As this course comes to a close, I realize that I have learned a lot about how people learn. I have had to employ the very methods I studied during this course. I had to take a close look at my personal learning process. I realized that some process information as I do while others process and remember information quite differently. It would seem that people learn best when they can somehow relate the information to their own lives, “adults are most interested in learning about subjects that have immediate relevance to their job or personal life” (Conlan, Grabowski, Smith, 2003, p. 2).
The theory I found most interesting in this course was the theory of connectivism. This is the first time I have considered how readily available information is and how connected the world can be. People can research in depth subjects in only a matter of seconds without a trip to the library. As I created my mind map, I was stunned to discover how many connections I have personally. Not only do I have many connections, but I constantly develop new connections.
Regarding the connection between concepts, I learned that learning theories are ideas that attempt to explain learning styles and motivation. Theorists hypothesize about how people learn, why they learn, and how to help people learn. Also, while student have particular needs and desires regarding learning, they also have motivational issues, “problem solving is easier when we enjoy what we are doing, and successful attempts at learning and problem solving often bring on feelings of excitement, pleasure, and pride” (Carver & Sheier, 1990, et al., as cited in Ormrod, Schunk, Gredler, 2009, p. 247). Some students may be capable of excelling, but may simply be uninterested in putting forth the necessary effort. Technology creates a bridge for learners and information. It allows every learner to be able to transfer information into an acceptable format. For instance, an auditory learner can purchase an audio version of his textbook, while a visual learner can simply read the online version. Technology makes educational goals more accessible when used appropriately.
My learning in this course will transfer into my career as I recall the learning theories and the various methods to use with each one. I will understand that behavioristic methods are appropriate in situations where a particular behavior is sought, but constructivist methods are best when higher level thinking is desired. I will also remember to evaluate the motivational needs of all students. Learning is a complex process and requires an understanding of many theories and concepts.
Conlan, J., Grabowski, S., & Smith, K. (2003). Adult learning. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved February 24, 2012 from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Adult_Learning
Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York: Pearson.