What are my beliefs about how people learn best? What is the purpose of learning theory in educational technology?
I believe that people learn best by doing. Ideally, the best way to reinforce knowledge is to practice and then teach it to someone else. When I teach a class I use a variety of multimedia to attract attention and encourage group collaboration to promote peer coaching.
I also believe that a major part of learning is reflection. I have kept a personal journal for decades in which I write about the things I learn and observe. Writing seems to solidify information in my brain. I have seen similar results in the classes I have taught in the nuclear industry and for my tribe.
For adults, I feel that learning theory provides patterns of learning where they become self-directed, taking responsibility for their own learning and the direction it takes. Adults need to know why they should learn something. The experience that adults bring with them is the association of their experiences with who they are. Reflection on what they expect to learn, how they might use it in the future or how it will help them to meet their goals contributes to this knowledge.
According to Siemens (2008), the key question, however, is whether learning best occurs through minimal guidance or guided instruction. Mitra (2007) has shown that children do not require direct instruction to acquire basic computer literacy skills.
I personally like Clarence Fisher‘s model of the “teacher as network administrator.” In Fisher’s model, the educator assists learners in forming connections and creating learning networks. These learning networks help learners develop competence to meet objectives.
2/15 Seattle Lunch 2.0 * blist ” badsquare. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://badsquare.wordpress.com/2008/02/16/215-seattle-lunch-20-blist/
Andragogy and Technology: Integrating adult learning theory . (n.d.). Retrieved from http://frank.mtsu.edu/~itconf/proceed00/fidishun.htm
Brookfield, Stephen D. 1986. Understanding and facilitating adult learning. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Driscoll, M. P. (2005). Psychology of learning for instruction (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education.
PDF file. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/Nostrad/pdf-file-3899944
Siemens, G. (2008, January 27). Learning and knowing in networks: Changing roles for educators and designers. Paper presented to ITFORUM. Retrieved from http://it.coe.uga.edu/itforum/Paper105/Siemens.pdf