Fitting the Pieces Together: A look at the evolution of my learning style

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

I have always thought of myself as a certain kind of learner.  I responded best to kinesthetic instruction and my  learning style seemed to ve best represented by the Constructivism theory–the idea that learners construct their own knowledge and that several “situational variables such as, emotions, environment, social status and anticipated consequences” (Kapp 2007) have to be taken into consideration.  Upon gaining a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and styles I would maintain that I how I learn aligns closely with the constructivism tenets but not to the exclusion of some of the other theories.  Where cognitivism, arguably,  leaves off connectivism picks up and the common thread between them is that they suggest that learning cannot be done in isolation.  Connectivism relies on a “diversity of network” (Davis 2001) while cognitivism submits that “learning occurs internally and through the social interactions with others” (Kerr, 2006).  I recognize all 3 of these theories as my brand of learning in that I internalize better when learning and engaging with others and I frequently reach outside of myself and access a network to inform my understanding.

  • 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?

This learning style schizophrenia (if you will), doesn’t suggest the non-validity of the theories but to me makes perfect sense.  I observed early on that they seems to exist on a continuum and not really exclusively of one another.  It makes sense that a learner might identify with the effectiveness of  one theory–say behaviorism–when trying to methodically learn something and then identify with social learning theories when attempting to really engage with a concept and consider differing perspectives.

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

Technology plays a very important part in learning.  At some point, chalk and chalkboard were state of the art technology that highly impacted the way people learned.  The same applies to the tools that we have at our disposal today.  And it should be stated that they are only as beneficial as we make them.  They aren’t valuable just by virtue of the fact that they exist but it is in how we apply them that the real value becomes apparent.  I’d say it’s important for instructors/designers to look at a tech tool, assess whether it can really fill a need and make an impact or if it’s just the flavor-of the-month, and then devise a way to integrate it into their instruction.

 

 

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

Kapp, K. (2006). Definition: Cognitivism Retrieved from http://karlkapp.com/in-1980s-several-theories-of-learning/

 

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