I thoroughly enjoyed the Learning Theories module. Even though I touched on learning theories during my degree this was more in-depth and constructivism and connectivism were new.
I realised throughout the module that I demonstrate a strong behaviourist approach. This was also evident during my assignment where I carried out the Principles of Adult Learning Sale (PALS) by Conti which indicated that I demonstrate a strong teacher-centred approach. Whilst behaviourism is very beneficial and has a strong presence in adult education (Merriam & Bierema, 2013) it is important to be aware of other theories to ensure that I provide a conducive learning environment for my learners.
One theory that stood out for me was constructivism. Constructivism actively involves both the learner and the lecturer where the learners construct meaning from experiences and interaction (Mughal & Zarar, 2011). Many of my adult learners have valuable experiences but it also important to be aware of their existing experiences to ensure that they will not act as a barrier to new information. I have also taken elements of constructivism into consideration where information should be delivered in small chunks to foster retention of information. Bruners Spiral of Curriculum is beneficial where information is repeated over and over again.
Social constructivism promotes collaboration and interaction particularly relevant for an eLearning environment. I believe that for learning to be successful it has to be interactive and include collaboration e.g. forums, discussions, sharing information between learners.
Connectivism is an area that I plan to study further as we only touched on it during the module and it is related to technology would be very relevant to this course.
Merriam, S. B., & Bierema, L. L. (2013). Adult Learning Linking Theory and Practice. San Fransciso: John Wiley & Sons.
Mughal, F., & Zafar, A. (2011). Experiential Learning from a Constructivist Perspective: Reconceptualizing the Kolbian Cycle. International Journal of Learning & Development, 1(2), 27-37.