• What did you find surprising or striking as you furthered your knowledge about how people learn?

I was surprised that there were so many theories about learning.  In my opinion there is no concrete way of learning.  I believe that there is a mixture of the different theories that takes place in the learner.  One subject might need more Behaviorist type of learning while another subject may need more Cognitive type of learning.

  • How has this course deepened your understanding of your personal learning process?

I always felt that I was more of hands on learner and now I know the type of learning process that I tend to use.  Knowing the other types of learning processes I can also see how I use them.  I also hope to discover ways to help me more with my learning.

  • What have you learned regarding the connection between learning theories, learning styles, educational technology, and motivation?

I have learned that it is a collaboration of all of it when learning takes place.

  • How will your learning in this course help you as you further your career in the field of instructional design?

This course has been a struggle for me.  I sometimes felt like I was learning how to figure out an algebra problem then asked, “Why is the chalk white?”  It has been frustrating, but I understand why there is a need to know all of the different learning theories.  Even though learning is a collaboration of all of the styles and theories; people, I believe, tend to lean toward one particular style and theory based on the subject.  If you know the different theories and styles you can best help the learner with the materials presented. 


Fitting the Pieces Together

• Now that you have a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles, how has your view on how you learn changed?

I initially thought my learning was controlled by the left brain vs. the right brain of learning and through hands on learning. I have since learned that there really is not a left brain vs. right brain way of learning but there are different ways of hands on learning as well as many different ways and theories of learning.

• What have you learned about the various learning theories and learning styles over the past weeks that can further explain your own personal learning preferences?

I believe that, like all learners, that I dabble in a little bit of all of the learning theories when I am learning. I lean more towards the cognitive theory because it is more hands on type of learning. I found that social learning was difficult because I was not sure of what I had learned. I can be a little introverted so I would think that would also contributed to not being a social learner, but I found it was easier to comment on someone’s discussion on an electronic board than it would have been to raise my hand in a physical classroom.

• What role does technology play in your learning (i.e., as a way to search for information, to record information, to create, etc.)?

During my tenure working in a higher education learning lab I learned how to work with search engines and how to word what I am searching for. This has somewhat helped me in searching for information in my graduate class.
I found that reading materials on the computer was complex for me. I need the old technology of hard copy vs. reading the text on the computer screen. For small amount of information I can read it from a computer screen, but for large amounts of information I need flip back and forth on what I’m reading, highlighting important bits of information and sometimes making notes. Yet, I can easily record my information and thought process on the computer without having to print reams of copies to edit and rewrite. I did find that the Learning Theories Matrix assignment was difficult to keep track of until I broke it down into smaller bits by putting two theories on one page instead of six.
I still find all of the learning theories mind boggling and felt that they often went in circles, though that could have been my mind being boggled and going into a circle. In the final hour I did find a website that helped to explain it better a little bit better than all the papers, books and articles I went through. If you find your head swimming with learning theories also then go to Ms. Jones did a very nice job on her Learning theories Matrix.



This is my learning map.

• How has your network changed the way you learn?

The school section of my learning map has changed the way I learn. I included internet as a separate leg as well for school. The reason for this is because I have used the internet for learning, but not for classroom learning. When I got my undergraduate degree the internet was not considered a reliable source for learning. As learning has become more digital and classes are being posted as well as student’s assignments I think that the internet has become more of a reliable source for learning.

• Which digital tools best facilitate learning for you?

I am not sure how to answer this question.

• How do you gain new knowledge when you have questions?

I used to ask people, who were more knowledgeable, consult books and take classes. Sometimes, depending on the question, I would check the internet for answers. Now I am learning to research the internet more as well as asking people who are more knowledgeable and consult books. I am learning how to look at the information I am finding on the internet and compare it with what would be considered a reliable source and determine how reliable the internet source is.

• In what ways does your personal learning network support or refute the central tenets of connectivism?

According to Siemens, “New information is continually being acquired and the ability to draw distinctions between important and unimportant information is vital” (Davis, Edmunds, & Kelly-Bateman, 2012). My personal learning network supports connectivism. It has moved to the digital age where there is no delay in a book or a periodical article being researched and written then published. As soon as the research and writing is done the information is published on the internet. There is too much to find so one must create a network to help find all of the information needed.

What will you do when you graduate?

As an Instructional Designer & Technology grad student I had a basic idea of what I would do when I grew up, aka graduate.  As a child I always struggled with school and learning.  I thought in pictures and learned more by doing than following a lecture and reading a book.

During my tenure in higher education running a computer language lab I found that I had a different approach to training the faculty, staff and students on how to use the equipment available to them in the lab.  If someone did not understand what I was trying to tell them I would find different ways to explain it so the person would understand what they were learning.  I was even told that I explained how to do something better than most people.  Because of this I thought I should go into Instructional Design to help more people who are struggling to learn something.

The problem I had was explaining the field to people.  Thanks to fellow student, Nancy Snyder, I read a blog that clearly explains what an Instructional Designer does.  If you want to know or just want something fun to read please go to Tom Kuhlman’s blog at  I think you will find it as informative and fun to read as I did.

Hello world!

Welcome to my Blog.  My name is Michelle Simmons and I’m studying Instructional Design & Technology at Walden University.  Below are some blogs that I have found to be interesting.

  • by instructional design is written by Jessie Narciso who is an Instructional Systems Designer who helps “organizations solve their business problems and develop their people by designing learning solutions.”
  • Instructional Design “is a learning platform for new instructional design professionals to discuss theory, best practices, and emerging trends.”  It’s currently not very active, but I’m hoping it picks up because it does have helpful information for those of us new to instructional design.
  • Instructional Solutions by Design is a new blog that explains the hows and whys of doing or designing something.  Because it’s new there’s also an opportunity to post responses that won’t get ignored and gather dust like most blogs I’ve found.