Before we set sail on this new online learning and discovery journey, please take a few minutes to review some important concepts to keep in mind, as you explore the Tools of Engagement Project (TOEP).
Lifelong learning should be a core value for both faculty and students. A commitment to ongoing learning is important in today's ever-changing digital environment. We are constantly bombarded with new technology and new procedures for doing everyday things, from banking to grocery shopping. Stagnation is not an option.
Lori Reed has outlined steps for being a successful lifelong learner. She calls them the "7 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners." Consider the video below a refresher on what it means to be a lifelong learner.
You may also wish to view a VoiceThread video created by Shelly Paul on the "7 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners," an adaptation of the original video: VoiceThread of the 7 & 1/2 Habits online discussion.
Information About Learning
|| Gagné's 9 Events of Instruction
Other common ID models are Understanding by Design (UBD) and the Dick & Carey Model. These are often referred to as backwards design models as they start with the learning goals. The instructor identifies the desired results, determines which outcomes will demonstrate that the student has learned, and then develops the learning activities and instruction.
Glossary of Terms
This brief glossary of terms relating to learning theories and instruction will help us talk about concepts that we will touch on, as we explore TOEP tools clusters.
Adult Learners - As you educate yourself about Web 2.0 technologies, remember that you are an adult learner. As adult learners, we have different goals and attitudes than students who have recently graduated from high school. Also, as the population ages and people pursue new careers, more students will be adult learners. This brief list suggests characteristics of typical adult learners; perhaps you will see yourself in one or more of these descriptions.
Behaviorism and Cognitivism - Behaviorism and Cognitivism are two old learning theories. A simplistic view of the two is that behaviorism views learning as change in observable behavior (Rat learns to press lever), while cognitivism incorporates the thought process and knowledge gain associated with a new behavior (Rat learns that pressing lever means food).
Chunking - Breaking up subject matter into a series of smaller "chunks" that are easier to manage. This technique reduces information overload. One example of chunking is breaking a 20-minute online video lecture into 4- or 5-minute segments. The shorter segments affords students time to reflect on the material, and/or gives the instructor an opportunity to reinforce the lecture with complementary text or discovery websites between segments. Videos are not the only component subject to chunking; text assignments can be chunked, as can application exercises.
Experiential Learning - Experiential learning is learning from experience. Experiential activities often occur outside of the traditional classroom. Alternatively, they may take the form of case studies, presentations, projects, or experiments. The following quote, often attributed to Confucius, expresses the idea of experiential learning: "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."
Learning Goals and Objectives - Perhaps the two most important components of instructional design involve identifying goals and objectives. The learning goal is what you want students to be able to learn/know/do after the lesson or learning sequence. The learning objectives are the incremental steps to be mastered, to meet the goal. Both need to be objective and measurable. For clarification, check out the information on developing course objectives from the Illinois Online Network.
Learning Styles - Learning styles recognize that individuals learn differently and benefit from having material presented in different ways. There are various models, but the one most cited categorizes learners as visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. If you interested in your own, take this quick quiz to find your learning style on edutopia.
Rubric - A rubric is standard of performance. It may be specific to a project, or be used consistently for a major course function. Rubrics help students focus on the expectations that you have set. Collaterally, they help systematize feedback and grading. Rubrics may be built to address writing expectations, discussion standards, and more. This page contains examples of rubrics used in higher education.
Student-Centered Learning - Student-centered learning changes the focus from teacher direction in course learning. There are multiple variations of student-centered learning, as introduced in this short paper on Student-Centered Learning. Student-centered activities may be spaced and infrequent, or may involve student influence over all (or many) aspects of learning (e.g., content, material, learning activities).
Student Engagement - Engagement has been defined as both overt and internal. Internally, when students make a psychological investment in learning, they become invested. They take pride not simply in earning the formal indicators of success (grades), but in understanding the material and incorporating or internalizing it in their lives (Newmann, 1992). Here is a site listing ten steps to improving student engagement.
Transformative Learning - Transformative learning transforms perspective. It reflects changes in three dimensions: psychological, convictional, and behavioral changes. For introductory information, go to wikipedia's transformative learning entry.
- Watch the video tutorial at the top of this page about the 7 & 1/2 Habits Habits of a Successful Lifelong Learner. As you watch and listen, reflect on which habit among the 7 & 1/2 that is easiest for you, and which is most difficult.
- Explore the information above on Learning Theory and Instructional Design. Dig further into a few of the topics through the links provided. How do these concepts apply to instruction in your role or discipline?
- For the Discovery Exercise, post a reflection in the TOEP Google+ Community about your thoughts that relate to either of the points listed above. Follow the steps for how to add a post from the TOEP Community page.
- Throughout TOEP, be sure to comment on anyone else's posts that resonate with you. If you know of any resources that others may find useful, be sure to share them and include them in your posts and comments.
Complete the badge request form to earn your TOEP Lifelong Learning badge. You will need the URL of your post in the TOEP Community - about your Lifelong Learning habits - in order to get your badge request processed. (Note: Review this tutorial to learn how to copy the permalink (otherwise referred to as a URL) for your post in the TOEP Google+ Community. You will need to return to your post in Google+ after it has been submitted to be able to copy the link. Then, paste the link into the badge request form as evidence of completing this Discovery Exercise.)
Dawson, R. (2011). “Keynote Slides: Building Success in a Connected World.” Trends in the Living Networks.
Mackey, T. P., & Jacobson, T. E. (2011). Reframing information literacy as a metaliteracy. College & Research Libraries, 72(1), 62-78.
Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 2(1), 3-10.
Sullivan, R., Burns, B., Gradel, K., Shi, S., Tysick, C., van Putten, C.. Tools of Engagement Project (TOEP): On-demand Discovery Learning Professional Development. Journal of Educational Technology Systems (JETS), Baywood Publications. 41(3). (Note: SUNY affiliates may request a copy of the article by contacting the SUNY TOEP Team.)*Note: Access to the research articles may require logging into your campus' library system; alternatively, you may request an article through Inter Library Loan (ILL).
Additional research information is available in the Lifelong Learning section of the TOEP Resource Library.