boomers, born 1946-1964 (age now 46-64) Gen Xers, born 1965-1980(age now 30-45) Millennial, born 1981-2000 (now age 10-29)
Generalization Majority of the current workforce Change the world, question authority, value involvement, optimism, personal gratification, work Smallest group of current workforce Be careful out there

Distrust or ignore authority, value diversity, skepticism, pragmatism, informality

Entering workforce-largest group by 2016, protect environment, respect authority and expect it returned, value optimism, global awareness, sociability, volunteering
Education See education as the way to get ahead in life, prefer traditional classroom style learning See education as a means to an end, personal growth, prefer self-directed learning through technology See education as a huge expense, believe in lifelong learning, prefer options; classroom, group activities, technology use, fun
Workplace Work to live, classified as workaholic, work provides personal fulfillment, fax, and express mail. 

Positives: team player, driven, service oriented.


Negatives: process before results, judgmental of those with other viewpoints.

Work/life balance, efficient, action oriented, email. 

Positives: independent, techno literate, creative, adaptable.


Negatives: Impatient, cynical, poor people skills.

Work/life balance, multitasks, looking for what is next, email, text instant messaging, state-of-the-art technology. 

Positives: collaboration, tech savvy, multitasks.


Negatives: need supervision and structure, inexperienced.

Feedback Give feedback by giving money, title, recognition Like to know status, reward with freedom Need continuous feedback and meaningful work.
Communication Considered politically correct and love meetings Informal, abrupt, prefer structured meetings that are grief and to the point. Eager to please, inclusive prefer meetings that are conversational and interactive.
Technology Learned technology at work, believe it improves personal productivity. Learned technology in school, believe it is critical for personal and work efficiency and best way to connect. Lifetime exposure to technology, believe it is core to life and work and way of thinking.

 Multiple Intelligences– I  studied how Gardner wanted to widen the possibility of human potential beyond the restrictions of the IQ score. Gardner (1983) examined the validity of regulating intelligence through the practice of taking individuals out of their natural learning environment and asking them to do isolated tasks they have never done before. With this outcomes, Gardner suggested that intelligence has more to do with capacity for solving problems and fitting products in a context-rich and naturalistic setting. Gardner used nine MI theory for charting behavior; I will only use six for my  instructional design syllabus.

 This is an illustration of MI Theory Summary Chart. I will use this  matrix to create learning syllabus that will have a lasting effects on my students:


Intelligence Core Components Symbol systems High End-states Neurological Systems Developmental  Factors
Linguistic Sensitivity to the sounds, structure, meanings, and functions of words and language Phonetic languages (e.g.,, English) Writer, orator (e.g., Gone with the Wind, Roots) Left temporal and frontal lobes (e.g., Broca’s/Wemicke’s areas) Explodes in early childhood; remains robust until old age.
Logical-Mathematical Sensitivity to and capacity to discern, logical or numerical patterns; ability to handle long chains of reasoning Computer languages (e.g., Basic, Fortran, C+) Scientist, mathematician (e.g., Madame Curie, Blasé Pascal) Left frontal and right parietal lobes Peaks in adolescence and early adulthood, higher math insights decline after age 40. 


Spatial Capacity to perceive the visual-spatial world accurately and to perform transformations on one’s initial perceptions. Ideographic languages (e.g., Chinese, French, Spanish) Artist, architect (e.g., Frida Kahlo, I.M. Pei) Posterior regions of right hemisphere  Topological thinking in early childhood gives way to Euclidean paradigm around age 9-10; artistic eye stays robust into old age. 
Bodily-Kinesthetic Ability to control one’s body movements and to handle objects skillfully Sign language, Braille Athlete, dancer, sculptor (e.g., Martha Graham, Michael Jordan) Cerebellum, basal ganglia, motor cortex Varies depending upon component (strength, flexibility) or domain (gymnastics, baseball, mime)
Interpersonal Capacity to discern and respond appropriately to the moods, temperaments, motivations, and desires of other people. Social cues (e.g., gestures and facial expressions) Counselor, political leader ()e.g., Nelson Mandela, Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton) Frontal lobes, temporal lobe (especially right hemisphere) limbic system. Political documents, social institutions. 
Naturalist Expertise in distinguishing among members of a species; recognizing the existence of other neighboring species; and charting out the relations, formally or informally, among several species. Species classification systems (e.g., Linnaeus), habitat maps. Naturalist, biologist, animal activist (e.g., Charles Darwin) Areas of left parietal lobe important for discriminating “living” from “nonliving” things. Shows up dramatically in some young children; schooling or experience increases formal or informal expertise.

 What have you learned regarding the connection between learning theories, learning styles, educational technology and motivation?

I have learned that the connection between learning theories, learning styles, educational technology and motivation are: Learning theories are theories that aid teachers and students to understand how they learn and the specific learning skills needed to learn.  Conferring to Miller (1956) information processing theory, the first concept is “chunking” and the capacity of short term memory. Miller presented the idea that short-term memory could only hold 5-9 chunks of knowledge at any given time (7+ or – 2, which make it vital to select pieces of information at a time to develop learning skills. It is significant for teachers not to overload students with too much information in too short of time.

Learning styles are skills that allows for distinctive ways to learn and process information. For instance, according to Dr. Jeanne Ormrod, “People tend to be more verbally oriented; remember more of what they hear, and some people tend to be more visual learners; remembering more of what they see.” Imparting  my understanding of learning styles, it is the technique of how a person thinks, remembers or solves problems. Additionally, styles are bipolar magnitudes that can range from zero to a maximum value for learning. Styles as it relates to cognitive learning are a personality trait, which influences attitudes, values, and social interaction. Genge (1984, 1985) identified five types of learning for instruction: (1) intellectual skills, (2) verbal information, (3) cognitive strategies,(4)  motor skills and (5) attitudes. Supportive to cognitive theories of learning, computer technologies are cognitive mind tools heighten by human learning abilities such as memory and processing of information, rather than instructional means. Computers only perform ersatz tasks based upon the instruction of the software that allows the learner to center on core concepts of ‘reliable’ learning.  One more noted theorist, Jonassen 1994, argues that children cannot use computers without thinking deeply about the content that they are learning; the cognitive tools activate thinking and learning takes place through the process of using the tool.

The motivation connection to learning styles can be linked meticulously to arousal, attention, anxiety, feedback and reinforcement. A person must be motived in order to learn from any learning environment. Weiner (1990) points to the behavioral theories in that this theory tended to focus on extrinsic motivation (i.e., rewards) while cognitive theories deal with intrinsic motivation (i.e., goals). Conversely, in most forms of behavioral theories, Hull points to motivation as strictly a function of drives such as hunger, sex, sleep, or comfort. Conferring to Hull’s drive reduction theory, learning reduces drives and therefore motivation is essential to learning. Additionally, in the cognitive theory, it is said that motivation serves to create intentions and goal-seeking acts (Ames and Ames, 1989). Motivation is also linked to one’s achievement desires.   According to (Atkinson and Raynor, 1974; Weiner, 1990), motivation to achieve is a function of the individual’s desire for success, the expectancy of success, and the incentives provided. Self-actualization is another drive that motivates learning according to Rogers (1969).

Malone (1981) presented a framework for intrinsic motivation in the context of designing computer games for instruction. Malone argues that intrinsic motivation is created by three qualities: challenge, fantasy and curiosity. Malone declares too that individual challenge depends upon activities that involve uncertain outcomes due to variable levels, hidden information or randomness. He affirms as well that fantasy depends upon skills required for the instruction and curiosity can be aroused when learners believe their knowledge structures are incomplete, inconsistent, or unparsimonious. Malone total vestige of motivational learning is challenge, concrete feedback, and clear-cut criteria for performance.

 Using the Keller’s ARCS motivational design model provides a systematic approach for me to use in instructional designing. These models are (A) attention, ® Relevance (C) Confidence and (S) Satisfaction. According to several  theorist such as Means, Jonassen, and Dwyer, 1997; Small and Gluck, 1994; and Visser and Keller, 1990) all have found the ARCS model to be valid practice tool. 

 May’s Keller’s ARCS model for motivating learning.

Design factorsFor students Attention Relevance Confidence Satisfaction
Learners characteristics New Students: Make course learning attractive and interesting by stating the purpose and/or objectives for the course. Let students know that you are here for them and are will to assist in their learning endeavor. Reinforce the reason students’ choice to learning, i.e., career advancement, promise to parent or self. Reiterate students’ values for taking course. Build confidence by reiterating students’ values. Point out specific achievement that students’ have made in their studies and let them knows that their hard work and dedication will pay off. Applaud them for their goals accomplishments.
Student Midterm attitudes For students functioning below the norm, let them know that there is still time for improvement. Encourage them to g study. Point out that this level of evaluation is for them to know their progression level at this point. Continue encouragement. Provide positive reinforcement. Gathered feedback from students of their direction from this point. Focus on the milestone made in their learning choices and achievements at this point.  





Students’ Reaction to courseware High. Continue the momentum Point out relevance for taking the course. Continue building confidence level. Goal achievements, light at end of tunnel.
Motivational tactic for the lesson Stress that skills are marketable around the world. Relevance in goals and learning accomplishments are transferrable in any job markets.  Continue to focus on achievement, encouragement and feedback. Stress high achievements that have been meet, feeling of self-worth because the students pressed for their mark.

How will your learning in this course help you as you further your career in the field of instructional design?

The learning knowledge that I have acquired in this class has helped me in developing syllabus that speaks to all of the learning theories and to apply specific pieces of each theory to my learning practice.  


Learning is power and the key to reach future accomplishments. Without the appropriate learning styles and strategies, plus the theories student  learning is of no effect. Yes, we still have ways to go before we finish the goals of no child left behind. We as instructional designers, educators, school administrators, etc., must do our part to make indisputable strive for our students who come to the classroom one way and walk out a different way knowing that they can triumph over challenges. No matter how small or large. They must be well prepared, and we must do the preparing.  


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