Welcome everyone! This presentation will assist you in conceptualizing the theoretical underpinnings of the instructional technology field. At great length, I will discuss the psychological foundation theories or models which provide the different perspectives of learning into the design of a learning environment. In addition, learning motivation theories or models which also provide input into the design of the learning environment will be discussed. Various learning environments will be described. Finally, information on learner beliefs which encompass the final product will also be shared.
The table of contents indicates three slides which portray a brief introduction to the topic; these slides will cover the definitions of several key concepts in order to have a basis of understanding prior to discussing the theories and models that have put into practice.
Section I focuses on 4 different psychological foundation theories or models. Once again, theories are derived from questions, and this process is very similar to the scientific method. Let’s go ahead and review these theories. Constructivism theory will be discussed in greater length due to the fact that its popularity has risen from the innovation of the personal computer. The reason for this is because the learner can become the owner or controller of learning via this platform, in comparison to classroom instructor-led learning. Next, the cognitive information processing theory, Gagne’s theory, and situated learning will be discussed; these theories, as well as other theories not mentioned in this presentation are relevant in the field per application to certain learning environments. Today, even two or more psychological theories/models can also describe how learning occurs in instructional environments being used today. For example, a hybrid class contains both classroom instructor-led sessions as well as an online interface when class is not in session.
The key to understanding constructivism is that learning is occurring inside the learner and is continuously being built, like building blocks in construction. The learner takes ownership of his/her learning; and self-regulates it. Authentic environments which are portrayed in learning environments can facilitate this type of learning. Thus, this theory focuses on problem-solving. The learning outcome of each learner is dependent upon how he/she built up to the solution; thus solutions will vary. In constructivism, the role of the learner is magnified; he/she is vested in the learning environment with regards to inherently designing his/her own learning. The popularity of providing a learning environment based upon constructivism in the instructional technology fields has stemmed from innovations in technology media and equipment. A learner using a personal computer can easily become more autonomous in his/her learning in conjunction with the use of media which supports the constructivism philosophy.
This slide provides you on the various components that are related to the constructivism philosophy. The trend in Instructional Technology is to continue to provide learning environments which support constructivism. The innovations in technology, in particular the personal computer, has become an ideal platform in delivering constructivism based learning applications. Learning goals support development of the learner being autonomous or taking full ownership in learning. In fact, the actual design of the learning environment is “the learner actually designing it for his/her own learning”, rather than it being rigid in limited learning outcomes. The conditions for instruction facilitate the learning process; the focus is usually problem-solving being done on the platform.
Extensive research in the constructivism philosophy has led to the creation of the learning sciences discipline. Learning sciences converge design activities, cognition, and sociocultural context. Design research is the merging of both research and design. This allows designers to formalize feedback and adjustment while learning is occurring. This information is relevant to instructional technology, especially for constructivist learning environments that are used in academics. In following the model, learning can be adjusted based upon collected data from the outcome of learning tasks. The model is iterative to produce this adjusted learning trajectory. Due to the fact that the design process begins with a “thought experiment”, it allows the instructional designer to test various ways to commence learning. Based upon test results, the learning environment is rich with technology application, complex in design, authentic in context, and can solve instructional problems.
In Section II, several motivational models are mentioned. The goal is for instructional designers to create a learning environment which will motivate learning. In order to accomplish this goal, they rely on past theories or models, and even studies in classroom learning which can serve as input into designing the instructional system. The first works of Alschulur and Brophy will be mentioned first in this section, because the principles that they derived served as a foundation for the ARCS and Time-Continuum models. The ARCS and Time-Continuum models are holistic models. In other words, these two models provide a whole system of beliefs rather than only individual motivational components. Furthermore, these models are often compared in the instructional technology field.
Brophy receives credit for his work in studying motivation in the classroom also. His model advocates a set of principles and strategies in order for motivate both learners and the motivator. The model can be used as a checklist during the planning of curriculum. The principles are applied and tested for validity; thus Brophy’s work is mentioned with the ARCS and Time-Continuum model. Another contribution in the instructional technology field from Brophy’s work has been on disposition or state with regard to a student’s motivation in learning. With other researchers of motivation, Brophy also distinguishes intrinsic verses extrinsic motivation in his model. Finally, the instructional technology field has improved from earlier time periods in seeing motivation as less elusive and more static…which has resulted in a learning environment that has been automated in addressing motivation in learning, but is not completely precise in addressing what causes someone to learn.
Learning environments have changed drastically due to computing technologies. Computing technologies have provided both hardware and software which can provide a framework in the delivery of learning environments. Historically, a teacher in the classroom would decide when and how to integrate audio-visuals and other technologies into the curriculum. But now, instructional technologist must be knowledgeable about how to design instruction, what media should be used, and what is the best way to learn the concepts for a particular subject. Section III presents four types of learning environments.
Integrated Learning Systems is a type of learning platform that is used in primarily academics. These are complete instructional systems which are computer based. The future intention is to develop these systems to a complex level such that they eliminate the need for teachers delivering instruction. These systems are based upon constructivism, and there are many online applications which are being utilized by students. Due to the fact that they follow a constructivist approach, students “explore” these applications rather than learn by skill practice.
Section IV discusses learner beliefs. Different from learner motivation, learner beliefs are taken into account for learner attitudes and values in learning. In general, most learners do have an idea of their level of curiosity, success/failure rate, luck, effort, and ability in subjects which are presented to them. For instructional technologists, it is relevant to take these factors into consideration and try to measure learner beliefs before, during, and after instruction. This will allow the field’s professionals to make changes to the learning platform, instruction delivery, and other components which affect learner beliefs.
Foundations and Framework In the Instructional Technology Field Videsha Sethi University of Houston – Clear Lake 1
The learner is the active constructor of knowledge.
Instructional technologist provide both a realistic or authentic learning environment which is complex in order to facilitate the above learning outcomes.
Constructivism has greatly influenced instructional designers; Reiser and Dempsey (2007) declare that it “attempts to create learning situations that promote the engagement or immersion of learners in practice fields…and fields of practice” (p. 46).
Anglin (1995) describes “the concept of constructionism (now called constructivism) was first proposed by Bruner in the mid-1960s and builds on earlier ideas of Piaget. Basically, it holds that the learner rather than the teacher are more important than instruction that originates from the teacher” (p. 41).
See next slide for a pictorial depiction for constructivism which includes the following components: Learning Goals, Conditions for Instruction, and Methods of Instruction.
Anglin G. J. (1995). Instructional technology: Past, present, and future( 2nd ed.). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Reiser, R. A., & Dempsey J. V. (2007). Trends and issues in instructional design and technology(2nd ed.). Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice. 4
Constructivism Continued Driscoll’s (2005) pictorial representation of “constructivism” (p. 384). Assumes knowledge is constructed Constructivism Methods of Instruction
Microworlds and hypermedia designs
Collaborative learning and problem scaffolding
Goal-based scenarios and problem-based learning
Conditions for Instruction Complex and relevant learning environments Social negotiation Multiple perspectives and multiple modes of learning Ownership in learning Self-awareness of knowledge construction Driscoll, M. P. (2005). Psychology of learning for instruction (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc. 5
Constructivism Continued The incorporation of constructivism has greatly affected instructional activities and the instructional system design process. As a result, a new discipline has emerged called learning sciences.
According to Reiser and Dempsey (2007), “learning sciences are the convergence of design of activity systems, cognition, and sociocultural context” (p. 47). The learning environment relies upon constructivist cognitive discipline. They are complex learning environments which offer learners an authentic platform for learning. Learning sciences also uses concepts and practices from computer science.
Research and design functions in learning sciences are merged into one activity called design research. Reiser and Dempsey (2007) state, “design research integrates the design of learning environments with the development of prototheories (emergent development theories)” (p. 48).
Design research allows a more contextually bound understanding of learning. This occurs when the design process starts with a thought experiment, rather than beginning with the analysis phases.
For the instructional technology field, the learning is more local and useful in solving instructional problems.
6 Reiser, R. A., & Dempsey J. V. (2007). Trends and issues in instructional design and technology(2nd ed.). Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice.
Brophy advocates the use of the following motivational principles and strategies for planning curriculum and instruction: A. General Principles; B. Strategies for Supporting Students’ Confidence as Learners; C. Strategies for Motivating through Extrinsic Incentives; D. Strategies for Connecting with Students’ Intrinsic Motivation; E. Strategies for Stimulating Students’ Motivation to Learn; F. Adaptations to the Needs of Individual Students; G. Your Development as a Motivator.
Each of the above principles contain statements which support it; these can be used as a checklist.
These motivational principles and strategies were identified through research in the classroom; thus derived systematically in order to provide a checklist of motivation principles for the both the motivator and student.
Student motivation to learning is either a disposition or state. Brophy (2004) states, “as a disposition, it is an enduring tendency to value learning- to approach the process of learning with effort and thought and to seek to acquire skills and knowledge. In specific situations, a state of motivation to learn exists when a student engages purposefully in an activity by adapting its goal and trying to learn the concepts or master the skills it develops” (p. 16).
Brophy, J. (2004). Motivating students to learn (2nd ed.). Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. 8
Integrated Learning Systems (ILS) – These systems were introduced in the 1970s; they provide computer based instruction, additional resources which support instruction. They also provide summary reports on student progress. They can be networked or online sources.
For the future, ILSs are becoming more complex tutorial systems for the intention of replacing teachers in delivering instruction.
According to Roblyer and Doering (2010), “ILS products useful for constructivist purposes typically have an information bank (electronic encyclopedias), symbol pads (word processing and/or desktop publishing software), construction kits (Logo or other graphic languages or tools), and phenomenaria (computer simulations and/or problem-solving resources)” p. 102).
The emphasis is “exploration” through simulation, instructional game, and problem- solving; rather than learning through demonstration or skill practice.
Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A .H. (2010). Integrating educational technology into teaching (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. 10