Reflection on Learning Theories and Instruction Course

In this course, I learned about various learning theories and influences on learning. In addition, I now have a better understanding of the connections between learning theories. This course helped me gain better understand adult learners, learner motivation, and myself as a learner. With this new information, I can more clearly design instruction and target learner needs in both face-to-face and online learning situations.

As an educator, I had a strong inclination the learning theories work in conjunction with one another after many years of observing student learning. I was surprised to learn that learning theories are intertwined and professional judgment should be used when applying them to information processing (Kapp, 2007). Different theories apply to different learning tasks or goals. For example, behaviorism is focused on human behavior (Standridge, 2010) and is best suited for rote memorization. In contrast, constructivism is building knowledge by making connections to previous knowledge (Ormrod, Schunk, & Gredler, 2009) and is supported by real-world problem-based activities.

Another surprising thing I discovered in this course is the role of learning styles. Student’s learning styles are often believed to play a role in their preference and success in learning activities. However, instructional styles should be based on the content of the lesson rather than the individual learners (Glenn, 2009). Lessons in science should be hands-on, while reading lessons can be visual or auditory. Matching the learning objective to an instructional style will help more learners succeed.

In addition, I was enabled to analyze my own learning throughout this course. I discover my preference for online learning stems from my desire as an adult learner to be in control of my own learning and self-regulate my experience (Conlan, Grabowski, & Smith, 2003). Online learning allows me to set the pace for my learning and take charge of my own learning (Foley, 2004). This freedom to guide learning in online situations draws many adult learners to online programs.

Maintaining learner motivation is an important factor for student success. To ensure student motivation, learners must have the necessary skills to complete tasks and should have some input in how learning occurs (Ormrod, Schunk, & Gredler, 2009). Learners should be able to complete the tasks with minimal support. Learners also need buy-in and should have a desire to learn (Laureate Education, n.d.). Learning should be applicable to their goals and interests.

This course has better prepared me for a career in Instructional Design by helping me understand learning. I have a better understanding of learning theories and the connections between them. I am more prepared to work with adult learners. I have tools to support learner motivation in both online and face-to-face learning environments. I also learned about myself as a learner. This course has empowered me to address various types of learners and learning situations when design instruction.






Conlan, J., Grabowski, S., & Smith, K. (2003). Adult learning. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved October 3, 2018, from

Foley, G. (2004). Dimensions of Adult Learning : Adult Education and Training in a Global Era. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin. Retrieved October 3, 2018, from

Kapp, K. (2007). Out and about: Discussion on educational schools of thought. Retrieved September 19, 2018, from

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Motivation in learning [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author. Retrieved October 24, 2018, from

Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York, NY: Pearson.

Standridge, M. (2010). Behaviorism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved September 19, 2018, from


Learning Preferences and Online Learning

As far back as I can remember I was always a very independent, highly motivated student. I preferred to read independently and compose information to share on my own. It took a lot of work for me to learn in collaborative environments. I had to learn to value people as resources, just like books and articles. Once I understood that I could learn from my peers and environment, I become much more aware of the learning situations I was in.

Over the past few weeks, I have explored learning theories and analyzed my own learning preferences. I believe I am a constructivist learner. I love to seek out information, make connections, and share findings with others (Ormrod, Schunk, & Gredler, 2009). I prefer to learn independently and seek guidance or collaborate when I decide necessary. I am passionate about problem solving and love the challenge of working through problems (Ferriter, 2009). With my new understanding of my learning preferences, I feel more empowered as a learner. I am more aware in learning environments now and can utilize resources to their full potential.

As an adult learner, I found a strong drive to participate in online learning. I completed my first online masters degree in 2010 and became an advocate for the power of online learning. I often wondered why I was so drawn to online learning, as many of my peers dislike it. Now, I understand that online learning is by default student-led and provides me with opportunities to build my own knowledge (Means, Toyama, Murphy, Bakia, & Jones, 2009). The constructivist nature of online learning allows me to self-regulate and determine what I get out of each learning experience (Artino, 2008). I can read articles, explore the Internet, and have online discussions with my classmates to expand my knowledge. I can also build technological based products, like blogs, websites, or videos to share my learning with others. The power of online learning is truly amazing.



Artino Jr., A. R. (2008). Promoting academic motivation and self-regulation: Practical guidelines for online instructors. TechTrends: Linking research & practice to improve learning, 52(3), 37–45. Retrieved October 17, 2018, from

Ferriter, B. (2009). Learning with blogs and wikis. Educational leadership, 66(5), 34-38. Retrieved August 31, 2018, from

Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., Bakia, M., Jones, K. (2009). Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning: A meta-analysis and review of online learning studies. US Department of Education. Retrieved October 17, 2018, from

Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York, NY: Pearson.

Information Processing Theory (IPT)

In my journey to become an Instructional Designer, it is crucial for me to explore Information Processing Theory (IPT) and understand its implications for learning environments. IPT is how people approach problem solving and the acquisition of new information (Laureate Education, n.d.). By understanding IPT, I can develop instructional materials and problem solve instructional issues (Bruer, 2006). Many online resources are available to explore IPT. The following resources will help me as I continue developing my Instructional Design skills.

The first resource is a website called Informational Processing Theory for the Classroom. This website shares information on types of memory and how information is retained (Baker, 2016). I particularly enjoyed the information on Cognitive Load Theory and its applications for education. It provides ideas for productive Instructional Design, including multimodal approaches to learning. Utilizing more than one sensory input reduces the demand on working memory and increases information retention. The website is linked to great information on additional learning theories.

The second resource I found was a video titled Information Processing Theory- Classroom Application. This video addresses information processing theory and practical classroom application (Turple, 2015). The video contains helpful infographics about information processing. It also provides concrete examples of each stage of information processing. This video is helpful for quickly refreshing my knowledge on information processing. I especially liked the examples of IPT for the video content.

These resources are a helpful starting point for understanding and applying IPT to my Instructional Design career. They will help me to address sensory input and engage working memory (Baker, 2016). In addition, they remind me to relate new learning to previous knowledge to solidify long-term memory (Turple, 2015). Both resources relate well to each other, while providing uniquely pertinent information.



Baker, A. (2016). Informational processing theory for the classroom. Retrieved September 16, 2018, from

Bruer, J. T. (2006). Points of view: On the implications of neuroscience research for science teaching and learning: Are there any? CBE—Life sciences education, 5(2), 104-110. Retrieved September 12, 2018, from

Turple, C. (2015). Information processing theory- Classroom application. Retrieved September 16, 2018, from

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Information processing and problem solving [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author. Retrieved September 12, 2018, from

Useful ID Blogs

As an aspiring Instructional Designer, it is crucial to access relevant information on the field. Blogs provide a powerful resource from experienced Instructional Designers. In these blogs, information is available on the latest tools, Instructional Design Theory, and general advice on working in the field. The following blogs provide a plethora of resources and knowledge on Instructional Design.

The first blog resource is “the eLearning Coach (Malamed, n.d.).” In this blog, Connie Malamed explores Instructional Design by highlighting tools and tips for eLearning. The most impressive piece of the blog is the podcast section, which contains conversations with various professionals in eLearning. In addition to the podcasts, the blog has wonderful sections on eLearning design and multimedia. Overtime, this blog will be a useful resource for information on specific tasks.

The second helpful resource is “Instructional Design Central Blog (Instructional Design Central, n.d.).” This blog contains entries related to Instructional Design trends and current events. Along with the blog, there is an associated website and community forum. The website has many resources, including Instructional Design tools, education, and job openings. The community forum allows people to pose questions and engage in discussion, which will be useful in the future to learn more.

The final blog resource is “eLearning Technology (Karrer, n.d.).” The blog by Tony Karrer focuses on technology tools and current events in eLearning. It links articles and discussion related to eLearning. The blog enables discussion on each entry, which will be beneficial in exploring Instructional Design topics and tools.

These blog resources will be a great start in exploring the field of Instructional Design. They will provide resources on available tools, eLearning trends, and Instructional Design Theory. The blogs also provide access to discussions within the Instructional Design and eLearning communities. Overall, these blogs will be immensely useful.


Instructional Design Central. (n.d.). Instructional Design Central Blog. Retrieved September 8, 2018, from

Karrer, T. (n.d.). ELearning Technology. Retrieved September 8, 2018, from

Malamed, C. (n.d.). The elearning coach. Retrieved September 8, 2018, from