I loved the way this course started out with the functions of the brain and how they work and the difference between STM (short term memory) and LTM (long term memory). I have always found the brain to be one of the greatest mysteries which man will continue to study, probe, and dissect; only to never uncap what really makes it do what it does.
I better understand how information is stored in the brain and how it is processed. I found out that my STM is great, however; my LTM needed a little work and to do this I needed to change the way my brain “stored” information that I may need to retrieve at a later time by adjusting the way I “file” this information. This showed me that as an ID (instructional designer) I needed to be aware that everyone does not learn or retain information the same way. To teach effectively, you’ve got to know how students learn. And you’ve got know in particular how they think, what’s going on in their heads as they’re studying, as they’re reading, as they’re responding to questions, and so on. Because without knowing how they think through things, you’re not in a good position to help them think more effectively about the subject matter that you’re teaching.
A “learning style,” a learning theory, and a learning strategy are not the same. The term “learning styles’’ refers to the notion that according to what mode of study or instruction is most effective to the individual (s) there is a difference. On the other hand, a learning theory explains the underlying psychological processes that influence learning, and a learning strategy is a cognitive or behavioral activity used to improve learning (e.g., using mnemonic devices to remember new material, studying in a quite place). Felder and Silverman (1988) reported, “students preferentially take in and process information in different ways: by seeing and hearing, reflecting and acting, reasoning logically and intuitively, analyzing and visualization, steadily and in fits and starts.”
One thing which really stood out for me was how much technology is playing a vital role in our learning communities and how important it is to integrate and introduce new technologies to students because it makes learning fun and easier for them to retain information.
One example mentioned in our learning resources was how video games play a huge role in teaching students and they do not realized that they are learning as they play games because the focus is on having fun. I have seen this happen with my 8 year old son (who loves video games) and how “involved” he becomes with the learning games his teacher assigns the class to “play” on one of the many interactive websites the school system has approved.
As an ID it is my hopes to continue to grow in this field and to design material that will be challenging and rewarding for those it is intended for. I believe this class has set the “foundation” for me as a future ID, and I am looking forward to the fun challenges I may encounter going forward.