Monthly Archives: February 2013

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Week 6 – Social Constructivism

I really enjoyed this presentation because I personally can relate well with it as an effective way of learning.  As a student, I feel responsible for my learning and have to try to make sense of what the instructor is trying to say or illustrate.  Until I construct it in my mind and establish a rational basis, I will not learn the material.  As an undergraduate engineering student, the concepts of higher order mathematics and physics and thermodynamics would not make sense until I constructed them in my mind.  I also agree with the concept that learning is a by-product of participation in a community.  Solving problems together is much more powerful than trying to do it on your own.

I learned about the zone of proximal development that was conceived by Vgotsky.  I really liked the graph that plotted level of competence v. level of challenge.  There is a certain amount that you can learn on your own and there is that zone where you really need help and then beyond that help you can move even further and construct more on your own.  So the constructivism approach is more appealing to me than the objectivism model.  As we approach our group project, it will be good to establish the constructivist approach enumerated below:

  1. Develop an activity framework
  2. Establish an accountability system
  3. Develop monitoring procedures
  4. Set up a common experience
  5. Ensure frequent repetition
  6. Repeat critical content
  7. Train in group interaction procedures

I am not sure how popular this approach was when it was introduced, but as the world has become more complex in terms of interactivity and collaboration, I can see why it has high appeal today.  I am personally ok in stating that I am a constructivist in my philosophy (so far).

I have noticed that several of the ID models fall under the constructivist framework: Problem-based instruction Situated learning and  Collaborative learning, which all make sense to me now.



Week 5 – Situated Learning, and Generative Learning

Write a reflection about the advanced instructional designs that were presented in class. Which ones made sense? Which would you use? Why? Which did you have problems with and what problems? 

Situated Learning:

The first presentation was Situated Learning.  Sounds like another catch phrase for another design model.  So here is the definition that was presented.

The theory of situated cognition…claims that every human thought is adapted to the environment, that is, situated, because what people perceive, how they conceive of their activity, and what they physically do develop together.  It has been positioned as a way to gain specific knowledge and has been deployed in technology based instruction.  The basis for this approach is that it must be authentic (very practical to what is being studied, so not a some level of high abstraction) and it involves social interaction and collaboration too.  Apparently what is learned is a result of the learning environment or situation it is actually learned.  This makes sense.  If you were teaching someone how to install a telecom switch, they would most likely learn better in a real world environment by being involved in that particular situation.

The key concepts for Situated Learning can be described as a function of the activity, not something that is abstract or out of context, involving a lot in interaction with others who are trying to learn.  You get more engaged as you learn more.  I can see moving from the sidelines into the game, once you start to understand the situation better.  Jared had a very good presentation and felt very comfortable with the subject matter.  He teaches technology and STEM so it is probable a natural and comfortable experience for him.

Generative Learning

So this model came across as another thought leader that wanted to coin or market a new method of learning called Generative Learning.  So starting with the founders definition, we can began to better understand what this really is and how it is different from the other models.  Generative Learning was defined by Wittrock as a process where the “learners should become accountable and responsible in learning and mentally active in constructing relationships between what they know and what they are learning.”  I personally can’t imagine where learners would not be accountable and responsible in learning and mentally active in constructing relationships between what they know and don’t know.  If I were learning how to extract square roots and did not know how to do it, it would make sense that I would build on my prior knowledge of multiplication and division to help me figure it out more easily.

I can see how it closely resembles constructivism and that the strategy is similar to cooperative learning.  It has you explore the perspective and context of what you are trying to learn and requires you to build upon your prior knowledge.  For me personally, I would have a tough time realizing that I was specifically using a Generative Learning approach.

Week 4 – Kemp Model, Discovery Learning and Authentic Learning

Write a reflection about the advanced instructional designs that were presented in class. Which ones made sense? Which would you use? Why? Which did you have problems with and what problems? 

So this was a very exciting part of the class.  I really learn a lot when I get to participate and get involved with my cohorts.  Most of the cohorts are teachers by profession.  I am not, so this gives me a good perspective on the different approached and techniques that they use.  It makes for an interesting evening, several hours of exploration hearing about three different models.  I am  first to present.  The model I have selected is the Kemp Model.  I did not even know it existed but upon doing research and looking at the variety of models, I realized that it is what I had used for many industrial projects in the past.  It is a modified ADDIE approach that has a lot of flexibility.  The major theme is how user centric it is.  There is a lot of focus on the “student” or “participant”.  I enjoyed featuring five different projects that were created witha a similar model. I hope the class enjoyed the presentation.

Kemp Model

1. Identify instructional problems, and specify goals for designing an instructional program
2. Examine learner characteristics that should receive attention during planning
3. Identify subject content, and analyze task components related to stated goals and purposes
4. State instructional objectives for the learner.
5. Sequence content within each instructional unit for logical learning
6. Design instructional strategies so that each learner can master the objectives.
7.Plan the instructional message and delivery.
8. Develop evaluation instruments to assess objectives.
9. Select resources to support instruction and learning activities.

Discovery Learning 

The name says it all. The instructor provides participates by providing the students with the necessary instructional toolbox but has the student take responsibility for discovering what needs to be done.  The instructor obviously has to have specialized knowledge and be able to guide the student when needed.  True discovery can take many routes (Ask Cristo Columbus) so where does the instructor impose the guardrails to make sure that discovery does not deviated too far from the subject matter to be learned.  If you are set to learn about fractions and the student discovers Pi instead, is that OK?

Authentic Learning
It appears to me that anyone with a new concept can make a case for it and put it out there to see if someone will endorse it and support it with critical review.  What I got from the authentic learning model is the instructor defines a real world problem and has the student take the lead in providing the learning initiative.  This seems a lot like discovery learning by the nature of the active role of the student, but the discovery is really limited to the presented problem at hand.

There are nine parts to the authentic learning model, which are:
1. Authentic context
2. Authentic activity
3. Expert performances
4. Multiple perspectives
5. Collaboration
6. Reflection
7. Articulation
8. Coaching and scaffolding
9. Authentic assessment

It seems that nine steps is popular between authentic and Kemp models  This model has a very high degree of flexibility.  Not sure if I would know for a fact that I am using this model or or combination of others.

I am looking forward to the next few weeks of presentations to see what others are going to presented.  This was very interactive and participation was good at all levels – the presenters and audience alike.


Week 3 – End of Week Reflection

After being exposed to the concept of structured instructional design, I reflect back on the many years of instructional design I was involved in with a company that I founded to provide enterprise training for large companies.  We always took a problem based instructional design.  It was quite a simple process.  We interviewed the client, provided focus group studies to determine the true nature of the problem and to better understand the participants.  Once we had that basic data we would decide the delivery approach and that was typically a function of the demography and technology available in their enterprise.  I really did not know that at the same time there were so many epistemological philosophies being evaluated in the field of education.  So I have a very fresh and interesting awakening to all the different approaches that have been established.