Week 3-The Art of Effective Communication

This week were were asked to view the multimedia presentation “The Art of Effective Communication” and comment on the different communication modalities that were utilized.  The first modality was an email (written text).  The email comes across to me like the person is desperate and irritated, while the voice mail comes across with a bit more sympathy.  When I was reading the text, there didn’t seem to be a level of friendliness as there was in the audio clip.  However, the video clip seemed to convey an even higher level of friendliness that was not conveyed in the email or voice mail.  I believe that face-to-face interaction is the best way to convey a message.  The use of body language helps to deliver the true meaning of the message.


Learning from a Project “ Post-mortem”

One unsuccessful project that comes to mind immediately is when I attempted to plant a large garden in my backyard.  Having no experience in the past with gardening, I thought it would be as simple as digging up the dirt a little bit and planting some seeds.  I gleefully paged through my friends seed catalog, selecting several varieties of different fruits and vegetables with dreams of garden-fresh salsas and salads dancing through my head.  When the bill was tallied, it came in at over $100 (just for seeds)!  When the seeds arrived, I headed out to the local home improvement store and gathered my supplies: a shovel, planting soil and seed starter trays.  After laboriously planting a few seeds in each pod, I watered the daylights out  of each tray and slapped on the lid.  I religiously watered the pods for the first few days and started to get little sprouts.  I figured it was time to start digging up the backyard to plant them.  Unfortunately, this was not as easy and I expected, being that Northeast Ohio has mostly rock-filled, clay soil.  Furthermore, (little to my knowledge) clay soil is less than ideal for growing any type of plant life.  After furiously digging for a few sweaty hours, I decided to just start with a row of blueberries and a row of raspberries and dig the rest later.  This little “two row” venture had cost me my entire Saturday.  Not to mention, the neighbor’s dog had been incessantly barking at me the entire afternoon.  The entire next week I watered my little sprouts, but they just seemed to be withering away.  By the time Saturday rolled around, I just couldn’t face the idea of spending my entire day digging in that terrible soil, and took my kids to Chuck E. Cheese instead.  Pretty soon, I lost interest in the whole idea of this big vegetable garden and let all the spouts die off.  Needless to say, my husband was none too happy with the fact I had wasted over $150 for seeds and supplies on a garden that never came to fruition!

So why did this project fail?  First, having no background knowledge, I should have done additional research on gardening in general.  I should have also investigated how to improve soil conditions.  I definitely could have involved some subject matter experts to get a better understanding of what I was doing.  In addition, I should have spent some time evaluating the true amount of work and cost  involved prior to purchasing anything.  Perhaps after doing a more careful evaluation, I would have decided to make a smaller garden I could handle myself or hire someone to dig it out the garden area for me.  My research on soil conditions and gardening in general would have helped me estimate the true costs more effectively, because then I would have known that I needed to balance the soil conditions and wait until the seeds were more than just little sprouts.  I may have even decided to purchase plants that were already started for my first garden, instead of trying to sprout them myself.

Week 7

  • Now that you have a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles, how has your view on how you learn changed?
  • 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?
  • What role does technology play in your learning (i.e., as a way to search for information, to record information, to create, etc.)?

There are many different learning theories that have been explored throughout this class.  My personal views have changed somewhat in light of our studies.  I thought that I generally preferred behavioral theory for my own personal learning, as that is what I experienced throughout grammar school.   Most of the learning that took place was memorization, but it makes me feel secure and comfortable with the knowledge.  I think this is something lacking in today’s school system when it comes to certain subjects, such as math facts.  I watch my daughter struggle because cause/effect, stimuli/behavior response is no longer a theory that is widely used in elementary educational settings (Standridge, 2001).  Instead, there is a focus on finding a solution to a problem, which is more cognitive in nature.  What I was surprised to discover was that I now tend to learn best under the theory of constructivism and connectivism.  Perhaps it has just been my own journey of completing most of my Bachelor’s and now my Master’s online through Walden, but I seem to learn the most from interacting and reading the thoughts of others on the discussion boards.   Also, as an adult learner, I am able to better intertwine my own life experiences to help the process of learning using simile and metaphorical analogies (Conlan, 2003).  I enjoy complex learning, which is a constant requirement at my job.  We are always changing workflows and processes, and also must constantly adjust for changes in state and federal legislation.  I rely on my colleagues and work in a very close knit team.  We often help each other with understanding work processes or complicated issues, so I think there is some social theory going on there (Kim, 2001).  Technology plays a large role in my learning today.  I practically do everything online at both work at for college level studies.  I also prefer to do my reading online, and enjoy reading online articles and journals, listening to podcast, or watching streaming video.  At work, we have technology that allows us to meet in an online space and share documents or show our entire computer screen, including all the programs we are working on.  We also utilize email and instant message software constantly.  I don’t know how I would function at work or school without a computer!

Conlan, J., Grabowski, S., & Smith, K. (2003). Adult learning. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Adult_Learning

Kim, B. (2001). Social constructivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/eplt/index.php?title=Social_Constructivism

Standridge, M. (2001). Behaviorism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Behaviorism

Connectivity Mind Map

This week, we were asked to create a mind-map demonstrating our personal connectivity and think about how it facilitates learning.  My network has changed the way I learn because almost all the ways I connect are virtual in nature.  At work and school, it is especially important that I be able to read information from various resources and immediately apply that knowledge on my own.  Because I work in the healthcare industry, policies and procedures are constantly changing due to state and federal legislation.  We must constantly stay abreast of these changes, then immediately apply that knowledge to our work.  In school, I must be a self-directed learner that reads and understands basic materials, then demonstrate how I can apply the information personally.  My favorite digital tool is definitely Instant Message.  We have this tool at work, and I use it constantly.  It makes me feel like I am sitting in the office with my peers.  I am able to socialize as well as get quick questions answered without constructing email.  I also like Facebook for connecting with friends and family, as well as text messaging.  I like the informal, friendly social forum these digital tools provide.  When I have questions about something, I usually will go to my peers to see if they have any insight.  At work, we also have a tool that allows us to share our desktop so we can see what the other person is doing in the system and learn that way.  When I have questions related to course materials in school, I try to research it myself using Google search or in the resources provided for the week.  I also glean a plethora of knowledge from the discussion boards.  I enjoy reading and understanding perspectives of others and allow it to enhance the learning process.  There have been many times where after reading feedback from my peers, I change my opinion on something because I may not have considered it originally.  I think my personal learning network supports the central tenets of connectivism.  In this week’s video, George Siemens defines connectivism as a learning theory that hat integrates technology, social networks, and information.  I believe my learning is extremely system-based, widely distributed across an array of digital tools, and complex. 

video program: “Connectivism” with George Siemens

Week 2

This week, we were asked to locate a couple of resources related to this week’s topics of information processing theory, problem-solving methods or the brain and learning processes. Using the Walden library, I located two interesting articles:

An Evolutionary Information-Processing Theory

Yuan Li; Kettinger, William J. Journal of the Association for Information Systems. Sep2006, Vol. 7 Issue 9, p593-616. 24p. 6 Diagrams. , Database: Business Source Complete

This article discusses the different theories involving knowledge creation.  First, the author discusses the innovative, learning and problem-solving schools of thought then describes information processing theory, which indicates that when new problems are identified, a process by which existing elementary informational processes are employed to breakdown the problem into smaller, manageable parts until the entire problem is solved.  The article goes on to discuss the evolutionary view of knowledge creation and how information-processing and evolutionary theory could be combined into create a new way of looking at learning.

Perspectives on Problem Solving in Educational Assessment:
Analytical, Interactive, and Collaborative Problem Solving

Greiff, Samuel; Holt, Daniel V.; Funke, Joachim. Journal of Problem Solving. Spring2013, Vol. 5 Issue 2, p71-91. 21p. DOI: 10.7771/1932-6246.1153.

This article discusses analytical problem-solving, teamwork and communication in relation to the framework of large scale assessments in the public school system.  The article touches on the test looking not only for problem solving skills, but also additional abilities required for problem solving, such as knowledge acquisition, finding solutions, reflecting progress, and communicating the results.  However, the test is not without limitations and would probably be better issued on a computer instead of traditional pen and paper.  This article gives good perspectives on assessing a learners ability to solve complex problems.

Learning Theories and Instruction, Week One

For this assignment, we were asked to find three blogs that we thought would help up with Instructional Design.  I have listed the three blogs I am following below with a short synopsis of why I think each will help me in my future endeavors.

CCS Faculty eLearning Edge

This is a very professional blog that is set up for the faculty of a college.  When you click inside the blog, there are individual blogs of the faculty members, all having to do with instructional methods, e-learning, using technology, etc. This blog is truly a wealth of information.

Instructional Design & Technology Blog

This is the personal blog of an instructional designer named Sam who lives in the United Kingdom.  A lot of the blog entries have great reviews and tips about learning styles and technology.  This seems like a good resource for the more technical side of instructional design.



This is the personal blog of an instructional designer and online educator named Carolina.  She provides lots of interesting articles and charts in regards to e-learning.