Fitting the Pieces Together

Over the past weeks, my view on how I learn has evolved. I believe that I have a better understanding of my learning style and the learning theories which are applicable to my learning.

I learn by using visual stimulation, scenario-based activities, and group collaboration. Furthermore, I am able to retain information if I can relate it to my own experiences. In her video on how the brain processes information, Dr. Omrod (n.d.) suggested that being able to relate to information enables us to retain and retrieve it when needed.

Additionally, I further understand that my short-term and long-term memory impacts my ability to retain information. In their research on the “two-store model”, Omrod, Schunk, and Gredler (2009) noted that short-term memory stores limited amount of information while long-term memory holds information permanently. They indicated that based on their research the human mind can store related information like a database and it can be readily accessed. In situations where I struggle to retain or access information that I have stored in my memory, I can attribute this challenge to the information being stored in my short-term memory.

I think that learning about the _isms helped to validate my learning preferences. For example, when I read about behaviorism and cognitivism, I learned that my learning preferences were closely related to cognitive theory. According to Atkisson (2010), “Cognitivism uses information processing as a way to explain how humans perceive, remember, and understand the world around them.” To me, this definition provides me with a clear understanding of the theory and ties it to my own approach to learning.

I have always been interested in learning technologies. I believe that they facilitate learning for me. Being able to access information quickly really facilitates my learning and also helps me in my profession. For example, I use the Internet, specifically Google Scholar, to help me locate peer-reviewed articles in Instructional Design and learning processes. I also use the Internet to quickly access information when I need it to facilitate my learning. I definitely am able to retain the information when I read it and can relate to it. I can access various sources of information and when possible, I use my network of peers to gain clarification on information that I find challenging to retain.

I have come to understand that I have to find different ways to learn. I need to continue to find diverse approaches to stimulate my capacity to retain information; particularly to grasp concepts that I find challenging. After all, according to Armstrong (2009), we all have the ability to expand our learning capabilities.

I know that I love to learn and there is so much information for me to consume. In order for me to avoid information overload, I have to apply different strategies to enhance my learning experiences. This approach will (hopefully) lead to an evolution of my learning style and that would be just fine with me.

References:

Armstrong, T. (2009). Multiple intelligences in the classroom (3rd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

Atkisson, M. (2010) Behaviorism vs. Cognitivism: Ways of knowing. Retrieved from: https://woknowing.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/behaviorism-vs-cognitivisim/

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Information processing and the brain [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York, NY: Pearson.

My Mind Map Reflection – How my connections facilitate my learning

The connections outlined in my mind map help me to learn because they reflect the diverse methods I used to obtain and retain information. I use my personal and professional networks to gain knowledge about my field and to share my knowledge with others. Networking has changed the way that I learn by allowing me access to people from different backgrounds that have had diverse experiences in the field. Some of them have represented mentors to me and have supported me throughout my career. In addition, I have training networks that support me when I need to learn about new practices or to add to my current skills. I use print and digital media to learn about different trades and to add to my content design tools library.

By far the Internet has been a great tool to facilitate my learning. I rely on it to access information in real-time from a plethora of sources. It contains various types of resources such as databases where I can access whitepapers, manuals, and research papers on topics related to my field. In addition, I have access to videos, blogs and other websites that I use as resources to help me stay abreast of new tools and systems that can help me to improve my skills as an Instructional Designer. The Internet is an excellent tool for learning and it empowers me to continuously learn. When I have questions, I reach out to my network and I use the Internet to query different search tools in order to find relevant answers.

I believe that my learning network supports the main principles of connectivism. According to literature on connectivism (Davis, Edmunds, & Kelly-Bateman, 2008), networks helps us to establish “connections…” between ourselves and “people, technology, social structures, systems…” Networks provide us with access to various communities of learning; communities where we can share information which facilitates our learning.

References:

Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://epltt.coe.uga.edu/index.php?title=Connectivism

How to Mind Map. Retrieved from: https://imindmap.com/how-to-mind-map/

Note: To view the details of my mind map, click here.