Archive for January, 2010

Cognitive Information Processing and Careers

January 18, 2010

The March 2008 edition of The Career Development Quarterly includes an article titled, “Enlisted Service Members’ Transition Into the Civilian World of Work: A Cognitive Information Processing Approach.” This article presents cognitive information processing theory as a foundation for working with enlisted military personnel who are transitioning into the civilian world of work [p. 246]. A career counselor gathers information about the client, both personal and information about the client’s occupational skills. Then the counselor uses the CASVE cycle to assist their clients. CASVE is an acronym that stands for: communication, analysis, synthesis, valuing, and execution.

In the article, there is a story of the application of Cognitive Information Processing (CIP) to an enlisted soldier trying to enter the workforce. The career counselor first learns about the client. This is important so the counselor can relate advice to what the client already knows. Once the client’s needs are analyzed, the counselor formulates goals for their work together. This helps focus the client’s attention. The formerly daunting, undefined task of starting a new career now has focus. Next, an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) is created by the counselor. The ILP is presented in such a way as to relate the relevance, purpose, and priority for the activities to the client.

Overall, I found the article interesting because of its application of CIP outside of the classroom environment. As I continue learning the material in my Information Design and Technology classes, I will try to think of other applications for learning beyond school.


Functional MRI (fMRI)

January 17, 2010

The January/February 2010 edition of Discover magazine includes an article, “The 100 Discoveries that are Changing the World”. Number 18 on the list is called, “Rise of the Mind Readers“. The article notes that functional MRIs (fMRI) can reveal to neuroscientists how the brain functions. Various studies show how the brain differentiates between true and false statements and which parts of the brain are activated in response to different stimuli. All of these studies were published in 2009.

I read about Methods in Brain Research in Learning Theories and Instruction, p.31-32. This text mentions fMRI as one method. As I read this section, I wondered about the practical applications of this research. I wondered why it mattered which part of the brain is stimulated when a person performs a particular task.

The study that shows how the brain differentiates between true and false statements helps me see how brain research can be applied. This could be a powerful interrogation tool for law enforcement personnel. Imagine if this type of test is more reliable than a traditional “lie detector” test with a  polygraph machine. Information gathered from statements made during interrogation could be treated more reliably than statements currently taken during questioning.

I am sure there are many other practical applications for brain research. I believe there is much more to be learned from studies of the brain.

Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning Theories and Instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York: Pearson

Three Sites to Follow

January 10, 2010

This blog begins as an assignment for my Learning Theories and Instruction class at Walden University. My task is to identify and link to three blogs that contain relevant content that I hope will enhance my learning and growth as an instructional designer.

The Mobile Learner

I find this blog by Rob De Lorenzo fascinating because of its discussions of the use of mobile devices in student learning. I believe that students want to learn everywhere, not just within the walls of a brick and mortar classroom. Mobile devices allow students to collaborate with each other, to research topics at their convenience using the internet, and to listen to podcasts or audio books to continue their learning wherever they travel.

I purchased an iPhone two months ago and have stopped listening to the radio in my car. I subscribe to podcasts such as This Week in Tech and recently completed the audio book, Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. I embrace the opportunity to learn on the go. I believe I need to learn more about mobile learning so I can add this element to courses I design.

Instructional Design and Development Blog

This site is maintained by staff members of the Instructional Design and Development department at DePaul University. To quote, “The site’s primary goal is to provide information on enhancing instruction through the use of technology.” I like the focus on the use of technology for the same reason I like The Mobile Learner. I believe students are increasing their use of technology to further their studies and learning outside of a traditional classroom.

I particularly enjoyed the post titled, Teaching Frustrations: Why Don’t Students Follow My (Clearly-Labeled, Logically Organized, and Bold/Highlighted/Flashing) Instructions? by Sarah Brown. An instructor may have the best intentions to write exceptionally clear instructions for online learning. However, students may read or scan online material in a fashion that does not match the presentation of the instructor’s choosing. This post makes me appreciate the efforts of Walden University to educate its new students on how to learn online. New students are given a Student Readiness Orientation course to help them become proficient in navigating an online classroom.

Dangerously Irrelevant

The tagline for this blog by Scott McLeod drew me in. It is, “Ruminations on technology, leadership, and the future of our schools.” By now you can probably guess I like the technology focus of this blog. But it is the portion of the tagline, “the future of our schools” that captivates me most. In Learning Theories and Instruction, p.10-15, we see how much learning theory has grown since 1950. Since that time, learning theories applicable to the classroom gained prominence, cognitive manners of learning were studied more, and the perceived importance of social and cultural factors in learning grew.

Mr. McLeod’s blog has an exceptionally large number of posts. There are 104 posts in the “Teaching and Learning” category alone. I look forward to spending some time reading posts in these categories and others to learn more about “the future of our schools.”

Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning Theories and Instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York: Pearson

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