Life by Design

Fitting the Pieces Together

Posted on: December 15, 2009

It is clear through this course that the concept of how I learn is  broader than what I initially described in our first discussion post.  In that post, I described myself as an experiential learner.  While this remains true, other things are also true.  My learning fluctuates during a given task depending on what I’m learning.  Gilbert J.  and Swainer, C.  (2008). I am much more reliant upon a connectivist point of view than I ever would have imagined.  Technology is becoming increasing relevant to me, so I am eager to learn anything in this area.  Lim, C.P. (2004).  Based on the criteria of an adult learner, I surely fit the description.  Conlan, J. , Grabowski, S., and Smith, K. (2003).  Instead of acquiring knowledge, I am constructing it day by day with course materials and the resources listed on my learning network map. Kim, B. (2001).   My ZPD in this online environment  not only includes our instructor, but a whole host of expert mentors I can access through my online learning network.  Kim, B. (2001).    I discovered that I rely on several different intelligences when I meet new learning and I have discovered the intelligences I need to further develop in becoming  a well-rounded designer in the future.  Armstrong, T. (2000).

My learning preference expressed in the first discussion post composed of years of exposure to both Constructivist and Social Learning Theory.  It has been through environmental and social interaction  that my learning has occurred.  I have not been exposed to much strategy on how to learn and I want to improve on that now.    I can  now better understand my reluctance to taking higher level math or computer programming.  My native intelligence in logical thinking is one of my weaker areas.  I can remember specifically in middle school, through some pretty traumatic experiences I had with math and the instructors, that I developed both fear of the subject and self-doubt about my ability in those classes.  I want to get over this now and improve these skills.  I, like many, learn best when a subject is relevant.  If I cannot see the relevance, I have difficulty justifying spending my time and energy on a topic.  I used to think this was a short coming, but now I understand that it is a natural characteristic of an adult learner.  Because of my early exposure to more of a Social Learning environment, I became dependant upon the instructor.  Now with a vast learning network developed which is mostly online, I feel much more confident in learning on my own.     I can understand now why high school was so boring for me.   Being  delivered in one specific format, not allowing any options for personal engagement and not addressing any of the multiple intelligences made for long, bland days at school.

Technology has become an essential tool in my learning.  With courses now, if the content or style does not engage me, I can augment my learning by accessing the learning network I have constructed online and find information embedded in venues that support my stronger multiple intelligences.  I have become reliant upon Google Search for research, blog searches for new content, a daily read of my aggregator, tools like Simply Box to capture information I want to save for current or future projects and my social bookmarking library for resources for my new career.  I am looking forward to learning how to create more visual and auditory media through technology.

In conclusion, this journey of self exploration of my learning style has clearly impressed me with the complex nature of learning.  I hope to remember this as I become an instructional designer.  I want remain  sensitive to the subtleties of learning behavior as it interfaces with human nature and  new content.


Armstrong, T. (2000).  Multiple Intelligences in the classroom (2nd ed.).  Alexandria, VA:  Association for supervision and Curriculum Development.

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

Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008).  Connectivism.  In M. Orey (Ed.), emerging Perspectives on learning, teaching and technology.  retrieved from

Gilbert, J., & Swainer, C. (2008).  Learning styles:  How do they fluctuate?  Institute for Learning Styles Journal (Vol. 1).  Retrieved from

Kim, B. (2001).  Social constructivism.  In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology.  Retrieved from

Lim, C. P. (2004).  Engaging learners in online learning environments.  TechTrends:  Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, 48 (4), 16-23.


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