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Reflection – Learning Theories Instruction


Dr. Melissa J Burr

Walden University


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

This course was extremely interesting to me. I have only been in the corporate world for one year. Previously I was in the public school system. As a teacher, I used differentiated instruction to meet the leaning needs and styles of my students. Knowing that there is not one way to learn, incorporating differentiated activities and learning situations allowed my students to use the one that they learned best from. I was able to accommodate their learning needs because I knew the students. When I moved into the corporate world and my job is to create online training programs for people all over the world that I will never meet, the “teaching” job got incredibly hard. Adults learn differently than students, but meeting the needs of the adult learners is just as important as young learners. Leaning more about how adults learn and incorporating learning situations that allowed for knowledge to all learning styles is very challenging. I do not think that there was anyone one thing that I found surprising, it is more that clarity was brought to my situation. This class was encouraging and gave me the confidence to continue in the corporate world.

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

I have understood my personal learning process throughout my education, but as I have gained more knowledge about learning styles, and theories, I understand more about how they all connect. I am confident in my knowledge but love to learn more and how to incorporate more theories into my learning process.

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

The knowledge that I have gained in this course has been eye opening. This course has allowed me to have a better understanding how learning theories and learning styles work together, how educational technology enhances the learning environment, and how important motivation is to the student. Incorporating these things together will produce an encouraging environment that is conducive to learning. I have always believed and preached that there is no one way to learn and everyone CAN learn. The connection between the learning theories, styles, technology, and motivation proves this.

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

Being new to the field of instructional design, the knowledge that I gain from these courses will help me to develop online training that will be able to reach multiple learning modalities. I have an extensive background in curriculum development, but taking what I know about teaching out of my head and putting it into a computer and getting the computer to design what I would normally do myself as a teacher is much more challenging. These courses will enhance my skills in this field.


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Fitting the Pieces Together EDUC 6115

Now that you have a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles, how has your view on how you learn changed?

After researching and gaining a deeper understanding of the different learning theories, my view on how I learn has not changed, however, I have gained a deeper understanding on how different learning theories and learning styles work together to strengthen a person’s learning. I am still a strong kinesthetic learner, but have realized how I incorporate visual and auditory learning styles to enhance my learning. I have always incorporated different learning theories into my learning and teaching styles, knowing that learning theories cannot be used independently, but collaboratively. When a combination of learning theories and styles are used, the learning experience is enhanced and you have more of an opportunity to master the skills needed, not just one way.

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?

My learning style falls right in line with the learning theories that I am most comfortable with. The cognitive theory, constructivist theory, and adult learning are the learning theories that coincide with my learning style. I organize information, I am a self-led learner, and intrinsic motivation is why I strive to achieve my goals. My own personal learning preferences have not changed, but have been enhanced by what I have learned.

What role does technology play in your learning (i.e., as a way to search for information, to record information, to create, etc.)?

In my learning, technology provides me a way to research information, connect with people across the world, and have access to the most up to date information. Technology also provides me with the resources available to create online learning experiences. As an adult learner, technology can be intimidating at times, but at the same time it is an absolutely amazing experience that technology provides for students.

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A reflection on how my connections facilitate learning.

How has your network changed the way you learn?

As a traditional learner, I have always preferred printed books and papers. Throughout the years I have learned to become more comfortable with branching out through the internet, professional social networks, and online resources. The internet has allowed me construct connections with groups and people across the world that I would not have normally been in contact with. I have learned to reach out through blogs and learning resources with questions and insight. Through virtual learning I have changed my learning style to incorporate online connections versus face to face. I still prefer face to face classroom learning, but I continue to change as I move forward.

Which digital tools best facilitate learning for you?

Students, including myself will pick digital tools to not only facilitate learning, but tools that meet their learning styles. Digital tools provide students with flexible learning paths to meet their unique learning styles (Oxnevad, 2012). I tend to use digital tools that encourage research, finding, gathering and understanding information, along with reading blogs and discussion boards. I use google, articulate learning blogs, LinkedIn, which connects me to professionals around the world, and various e-learning websites. These tools allow for research and dialogue amongst professionals.

How do you gain new knowledge when you have questions?

When I have questions, I research through the web to find resources and people that would contribute to my learning. I prefer to use educational resources, but have learned to reach out on blogs and learning groups. In addition I collaborate with my team of Instructional Designers to brainstorm and problem solve. Using both resources provides me with a well-rounded source of knowledge.

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

I believe my personal learning network supports the central tenets of connectivism. Siemens (2014) states, “Where connectivism shares in the social history of other learning theories, where it shares in the emphasis on knowledge being distributed, there are still a few distinct points, and the most critical point is—a sequence of critical points. One would be abundance. Information abundance requires that we offload our cognitive capacity onto a network of people and technology. Secondly, the recognition that technologically, our networks are incredibly rich now, whether it’s a mobile phone, whether it’s a computer, whether it’s access to a database, but we’re seeing a significant explosion in how we start to connect with other people but also how we connect with data sources.” Using my personal learning network allows for knowledge being distributed among professionals and it provides the ability to connect with people all over the world. This allows for more robust information with a vast amount of resources.

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Connectivism [Video file]. Retrieved from

Oxnevad, S. (2012). Digital differentiation. Retrieved from



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Evaluating and Identifying Online Resources

The second resource that I research was the Learning Theories and Instruction Blog. This blog had an article about problem solving methods during the learning process. This article introduced me to two additional resources. First, was Robert Sternberg’s “…triarchic theory of human intelligence that can be adopted in classrooms to teach problem solving encompassing three types of problems encountered in daily lives: analytical, creative, and practical” (Shook Cheong, 2004) and second was a website that has a knowledge base of instructional design theories and models. Unfortunately, the author of this site does not identify him/herself very well (Taft,2010). This blog introduced me to Problem Based Learning that includes:

  • problem scenario
  • identify facts
  • generate hypotheses
  • id knowledge deficiencies
  • apply new knowledge
  • abstraction

And the  5 goals of Problem Based Learning which are:

  1. Constructing Extensive and Flexible Knowledge
  2. Developing Effective Problem-Solving Skills
  3. Developing Self-Directed Learner (SDL) Skills
  4. Becoming Effective Collaborators
  5. Becoming Intrinsically Motivated

Classroom teachers utilized these skills and goals daily. As instructional designers we have to remember that creating material for learning also needs to meet these skills and goals. The resources that I was provided through this blog were eye opening and very beneficial.

Hsiuwei. (2007, April 22). Problem-based learning. Knowledge Base of Instructional Design Theories and Models. Retrieved January 17, 2010, from

Shook Cheong, Agnes Chang. (2004). Problem Solving. Encyclopedia of Applied Developmental Science. SAGE Publications. Retrieved January 17, 2010, from


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Evaluating and Identifying Online Resources

The first website that I used in research about the brain and learning was Scholastic s, under Teachers. The article I read is titled: How the Brains Learn Best; Easy ways to gain optimal learning in the classroom by activating different parts of the brain bBruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D.

This article discussed neural system fatigue. The articles identifies how the brain tires, like any other muscle, and how to avoid neural fatigue. The most effective presentation must move back and forth through these interrelated neural systems, weaving them together. These areas are interconnected under usual circumstances, like a complete “workout” in the gym where we rotate from one station to another. Similarly, in teaching, it is most effective to work one neural area and then move on to another (Perry, 2014). It is very eye opening to learn that our brains tire like other muscles, but also how quickly our brain can tire if it is not stimulated. This article is very useful as a teacher and instructional designer with specific examples on how to created material that will be engaging and stimulating. Human beings are storytelling primates. We are curious, and we love to learn. The challenge for each teacher is to find ways to engage the child and take advantage of the novelty-seeking property of the human brain to facilitate learning.

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EDUC 6115: Instructional Design Blog 1 – The Doorway to Professional Learning Communities

EDUC 6115: Instructional Design Blog 1 – The Doorway to Professional Learning Communities

For my first blog entry (ever), I am discussing the blogs that I researched relevant to the field of instructional design and training in the workplaces setting. As a veteran educator, now instructional designer I believe that learning and instructional design go hand in hand. I found many more blogs on learning, than I did Instructional Design, but because I am new to the instructional design field, and I found those blogs very informational.

The first blog I explored focused on instructional design, links for web design, and user interface design. Access to any information from instructional designers, resources I can access and explore, and design ideas is all relevant to my current position and will enhance my instructional design skills.

The second blog I explored focuses on keeping virtual training from being boring. Simulations and scenarios keep the user engaged and participating in the lesson. Instructional designers at my company have participated in webinars offered through this site and have given great reviews.

The thirst blog explored focuses on e-learning, designing the right course, and managing e-learning projects. My current projects are all e-lessons, and this blog has excellent resources and links to assist in e-learning development. This blog shares practical tips and tricks.

There are a lot of exceptional resources available through blogs for instructional design. I focused more on the instructional design blogs because my expertise is in education and I want to enhance my instructional design skills. I am excited to learn everything I can about effective instructional design.