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Instructional Technology Foundations and Theories of Learning

Fall 2009| Trista Schoonmaker| 3 credits

Course Description

Reviews practical and pedagogical issues related to design and development of technological instruction. Emphasizes investigating instructional design as a field and community of practice, and reviewing core learning theory constructs applicable to design of instructional technology.

Reflections & Insights

This was the second of a three-course series (see EDIT 705 and EDIT 730) where I was first introduced to the psychological elements that contribute to how we learn, process information and retain knowledge. This course focused more heavily on the objectivist side of the epistemological continuum. As a new member of the education and e-learning community, I was fascinated by the methodologies and experimental testing that led to many of the modern teaching strategies we employ today. In today's environment it has become more and more apparent to me that most of primary and secondary education was rooted in this paradigm. I realize now that these strategies though proven effective for catalyzing rudimentary behavioral changes are only the tip of the iceberg. They are appropriate for use in teaching low level functions which may be appropriate for elementary education however, by the time I reached college, these methods are still effective, but do not address the various learning skills and abilities of most college students today. I came to this realization as I reflected on my personal experiences back in the mid- to late 1990's when I thought about all of the coursework I had completed and how little of it I could recall. Most of the information I was introduced to required rote memorization and gave little, if any, attention to the context of how I might use this knowledge to achieve my longer term goals of becoming a professional in the "real world." The last two years I spent focusing on my major, when I was permitted to engage in more "hands-on" training in my field. I now realize that I thrive in tactical, experiential learning where I can bridge the Zone of Proximal Development or ZPD, gap by connecting existing knowledge with new knowledge while being scaffolded by experts.

Professional/Technical Competencies

  • Selection and implementation of learning theories and strategies appropriate for training design and development
  • Identify theories from which a variety of instructional design models are derived and the consequent implications
  • Demonstrate in-depth synthesis and evaluation of the theoretical constructs and research methodologies related to instructional design as applied in multiple contexts
  • Utilize the research, theoretical, and practitioner foundations of the field in the development of instructional materials
  • Conduct basic and applied research related to technology integration and implementation
  • Articulate the relationship within the discipline between theory, research, and practice as well as the interrelationships between people, processes, and devices
  • Identify multiple instructional strategy models and demonstrate appropriate contextualized application within practice and field experiences

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