Monday, 25 March 2013

Learning Theories



I often deal with learning theories in the classroom, physical and virtual.  In fact it was when I was first exposed to learning theories that first attracted me to specialise in "education."  Specializing in education typically involves taking courses on Educational Psychology, Testing and Measurement, Teaching Methods or Pedagogies, and so on.  After taking an Ed Psych and an Instructional Technology course, I fell in love with the Education world.  I took more courses in the College of Education at the university (NIU) where I studied and I loved it so much that I switched my interest from my undergraduate major in Biological Sciences to taking up a specialization in Instructional Technology at the post-graduate levels.

Did you know that many events or things that we see in education are common sense but not for all people and not all the time?  Take learning for example.  How one person learns is different from how other people learn.  How one prefers to interact in the classroom is different from how another prefers to interact.  Theories are able to explain just that.  Theories of learning and personality theories explain the latter and the former.

How one is motivated in different ways and at different times may also be explained by motivation theories.  Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a classic one that is applicable in almost all, if not all situations.  Keller's ARCS model for learning motivation has stood the test of time since it was first developed about 30 years ago in how it explains the engagement of students to the learning process.

The best news is, I recently found an Infographic that summarises the theories of learning that we learned before and are learning about now.  The visual provides a quick overview of each of the learning theories and what each entails.  I wish I had this many years ago when I was a student.  It would have made my learning easier.  This goes to show that I am, by preference, a visual learner.

To see what I mean, view it at:  http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/03/learning-theories-every-teacher-should.html.  I think you will like it.  

Monday, 17 September 2012

Missing in Action - New Learning Technologies to be Faulted


It might appear that I've not been around long enough to sit at my desk to blog, or to have been busy with other priorities or distracted by other activities. Well, yes and no.

If you've been around on the Internet and are keeping track of the various learning technologies available, you would know how it feels to be overwhelmed by the choices, resources and information available online.

Since I started using Facebook (FB), prompted by a colleague from Japan, way back in 2009 (I think), I realize that as I spent more time on FB I spent less time on my blog. What this means is that either I have to create a framework for myself on how to make my presence felt in the online education community or I get "pulled" by the tools that attract my attention at that time. FB is not the only tool I focused on the last couple of years.  The FB groups I created for my students, courses and those that arose out of felt needs to support post-workshop events, have consumed much of my online time.

In addition, I discovered Scoop.It! and Spring It! I have now been busy curating for the latter two. I also have this urge to use Pinterest I think you will agree with me that educators are now spoilt for choices.

Not only in terms of tools like the above but also, the opportunities to enrol in online courses or learning communities. My favorites (at this point in time) are: MOOCs and Coursera.

Talking about learning technologies, Jan Hart, one of my favorite educators whom I follow is again, inviting her readers to suggest the top 100 tools for 2012. So if you'd like to make a difference to the list, go visit http://c4lpt.co.uk/top-100-tools-for-learning-2011/voting-2012/

Moving on, a couple of resources depicting trending issues are related to what we should know about teaching in the 21st century: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/09/what-teachers-need-to-know-about-21st.html and how higher education will evolve:  http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_norvig_the_100_000_student_classroom.html

Saturday, 10 March 2012

15 Inspiring Examples of Free Online Education | Online College Tips - Online Colleges

15 Inspiring Examples of Free Online Education | Online College Tips - Online Colleges

OERs have now become a significant feature in higher education today.  Anyone with Internet can now access thousands of interesting videos, books, and other useful learning materials to fulfill the desire of lifelong learners.  In addition, these resources can serve as supplemental learning materials to meet the needs of students all over the world.  It's amazing.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Learning in Open Online Courses

Learning is becoming more complex, or so, it seems. Depending on how one looks at learning, it could be done in a very formal structured way ("traditional") vs a somewhat informal unstructured way ("new").

I think some students in higher education institutions are going through some very challenging times. On the one hand, they are so used to learning the JIT way which is any which way that works at a particular moment in time. It could be through any ICT device or any print media; but more likely the former, where one can quickly look up for information. Typically, information would best come from Twitter or RSS feeds or FB posts, in fact, more so than from structured or well-designed web sites or portals.

The minds of individuals, especially those of the young, work differently than those who are more matured. Perhaps they have been wired differently. Or, perhaps the way their minds function is a result of their environment, which can be described as chaotic. Life isn't as simple or straightforward like it was in the 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s.

Somehow, with the birth of play stations and similar devices in the 90s, the young children of that time had a lot of control within their little hands. They quickly learnt how to strategise when playing the games or when they role played in the many simulation games that were created for PCs. Perhaps, their brains became wired for more complex situations and those that called for quick decisions based on multiple strategies or analyses of multiple situations. So, imagine after all that, having to sit still in a formal classroom, listening to lecture after lecture and reading what were prescribed became somewhat "unrealistic."

How about if students today were given a range of alternatives in which to "pull" from for their learning? Of course, this gives rise to a different sort of way to assess their learning.

Roughly, about 30 percent of those taking a higher education course are taking them online. Another set of statistics, also indicate that some 30 percent of Internet users have smart phones. I wonder if these 30 percent are also those who are learning through a self-organised manner? What do you think?

George Siemens's slides on the latter are below:

Monday, 12 September 2011

MOOC on mobile learning at OUM

Mobile learning at OUM started with the formation of an research team on m-learning in August 2008. Its first task was to determine how ready OUM learners would be for mobile learning. We surveyed almost 3,000 learners throughout Malaysia and found that more than 80 percent of the learners said they would be ready for learning through their mobile phones. We first experimented with podcasts and moved on to using sms to support the blended mode of learning at OUM and found that the latter worked extremely well.

For more information on the m-learning project at OUM, three papers have been uploaded at:
http://www.scribd.com/collections/3238724/MOOC-on-mobile-learning-at-OUM for your reading.

More than 21,000 learners have benefited from m-learning at OUM and the SMS for selected courses continue to be sent for free (burned by the university) to the targeted group of learners.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Insect - simply amazing

Teachers can use this as an LO for subjects such as biology, zoology, ecology, geography, etc.

MOOC as explained by George Siemens

Watch the interview of George Siemens by Howard Rheingold One of the originators of MOOCs for a more detailed and interesting description of how the idea for MOOCs came about in 2008, what MOOCs are, how they operate and, more importantly, how MOOCs may benefit users or participants of courses.

You may enjoy the interview below:

Friday, 24 June 2011

MOOCs - An overview

Want to know more about MOOCs? Watch the two videos below. The first introduces you to MOOC. The second is what makes MOOCs successful. I registered myself for the eduMOOC2011. The topics are great and the panelists are those who you want to listen to. It has at this point in time, already has an enrollment of more than 1,800 participants from 50 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas. And, the course is free.



Thursday, 23 June 2011

MOOCs - massive open online courses

There's always something new to look forward to. MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses are the next thing to watch out for. You can be part of it, either actively or passively, as a participant in an online course that is attended by hundreds or thousands from more than a dozen countries over a period of time. These are typically hosted by an institution and participation is invited by various online modes or communication.

For example, next Monday, we have the University of Illinois at Springfield making availabile a new not-for-credit MOOC devoted to examining the state of online education and where e-learning is heading. If you're keen to join, you may do so by registering for the eduMOOC2011 course at: http://sites.google.com/site/edumooc/

Coming up next is a MOOC organised by George Siemens from Athabasca University in Canada together with Stephen Downes and Dave Cormier. Siemens' is known for his ideas on connectivist learning and has become famous because of it. The online course will run for 36 weeks (September 12, 2011 - May 2012). The team has assembled educationists from around the world to share their work and experience related to e-learning, distance education, mobile learning, personal learning environments, authentic learning, open scholoarship, etc. etc.

For more information, visit: http://change.mooc.ca/. To register, click at: http://change.mooc.ca/cgi-bin/login.cgi?refer=http://change.mooc.ca/cgi-bin/admin.cgi&action=Register.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Sending in a CV? Watch this first

It's been a while since I last blogged. Not that there was nothing of interest to blog about. It was just that it was quicker to link the interesting resources found to my facebook. Anyway, I found something today that I thought must be posted here. It's impressive. CVs like we know it (paper-based) from years ago, have evolved. See the slides below to know what I mean. Personally, I would not mind receiving a CV in either of those media or approaches mentioned. Especially, if it's for a job that requires creativity, flexibility and innovativeness. Watch: