I enjoyed the readings this week and was grateful to be reading on Behaviorist theory again because I have to give a presentation on it in another class next week! Ha!
I think there is a bit of truth and something to glean from all three theories when it comes to aspects that would benefit an online learning format.
In Blooms Taxonomy of Learning, he discusses the importance of “the cognitive domain, which involves knowledge and the development of intellectual skills including recall or recognition of specific facts, procedural patterns and concepts that serve in the development of intellectual abilities and skills” (Harasim, 2012, p. 39). Gange’s subdivision of the nine events of instruction; gaining attention, informing the learner of the objective, stimulating recall prior to learning, presenting the stimulus, providing learning guidance, eliciting performance, providing feedback, assessing performance, and enhancing retention and transfer (Harasim, 2012, p. 51), and Vygotsky’s “Zone of Proximal Development.”
All of these theories provide valuable insight into providing a disciplined, conscientious and well-rounded approach to teaching. The ideas presented create an opportunity for the instructor to take a deeper look at the potential learning capabilities of the student by delving into the why and how people’s minds work.
I think I most closely relate to the cognitivist learning theory with a strong slant towards constructivist. While I think there is much benefit to what behaviorists have brought to the table with understanding stimulus and response within human behavior, I agree that there are important variables within our own perceptions and experiences that affect our decision making and lifestyle choices. In my own classroom I have such a wide range of diverse learners that all come to the classroom with different backgrounds. As I get to know them, I am able to understand that they all vary in how they respond, remember, produce, and retain information. It actually took me quite some time to figure out that I had to pay attention to how each students learning style was and to use that as a tool to better teach them as individuals instead of one group that perceives information in the same way…before that, I found myself frustrated and beating my head against the wall! I wish I had known this when I was in management when I was first starting out in a career field.
I think that all of these concepts are transferable from a synchronous environment to an asynchronous environment but definitely more challenging. As we learn more about our group project, I am realizing how important it will be to be engaging and create a diverse format as well as very comprehensive support materials.
Harasim, L. (2012), Learning Theory and Online Technologies, London: Routledge
Atherton J S (2013) Learning and Teaching; Constructivism in learning [On-line: UK] retrieved 23 January 2014 from http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/constructivism.htm