Blog 11 – Social Science

Absolutely. Social science is definitely a thing. As a lot of us would agree, the goal of science is to help us understand past occurrences, facts, and future events. Science explains why there is a reaction when hydrogen peroxide is placed in water. Science helps us understand why it is freezing cold in December. Science also justifies why there will be a lunar eclipse in about two years from now. However, we may or may not agree with science. Scientific evidence shows that the earth is spherical in shape. Regardless of substantial proof, there are people that would disagree with this scientific fact.

 

Similarly, social science helps us understand what happens and what could happen in the society. Social science offers clarification for the occurrences in our community.

 

The way I see it, to know something means you have been through an experience that presented you with information about that thing. I know how to drive a car because I went through the experience of learning how to operate a vehicle and I read the drivers’ safety manual. I know how to write a magazine article because of several years of training and practical experience. Footballers know how to play football because they have been involved with the sport since they were young. I know that I should wear layers of clothing in cold weather to avoid getting sick. Experience is a very important factor in knowing something.

 

The philosophy readings really opened my eyes to the complexity of understanding the minds of others. Functionalism helps emphasized why we are distinctive and think differently from species to species. I found it very interesting that environmental variables play a part in our thought process and actions. My classmate and I were comparing the behavior of domesticated dogs and wolves that live in the wild. Their eating strategies differ in various ways. Domestic dogs have a schedule for feeding and trust that they will be fed consistently. Wolves, on the other hand, have to hunt for their own food. They are not sure where their next meal is coming from or when it is going to arrive. Hence, they have a more aggressive behavior towards feeding. We also talk about how stray dogs exhibit a similar conduct to wolves. Even after being domesticated, stray dogs will eat as much as they can because they are used to going hungry for days.

It is no news that we humans have different cognitive abilities. I learned math a lot easier than most of my classmates in primary and secondary school. Certain classmates bested me when we were at the chemistry lab. With that in mind, an instructional design should keep in mind those students who are not as gifted as others in certain subjects. Students have different backgrounds and that plays a part in their cognitive ability.  It could be educational, environmental or more. Essentially, instructional designs should accommodate such situations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

Rosenberg, A. (2015). Philosophy of Social Science. (T. Curtain, Ed.) (5th ed.). New York: Westview Press.

 

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Blog 9 – Theory and Research in Learning Experience

How much can theory and research explain about what happens in a learning experience?

Research is useful in explaining what happens in a learning experience because it provides reasons behind said occurrences. Studies on learning are a lot stronger when backed up by an appropriate theory.

Learning theories are very useful in clarifying what occurs in a learning experience. My exposure to several theories has left me to agree that they can explain or predict what happens in a learning experience.

The cognitive theory focuses on how knowledge is developed on several levels. It explains how different notions and ideas work together in students’ minds. Basically, it pays attention to what happens in the students’ mind (Osama, 2018). Hence, if a learner is having difficulties understanding a math lecture but has no issues with social studies, English and economics, the cognitive theory could explain the ability or inability of the student to solve a problem.

I have been very interested in social learning theory for several months. As a result, I paid more attention to the learning experience in social environments. Social learning theory argues that a social environment is important to learning (Bandura, 1986). As a result, we do not learn much when we are isolated.

Social learning, which occurs during social activities and interactions in a social network, is responsible for the learning experience in the animal kingdom. It explains why animals learn by copying their parents and other animals in the group. Social learning shows them to find water, food, shelter, and other resources. They can also escape predators based on what they learned by watching their peers.

Social learning theory also explains why people learn through social media platforms. According to Deaton (2015), social media improves the cognitive processes of motivation, memory, and attention thereby creating an environment that improves learning in a social setting.

Learning experiences are better understood when we consult learning theories or past research. They interpret what students experience and help solve accompanying problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

Bandura, A.. (1986). Social foundations of thought and actionA social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Deaton, S. (2015). Social learning theory in the age of social media: Implications for educational practitioners. I-Manager’s Journal of Educational Technology, 12(1), 1.

Reed, M. S., Evely, A. C., Cundill, G., Fazey, I., Glass, J., Laing, A., . . . Stringer, L. C. (2010). What is Social Learning? Ecology and Society, 15(4). doi:10.5751/es-03564-1504r01

Osama A. Mabrouk Kheiralla. (2018). Application of learning theories on medical imaging education. International Journal of Medical Research and Health Sciences, 7(5), 103-105.

 

Blog 8 – Identity

 

Where do you think one’s identity really comes from? How much of an impact does it have on teaching and learning? Why? What examples can you give? Explain.

 

Everybody comes into the world as a clean slate. Subsequently, one’s identity is then shaped by certain factors including their culture, environment, teachings, relationships, beliefs and other influencing elements in the society. For example, a child’s religious identity is highly influenced by the relationship with his parents. The language a person speaks is part of their identity and is greatly influenced by their upbringing. They may even pick their favorite sports team based on their environment or relationships.

 

Identity plays a significant impact on teaching. One of the possible impacts of identity on teaching is bias. A teacher would not be enthused to teach a material that opposes their identity. An instructor who identifies as liberal is more likely to deliver lectures that align with the liberal view. I had a journalism professor in my first year of graduate school whose political views leaned to the left. Without having to ask, I could tell what political party she supported by the lectures and examples she gave.

 

Identity also tends to play a role in the choices students make. I refused to take several elective courses in graduate school because they did not associate with my identity. Research shows that students make similar choices. Burford (2012) illustrates the significance of social identity theory to medical education. According to his article, medical students tend to move towards their expected medical stereotype before beginning the study.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

 

Burford, B. (2012). Group processes in medical education: learning from social identity theory. Medical Education46(2), 143–152. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2923.2011.04099.x

 

Blog Reflection Regarding the Learning Activities 

ImoNitie Atamenwan

LTEC 6010

October 15, 2018

 

Blog Reflection Regarding the Learning Activities 

Report back to me on the learning activities you created and experienced. How hard is it to spur critical thinking? Were there any issues in terms of say, wanting there to be one correct answer? Post a link to this blog post in Activity 2.

While creating the learning activities, I had a practical understanding of several practices that encompass learning processes. As a team, we had little issues analyzing our chosen topic.

I can’t help but applaud the power of collaboration among three doctoral students in orchestrating the creation of our learning activity. Our team had members of different walks of life, diverse research interest, distinct backgrounds, individual experiences, and more distinguishing characters. Hence, we were able to view the potential learning activity from different standpoints and make adjustments accordingly.

For this project, we decided to create a learning activity around jumpstarting a dead car battery. Instructions for jumping a car battery may seem like an easy project but we went the extra mile to make sure the directions were as comprehensible as possible.

Mark suggested that our first learning goal was inspecting the engine compartment. However, Nanxi and I felt that a prior goal was needed based on our experience with car batteries. We thought about the conditions that we needed the previous times we had to change car batteries and applied them in the learning goals and objectives. Getting to know the proper tools for jumpstarting a car battery was the most important on the list. It is important to have the right learning materials and tools in a learning environment.

As our team of three cooperated in making a learning activity on jumpstarting a dead car battery, we used technologies that facilitated this process. Zoom had the capability to put us in private rooms where we can exchange our ideas. The screen sharing component was very useful too. We could watch Mark’s screen as he wrote the learning goals and objectives and make comments accordingly. Nanxi used the chat feature to upload a document that would help the project. These and many more are examples of how technologies influence learning, instructional design and other aspects of education.

One of the most important things I learned from this project was the power collaboration. According to Brown, Eaton, Jacobsen, Roy, and Friesen (2013), top-quality online classes are successful because of the collaborative effort in the instructional development and design made by the diverse and experienced design teams. Three doctoral students with possibly different ideologies came together to properly create a learning activity. Our diverse background and experience were very helpful in completing the requirements of this learning activity. In addition, the technologies we had available made the teamwork more efficient. Visual and audio communication was not a problem.

 

 

Reference:

 

Brown, B., Eaton, S. E., Jacobsen, D. M., Roy, S., & Friesen, S. (2013). Instructional design collaboration: A professional learning and growth experience. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 9(3), 439. Retrieved from https://libproxy.library.unt.edu/login?url=https://libproxy.library.unt.edu:2165/docview/1499024409?accountid=7113

 

Week 4 Blog

How do you feel about the concepts of theory and philosophy we have approached so far? Do you feel a bit more immersed in the types of thinking a Ph.D. is expected to do? How have you translated some of that thinking into your arguments both written and oral in class? Has there been any shift in your expectations about what a Ph.D. does vs. an MS or other applied degree?

The Ph.D. program has exposed me to so many theoretical frameworks and concepts in the past few semesters. With every class session and as the weeks go on, I am more comfortable with the concepts of theory and philosophy we have gone through. It is a gradual process that I really appreciate. My comprehension of the theories and my opinion of them have come a really long way.

When I started this program a few years ago, I wasn’t too thrilled about the very many theories that I had to pay attention to. A lot of them were confusing at first but became clearer when they when I saw how they were applied in the past. I am typically the pragmatic type so these theories did not seem like my cup of tea at that moment.

However, I started appreciating the theories when I started understanding their importance to research. Thanks to my professors, class reading and other forms of research. I have found out that there is a huge difference between telling a doctoral student that theories are important and showing them how said theories are important and how they can strengthen research projects.

Constructivist theory, social identity theory, social learning theory, and activity theory are some of the concepts I have developed an interest in.

I’ve used constructivist theory as a theoretical framework in my study on the use of virtual technology in sports. I also applied constructivism when I was researching the use of virtual reality as a supplementary tool in higher education. The theories are easier to comprehend when you can see how they have been used in a published research article.

At this moment, I am very interested in social learning theory. Bandura (1986) postulates in his social learning theory that a social environment is crucial to human learning.  Several of my research topics have pushed me towards this theory.

I feel more immersed in the kind of thoughts that a full-fledged doctoral student should have. Outside the classroom, firsthand exposure to the real project helps this development. Bog posts and twitter conversations have prompted me to think critically and make research on theories. More recently, I have been able to back up my conversations with supporting theories.

I expected research in the Ph.D. program and it did not disappoint. I did more research last semester than I did in my four semesters in my previous degree. I know how to properly do a literature review and I’m working on a systematic literature review now. The Ph.D. program has exposed me to different forms of research. For example, I had never heard of the Delphi method until a few months ago. My attitude towards learning in the Ph.D. program is different from my attitude towards learning at the master’s level. I am more interested in my research topics hence, I am more motivated to work hard in the Ph.D. program.

 

Reference:

Bandura, A.. (1986). Social foundations of thought and actionA social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

 

Blog 3 – The Impact of Technology on Learning Communication

Thanks to technology, I don’t have to wait till Wednesday evenings to get information from my professor. With the help of new digital tools, I can communicate with other people or organizations regarding my education. Courtesy of developing technology, I have several communication alternatives for my learning purposes.

In education, there is so much knowledge to be shared and information to be delivered. With that in mind, we need suitable technology to appropriately do so within and beyond the classroom.

It is quite difficult to think about the tasks surrounding learning communication that can be done without technology. I keep saying to myself how challenging school would be without the technology we have right now. For example, I get on Canvas a few times a day to check due dates, messages and other information for my classes. I also use Canvas to communicate with the students I teach. Technology is so useful to education that one learning management software performs several communication tasks.

Mobile phones may be for personal duties like playing candy crush, texting aunt Carol about borrowing her Kentucky Derby hat or ordering a few boxes of pizza. Lately, my classmates and I have been using group chat to help clarify any issues or answer any questions we may have about our classes. Mobile phones also afford us the opportunity to access learning apps like Canvas with flexibility and ease. About a week ago, we held a class session and discussion entirely on Twitter. One of my classmates said she had to use her cell phone to participate in this activity because she wasn’t close to a desktop computer. This shows the diversity and flexibility of technology when it comes to learning communications.

For the past few semesters, I have made sure that I research learning technologies based on their impact on communication. I was interested in virtual reality because of its immersive style of communication. I am paying close attention to social media because it is versatile. For example, I watched a yoga instructor as she taught me and several other live viewers on Twitch.

I have been praising the impact of technology on learning communication and I have a feeling I will continue to do so. Nevertheless, there are things that concern me out technology use for education.

Some instructors may use a particular technology not because it suits the class as a primary or supplemental tool but because it is more accessible to them. In that case, we have an ethical issue. I blogged about this issue a few months ago; you cannot use social media to primarily teach a biology or chemistry class. You definitely cannot [and should not] use social media to literally teach someone how to fly an aeroplane.

Just as the driver is more important than the vehicle (for now), we have to understand that in our field the instructor is more important than the technology.

I am very thrilled to see what technology has in store for education in terms of communication.

 

Blog Post 2

It has become more obvious to me that learning happens more often than we realize, either formally or informally. Previous research, reading, and general experience have made me believe that people have different learning patterns and needs. It is hard to argue against that. With the same idea, I would suggest that instructors have their own preferred way of teaching. One could say they teach better with their desired mode of lecturing.

The way I see it, learning is going to evolve as the world moves on. The discovery of new learning technologies and other aspects of education will play a great part in this development.

I think about how learning takes place outside the classroom. As we continue to make human resource development, corporate training is bound to adjust accordingly. Several months ago, I teamed up with a classmate and professor to write an HRD paper. The historical timeline of the adaptive structuration theory was a decent representation of how theories associated with communication and new technologies develop with time. As new technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality, machine learning, virtual reality and more become more prominent in the world, corporate training will adjust accordingly.

I read a book earlier this week that talked about the definition and purpose of learning. Spector and Yuen (2016) explained that learning is supposed to stimulate change. You can tell that someone has learned something by the way they consistently apply the knowledge received. I learned how to cook a long time ago. Hence, nothing is burned when I tried to boil eggs.

Motivation is an important factor in learning. The instructor or their mode of delivery could influence the student’s willingness to learn. Because of his personality and other tactics, Gordon Ramsey may do a better job of teaching a culinary class how to make eggs Benedict better than Paula Dean.

The tools or methods used to teach may also play a huge part. For example, a person who is immersed in the French culture for several months is more likely to learn the language than someone who tries to learn by only reads French books.

I have learned from research, lectures, and experience that accessibility is an incredibly vital factor in the learning process of students. If they can’t access the learning material, they can’t learn it. The ease with which they access the content is correlated to how well they learn. With that in mind, it is important that learning management systems and other similar technologies put different learning capabilities in mind when designing their software.

My personal theory of teaching and learning: Experience and research have convinced me that students are more effective learners when they are immersed in the learning material. I made an example of how a person would learn French better when they are assimilated into the French culture for a certain period of time. This theory still needs further development.

 

References:

Spector, J. M., & Yuen, A. (2016). Educational technology program and project evaluation. New York: Routledge.

 

Blog Post Week 1 – LTEC 6010

A critic of Educational Technology: Conceptual Frameworks and Historical Developments. 

This article starts out by talking about educational technology and how it came about as a discipline and a career field over 50 years ago. Research problems are not mentioned properly in the introduction or the early in the article. For the most part, the article looks like a report on the development and history of educational technology.

In general, the article does a decent job of describing the journey of educational technologies to readers. However, it would have been helpful if the description was accompanied by a diagram of a historical timeframe. That was one of the first things I looked for when I started the critique. I was impressed with the several models that are shown in this article but I wanted to see more. I was hoping for a diagram that depicted the timeframe for instructional development. For example, the popular educational technology in the1980s, the 1990s, the 2000s and so on accompanied by a brief description of its impact on instructors and learners.

This article could be improved in several ways. I believe stronger and more relevant literature would fortify the structure of the overall writing. In page 1893, the author makes a claim on the effect of new technological methods on education without backing it up with appropriate literature. One of the claims he made was that the introduction of new media gave hopes for a similar impact on education as it had in communication, entertainment and other aspects of society. Readers may believe this statement but there is no supporting research or literature associated with it.

I admired the article’s breakdown on the initial shift to educational technology several decades ago. The way I see it, James Finn’s thought process on involving technology and education is similar to how educational technologists think these days. The author made a great point about thinking about human operators when designing machines. Before a tool can be certified as a learning technology, the users have to be taken into consideration. Would it help the instructor or would it make their job more difficult? Is it readily accessible to the learners regardless of their learning needs? Have students and instructors been consulted about implementing the technology in education?

The article properly presented diagrams for the two paradigms for educational technology. The first model accurately depicts how audiovisual materials affects curriculum determination, curriculum planning and classroom implementation. The second shows the difference between instructional technology and audiovisual materials in their effect on curriculum determination, curriculum planning and classroom implementation.

Based on certain factors like the publication year of the most recent literature cited, this article seems like it was published over 20 years ago. With that in mind, there is a lot that needs to be updated. Several learning technologies have been introduced since this article was written. In the author’s defense, my critique of this article would not be the same if I traveled back in time to analyze it.

Overall, this article is above average with room for improvement in several areas. It could be rewritten and made a lot more presentable than it is at the moment.

 

 

 

Summary Blog

This semester, I learned a lot on the qualitative research process through reading, lecture and practice. The first few weeks really made me comprehend how important qualitative research is in studying an issue. It makes quantitative research stronger from what I understand. You get a different kind of information with this method of research. My past experience in work, university and personal projects have led me to agree that qualitative research is helpful in getting information. We conduct qualitative research inadvertently in our daily lives.

One of the most important things I learned this semester is ethics in research and in the field of education. I read more on the history of ethics in research and how the Institutional Review Board (IRB) came about. I very well understand the importance of ethical practices to research.

Collaboration is another lesson that came with this course. This class made me realize that regardless of my theoretical preference, it is important to branch out and make research with other people. I have also come to understand how pivotal credibility is to research practices. I call credibility the framework of trust.

Finally, this course helped a lot with interviews and semi-structured interviews. I also learned a lot about coding and the importance of coding to data analysis.

Overall, I need to practice more interviews to get better. I am glad to have learned a lot but it will take more practice to keep improving.

Week 16 – Final Blog Post (Spring 2018)

I have been exposed to so many resources on education and educational technologies. Coming up with a personal theory of online learning prompted critical thinking and research. It exposed me to a lot of relevant literature and learning scenarios. Working on my personal theory of online learning also exposed me the learning theories that back up my previous learning experiences.

My personal theory of online learning, which is about immersion and immersive learning technologies, is closely related to my research interest in virtual reality. Hence, I am developing my knowledge on VR and identifying literature to reference in future studies.

Educational technology reports and journal articles have convinced me that online learning is going to be more interactive. With time, there will be more innovative technologies that will improve the state of interaction and communication in virtual classrooms.

One of the greatest lessons I learned this semester is the importance of accessibility to any learning platform. As an online teacher, I will make sure the learning material is accessible to as many potential students as possible.