Adult Learner – Orientation for Online Learning
This activity describes the learning theory and use of technology in adult online learning. With the surge of enrollment and interest of online learning, schools are looking for methods to make online learning work more effectively. The online classroom is dynamic and schools are learning that courses cannot be created without the proper training and setup for students and faculty. In order for students and faculty to navigate through courses successfully, an in-depth orientation is needed for all parties.
Adults have special needs and requirements as learners and need more instruction when being oriented to our technological world. They have different expectations, experiences and educational goals and they approach their education differently than the traditional student. As they transition back to college they face a technological barrier and are in need of more instruction in order to feel confident that they can succeed. There is an increase in adults participating in online education and online classes should be designed based on the needs of our adult learners.
In this activity, we will properly orient our adult students, for online learning using our Learning Management System (LMS), Canvas. This LMS has been chosen by the institution and we hope to increase to growth of our online programs. However, in order to do so, we must properly train our biggest population, the adult learner.
Video One: What is Canvas?
Video Two: Canvas – Basics of Navigation
Video Three: Canvas – Setting Preferences
Video Four: Canvas – Syllabus & Announcements
Video Five: Canvas – Modules & Assignments
By the end of the orientation, students will be able to:
- Navigate the Learning Management System (LMS) successfully
- Participate in discussions
- Submit work
- Send emails to their instructors
- Identify the key areas to find their course materials
- See how the LMS can be accessed through all types of technology
- Submit a course evaluation
Technology is growing and as educators must find ways to address the needs of our students. Reviewing the evaluations of this orientation, we will be able to assess the needs, success and failures of our adult students. With the demands of today’s competitive educational markets, allowing our adults to participate in this orientation will provide them with the knowledge and skills to become successful. This orientation will provide the students access to resources and technology that take learning to the next level.
Canvas Video tutorials (2014 February 24). What is canvas? [Video File] Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP72Q-ySDNw
Chandler-Gilbert Community College (2012, August 14) Canvas student tutorial 1: navigation basics [Video File] Retrieved from: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eptp5Klvxg
Chandler-Gilbert Community College (2012, August 14) Canvas student tutorial 2: setting preferences [Video File] Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tsaadN1kAk
Chandler-Gilbert Community College (2012, August 14) Canvas student tutorial 3: syllabus & announcements [Video File] Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVXsE-r7wGk
Chandler-Gilbert Community College (2012, August 14) Canvas student tutorial 4: Modules & assignemnts [Video File] Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7Lq7f1B6L0
Open Education is a movement that is providing teaching and learning to anyone, anywhere for free. On the flip side, are schools worried that there will no longer be a need for brick and mortar buildings? Increasing popularity has changed the way that educators are providing education and now skeptics are asking if there is value in open education. Bonk (2009) explains the collaboration advantages of open educational resources. According to Bonk (2009), Open Education Resources allows for people to have access to information that was not possible before. Communities of like-minded individuals can come together and dig deeper and learn.
Recently, I went to a conference on open course ware and learned that schools are struggling with accepting credits for students who have participated in these open courses. Some of the barriers that students were facing are that they were not being awarded transferable credits, nor were they getting CEU’s for their work. Colleges and Universities have been struggling with awarding credits for open education. However, the same could be said when online learning launched. At that time, schools struggled with the quality of the work students were receiving.
What is the value in open education? Watch the below video to explore what you don’t know……
With the growth of open education, the same conversations about quality, depth and facilitation is taking place as it did with the inception of online learning. It is interesting to live in a time where technology is reinventing the way we live, function and learn. We live in a constant state of change, but years ago and upgrade was every ten years and today, an upgrade is every six months. With technology allowing us to us to rethink our lives, will there be a time where the upgrades are no longer feasible to keep up with?
Bonk, C. (2009). The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education. Jossey-Bass
Bukola, O. (2012), Why open education matters, Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHQp33rbg5k
There are three classroom types; face to face, online and hybrid. Each type of classroom setting brings its own uniqueness and challenges. While all different, they are all forms of learning.
The internet is changing how we learn and distance education is becoming more popular. Over the past decade, the internet has become a huge source of information and education. Online learning has been the biggest boom in learning. Critical thinking plays a major role in online learning. In most online classes, the students work independently and have to clarify/determine what the instructor is asking or discussing. Students who are not self-disciplined will not perform well in online classes. Online classes are often thought to be more challenging in terms of dedication, as well as the amount of work a student is asked to do. Students are often short on time, money and online learning is providing individuals with a flexible and convenient schedule, allowing more adults to return to the classroom.
Hybrid learning is when instruction is done in the traditional setting as well as an online setting. Inquiry-guided learning is an example of hybrid learning where its methods of instruction are where students put into practice what they have learned. Students are able to put into practice learning on their own and also being taught by an instructor in a traditional classroom setting.
Face to Face Learning
Face to Face learning, otherwise known as traditional learning, has been in existence the longest and has proven to be a very successful form of learning. The face to face learners are best described as students who are learner-centered teaching. This means that the students are responsible for learning and the instructors are tasked with the instruction of the material. With this type of learning, the student is in charge of the learning experience. With learner-centered learning, the students can learn from one another and the teachers can learn from the students. An example is when learning is done individually as well as collectively. The goal is to provide and also participate in a great educational experience.
In the 21st century, technology has changed the ways in which we communicate and go about our lives. Very few educators would disagree with the notion that technology has dramatically changed the teaching and learning process.
Do you think that the traditional class will soon be a memory? Do you see colleges using only online education as their primary form of instruction?
Beyond computers in the classroom: Factors related to technology adoption to enhance teaching and learning . [Article]. Contemporary Issues in Education Research, 3(4), 27-35.
Crawford, C. M., Smith, R. A., & Smith, M. S. (2008). Course student satisfaction results: Differentiation between face-to-face, hybrid, and online learning environments . [Article]. CEDER Yearbook, 135-149.
Doering, A., & Veletsianos, G. (2008). Hybrid online education: Identifying integration models using adventure learning Buckenmeyer, J. A. (2010).
Potter, T. (2011) The Future of Classroom Education [Video] Retrieved September 22, 2014 from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki2Z4NhlCWg
In this week’s readings, we explored two different communities and how they are similar in working together. Collectively, each community brings knowledge and skills to work together on an area of concern. Communities of Practice (CoPs) and the Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are great collaboration tools for learning with little difference between them. The CoPs are used more in corporate world while the PLCs are used more in educational settings. These are two types of “TEAMs” that are effective in both the corporate and educational setting. “What these two types of communities have in common is that they bring people together to share knowledge and learn from each other.” (Bouchard, 2012)
Communities of Practice (CoPs) are groups of people who are interested in the same topic and are most often used in the corporate world. This is where working professionals, come together to share best practices and bounce ideas of one another. Otherwise defined as, a group of individuals who find they have a common area of interest or a common concern. Together, they bring their collective knowledge and experience and work on a particular area of concern. The end result is that the experience of the CoP’s builds on each member’s collective knowledge and will improve their individual performance. In doing so, this will have a dramatic impact on improving the issues they were drawn together to address.
Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are most often used in school systems and is a professional development group for teachers. This is where teaches can come together and collaborate ideas and teaching practices they are using. These groups may be aligned by department or may be cross-disciplinary.
Although the business and educational arenas label their communities differently, CoPs and PLCs are essentially the same thing. They may have different focuses, different ways of implementation and a different vocabulary, but they are both doing the same thing. CoPs and PLCs are groups of people who are coming together to learn from each other. Both CoPs and PLCs help to foster and support learning and teaching.
Technology allows CoPs to collaborate on projects and with companies that may have been out of reach in the past. Through applications such as, Skype, GoToMeeting and WebEx, companies are able to work with organizations all around the world. These applications help to facilitate collaboration and enhance the outcomes of projects. CoPs are much more successful in teaching and learning from one another, when using these types of applications.
PLCs are found in the educational arena and are enhanced by technology. Technology has played a major role in the classroom. Digital learning is a key concept that has been embraced by educators in today’s classrooms. Using online learning to facilitate to students all over the world has opened up the doors to making education obtainable by everyone. Today’s classrooms have changed not only visually but technologically. The use of chalkboards has been replaced with smart boards and iPads. Not only has technology helped the classroom, but PLCs are able to integrate technology into their practice and learn not only from members of their own organization, but those members within the teaching community around the world.
Reflecting on my learning activity and relating it to this week’s readings, it appears that the learning activity falls into both categories of CoPs and PLCs. My activity is going to focus on the implementation of online learning in a classroom. The training that will be taking place will be both educational and business related. Although this project is in the beginning stages, I hope to collaborate with my peers and implement a learning activity that is dynamic and catches the attentions of my readers.
Question: Think about your professional world and your educational environment. Is there a project that you need collaboration on? What is the project and is it a CoP or PLC? Hopefully the reading and videos provided to you in this blog will give you inspiration to collaborate with your peers.
Barth, R. (1991). Restructuring schools: Some questions for teachers and
principals. Phi Delta Kappan, 73(2), 123–128.
Bonk, C. (2009). The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing
Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Bouchard, J. (2012). Edu520 Unit 3 CoP, PLC. Retrieved from
Conrad, D.L. (2008). From community to community of practice: Exploring the
connection of online learners to informal learning in the workplace.
American Journal of Distance Education, 22(1), 3-23.
Paradise Valley Unified School District. (2013) Professional learning communities
– committed to student success[Video].
Sampson, M. (2010) Community of practice (CoP) success story [Video].
Winding down on another course, I am asked to reflect back on what has been taught over the last seven weeks. First, I took a look at what was asked at the beginning of the course. What do you hope to learn from this course and what do you think the cognitive science of teaching and learning means?
My definition of what I believed the course should be described as: The Cognitive Science of Teaching and Learning – Implications of cognitive science research on acquisition of knowledge theory will be analyzed in terms of applicability to teaching and learning. Emphasis will be on practical means to facilitate mental processes related to attention, memory, motivation and problem-solving to foster depth in understanding and adaptable mechanisms for the transfer of learning.
In reviewing the course description listed above, I was excited to report that I was able to broaden my knowledge on the cognitive science of attention, motivation and problem solving. Expanding my knowledge in these areas allowed me to have a deeper understanding of what it takes to be a great learner as well as a great teacher.
What does it mean to think? According to the definition of think; to think is to have a conscious mind, to some extent of reasoning, remembering experiences and making rational decisions. In the lesson on thinking, it was suggested that our emotions are what make thought possible and there is a clear distinction between thinking and feeling. Comparing human thinking to computers, emotion has to be the hardest function that computer can perform. If we compare children to adults, gaming might be the only technology that may be able to capture emotion. However, does this really compare to human emotion?
Emotion is the effective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness. Technology is the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure science.When we look at the definition of emotion and the definition of technology, we can see that they are very different. Emotion is captured in expressions and technology is captured in sciences. Emotion is an important part of our everyday lives and the impact of emotions on learning is multifaceted. In the classroom, learning and motivation is all about the connections your students are making. Not only is the connection of their peers important, but the connection of the content being taught. If there is not a connection between what they are learning and what they practice, the students may lose focus and will not be engaged in the learning experience. When we lose interest our attention we are no longer being stimulated.
“The best learning takes place when a positive feeling toward a task enables us to use what we know, while motivating us to extend that knowledge and build on it.” (Unknown)
In reflecting what was learned early on in the course, I was able to relate this knowledge and found this video on examples of how emotions affect our learning.
Looking ahead in my studies, I am excited to put into practice what was learned throughout this course. This course allowed me to expand my thoughts and take a deeper look into cognition. In the future, I hope to facilitate classes and everything that was taught in this course, will allow me to reach out to my learners.
Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved March 06, 2014, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/
Lehrer, J. (2007, April 29). Hearts & MInds. The Boston Globe.
Perkins, D (2010). Making learning whole: how seven principles of teaching can change education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
UOregon (2009). Changing brains: emotions and learning [Video]. Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8OziK-6IQI
Emotion is an important part of our everyday lives and the impact of emotions on learning is multifaceted. In the classroom, learning and motivation is all about the connections your students are making. Not only is the connection of their peers important, but the connection of the content being taught. If there is not a connection between what they are learning and what they practice, the students may lose focus and will not be engaged in the learning experience. When we lose interest our attention we are no longer being stimulated.
“The best learning takes place when a positive feeling toward a task enables us to use what we know, while motivating us to extend that knowledge and build on it.” (Unknown)
When asked if I am motivated differently as an adult as I was as a child, the answer is yes. As an adult, I have a strong need to apply what is learned and need to apply it now. As a child, I may have used any learning situation as building blocks to prepare me for what life will bring me in the future. As an adult, I want to be competent in my in the application of learning or skill. When I was a child, I may not have known what being competent is and was happy just learning new things. In my adult years, when learning new skills, it is much easier to put them into immediate practice.
Children often participate in hands on learning, but those skills are only able to be practiced for a short amount of time. For instance, if I were to learn a new computer skill, I would be able to use it in my daily job function. However, if a child learns a computer skill, they may only get to practice that skill in a class once a week.
As a manger, I use positive reinforcement to get my staff to excel. In our weekly meetings, I like to start off with all of the positive things that are going on, get their input and have them participate in the planning. This will set the tone for the rest of the meeting. After discussing the more positive items, we can then have an easier conversation about the agenda items that were less than successful. Then to wrap things up in the meetings, I always like to recall a positive event that will be coming up. The extrinsic motivation of positive reinforcement with my staff, is that if they were asked from a friend is they like their job, they would say yes. The intrinsic motivation for my staff is that they love to come to work because the work is enjoyable and rewarding. I encourage my staff to share any and all positive experiences. At the end of staff meetings, we do a round robin. This is an opportunity for each staff member to voice what they have been working on and how things are going. Many times, this exercise is their opportunity to point out all the good they are doing. This also gives them an outlet to give themselves a little “pat on the back”. This has proven to be a great way to end the meeting because the staff walks away feeling good about themselves and the work they are doing.
For some inspiration on employee motivation, check out the video: Employee engagement – who’s sinking your boat?
Consciousness is described as an awareness of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts or surroundings. The “hard parts” could be considered to be the different forms of knowledge. The ability to selectively process information (attention) and to retain information in an accessible state (working memory) are critical aspects of our cognitive capacities (Fougnie, 2008).
If we look at our own learning environment, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, can make a big difference. The capacity to perform some complex tasks depends critically on the ability to retain task-relevant information in an accessible state over time (working memory) and to selectively process information in the environment (attention) (Fougnie, 2008).
Working memory holds pieces of information in the mind for short periods of time before transitioning it to long term memory. For example, if a student were to cram for a test, they would be using their short term memory to retain the information for the test. As time passes, the student would not remember all of the information they studied. However, some of the information they retained would become part of their long term memory. In this case because the student was on information overload, they would only remember the more relatable information.
Attention is the capacity to maintain selective or sustained concentration. Have you ever proof read a paper and corrected all your mistakes? Once graded, did your instructor point out all the misspelled words and incoherent sentences? How did you miss these errors? This is an example of attention. You missed there errors because even though you were proof reading the paper yourself; your attention was not focused on the errors. Your mind was showing/telling you how you believed the sentence was stated or how the words were spelt. We have all fallen victim to this at some point in time.
Fougnie, D., Vanderbilt University (2008), The relationship between attention and working memory, retrieved from: http://visionlab.harvard.edu/Members/darylfougnie/Daryl_Fougnie_(Academic)/Home_files/Fougnie-in%20press-chap%201.pdf
Perkins, D (2010). Making learning whole: how seven principles of teaching can change education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
Thomas, K.J. (2001, April). They’re not just big kids: Motivating adult learners. Proceedings of the 6th Annuual Mis-South Instructional Technology Conference, Mufreesboro, TN.
COGNITIVE SCIENCE OF TEACHING & LEARNING (Units 1-3 EDU 510)
A few months ago, I made the decision to return to the classroom and work towards my Master’s degree. It was an interesting decision making process, as I ruled out schools and had to determine if face-2-face classes or online learning was right for me. In the end, I found a school and a program that balances my professional goals as well as the flexibility I needed in my schedule. As an adult learner, I had to know that the learning process this time around would be much different than my first college experience. Entering college straight out of high school is an easy transition. Transition into school much later in life, has a much higher stress level because of work, family and personal responsibilities. However, as an adult, I find that I am able to relate my real life experiences into my lessons each week. This is giving me a real sense of accomplishment, as I move through my program because I am able to take what I learn in the classroom and integrate it into my professional life, almost immediately.
Now, three weeks into my Cognitive Science class, I would like to take a moment, to look back on what I have learned about cognitive science in teaching and learning. Early on in the class, we were asked to identify what we believe cognitive science is and how teaching and learning plays a roll. In the first week, we reviewed sequential learning style conflicts with analysis of concepts and abstract materials. In week two, the class was introduced to logic, rules and concepts. During week three, we have examined our Learning Style Inventory (LSI) and determining if what we thought about our learning style is what we thought or has the results of our LSI moved us into a different way of viewing the way each of us learn.
We were asked to describe the meaning of Cognitive Science of Teaching &Learning: Implications of cognitive science research of knowledge theory will be analyzed in terms of applicability to teaching and learning. Emphasis will be on practical means to facilitate mental processes related to attention, memory, motivation and problem-solving to foster depth in understanding and adaptable mechanisms for the transfer of learning.
The first week introduced cognitive science and artificial intelligence. The professor asked the class which aspect of human thinking do we believe would be the most difficult for computers to perform or model. Why this aspect would be most difficult and if we thought it would differ for a child versus and adult.
In responding, we first have to understand what it means to think: to think is to have a conscious mind, to some extent of reasoning, remembering experiences and making rational decisions. Our emotions are what make though possible and there is a clear distinction between thinking and feeling. If we compare children to adults, gaming might be the only technology that may be able to capture emotion. However, does this really compare to human emotion?
Logic, rules and concepts of learning were addresses in the second week. With a better understanding of cognitive science, we were asked to relate these mental representations to our own teaching environments. In short, the logic is, society is becoming increasingly dependent on all forms of technology for daily functioning. In the classroom, rules are established to ensure all parties are engages in a positive learning environment. I expressed that in order to have better rule enforcement, both the students and the teacher, must be part of the creation of the rules. If both parties are included in the implementation of the rules, both will be more conscious of what the rules are and what the repercussions are for breaking the rules. This theory will hold both parties accountable. Artificial intelligence is defined as an area of computer science that deals with the giving machine’s the ability to seem like they have human intelligence. If we were to examine decision making and problem solving as the central role of managers, we may define them as: linguistic frameworks for future research and serves as a catalyst for a deepening understanding of personal tendencies, strengths and areas of development.
With the third week coming to a close, we focus on analogies and images. We examined our Learning Style Inventory (LSI) and took a deeper look to how we can improve our classroom teaching based on what we have learned. The LSI was going to determine where each of us scored in the categories of: active and reflective learners; sensing and intuitive learners; visual and verbal learners; sequential and global learners. Where would each of us score? Before taking the LSI, can you identify what type of learner are you? After completing the LSI, did your result match what type of learner you thought you were?
Before taking the test, I knew that I am a very visual learner. I find diagrams, sketches, pictures, flow charts and other visual aid to be extremely important as part of my learning process. With the help of visual aid, I am more likely to remember the materials being taught. In regards to the other styles, I was not sure where I would land. According to Felder and Solomon, a score of 9-11 in any area indicates a “strong preference for one dimension,” usually associated with difficulty learning in an alternative way (i.e. visual).The results of my LSI were very interesting. With an 11 being the furthest end of the spectrum, I found it no surprise that in the visual category, I scored an 11. However, in the other categories, I scored a very balanced score, not verity too far in either direction.
What style learner are you? Visit the NCSU website and complete the learning styles inventory.
Reflecting on the cognitive process of learning that has been taught in class thus far, it was interesting to dissect each area of learning and reviewing how it all connects together. Each phase of learning is performed in a different manner and we each learn the material in a different fashion. Knowing the type of learners we are will allow us to understand how we should collect the data.
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Felder, R.M. & Soloman, B.A. (N.D.) Learning styles and strategies. Retrieved on March 19, 2014 from:
Lehrer, J. (2007, April 29). Hearts & Minds, The Boston Globe.
Reid, R.C. (2011). Brain circuits: Harvard medical school researchers crawl a neural network. [Video].
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