Sunday, March 16, 2014

EDUC 6115 - Week Two - Article Analysis

For this week's assignment, I chose to find a website and a scholarly article. I also wanted to focus on two different topics.

The first analysis is of a website:  Teacher Tap - Brain-Based (Compatible) Learning. This website is focused on K-12 learners, and seemed maybe too simple at first glance, but once I explored a little bit more I realized this has plenty of links to outside resources. Though it is geared toward educators of adolescents, I think having a foundation of knowledge about how the brain works and aids in learning in younger students can provide us with more knowledge about how the brain aids in adult learning. This website actually sites studies and expands on things that are in our textbook, as well as mentions ideas that we have not read about yet. For example, the authors talk about Caine and Caine's three conditions:
  1. Relaxed alertness 
  2. Orchestrated immersion
  3. Active processing
My favorite part of this site is the list of brain-based learning resources. Even though I am not creating e-Learning for children, I find this website to be useful and will likely come back to it. The authors actually taught at the K-12 level, but now both teach online courses at Indiana University. This reinforces how useful these tools could be at the adult level. 

Johnson, L., & Lamb, A. (2007). Brain-based (compatible) learning. Retrieved from

My second analysis is of a journal article. This article theorizes about an educational model for problem-solving-centered learning. I found it to be useful because it goes over the topic of constructivism more in-depth than what we learned before. Under this category, the author offers the teacher's role and the students' roles, which provides an interesting perspective. 

Under the category of Problem Solving-Based Learning (PBL), the authors offers the proper steps to take in order to "bridge the gap" between the real world and academia, and what is expected in each. On page 194, an actual model is displayed, which gives an idea of how educators should incorporate this type of learning. These were the most relevant categories of the article. 

The next few pages give more steps to take and back them up with statistics. I think this article is useful because it was well-researched, and it provides suggestions for how to put these theories into practice in the classroom, or -- in our case -- an e-Learning setting. 

Trif Muntean, L. (2013). Problem solving centered learning, a possible model for educational practice. Journal Plus Education/Educatia Plus, 11(2), 192-196. Retrieved from

Sunday, March 9, 2014

EDUC 6115 - Week One - Useful Blogs

I work in a bureau that is part of the Department of State, and I work closely with the Distributed Learning Designers. Upon finishing this degree, I hope to gain a position on their team. Knowing exactly what they do, and having helped with creating lessons a few times, I kept this in mind while looking for blogs to use as tools.

This blog is written and controlled by Cathy Moore. She provides tools and ideas for how to incorporate scenarios, tips for webinars, as well as posts where she asks questions and includes outside links. She often asks for her readers' opinions, and asks that they leave comments with their own thoughts and ideas. This blog feels more like a community and a conversation than an informative article. One of my favorite facets of Cathy's blog is that she provides a link to register for workshops that she provides.

The IDD Blog is another blog I find to be incredibly useful. It is run by a team of faculty from DePaul University. I like that it has more than one contributor, so you often get different views on the same subject, and each faculty member has a different story to tell. The blog is less biased than others that are run by only one person. The IDD Blog also has a section on its sidebar for all the different categories of posts you could find on the blog. I found the Mobile Learning section useful because the team I worked with just deployed tablets to students we are currently training. It's nice to be able to read other people's opinions about similar situations.

The third blog I'm bookmarking here is actually through the Lectora website. I'm familiar with Lectora from creating some small-scale lessons using the software, and finding this blog at this point in my career was so lucky! For someone like me, who uses this software as an Instructional Designer, this blog is invaluable. They provide information about the annual Lectora conference, they have answers to any questions you may come up with about the software, and they provide links to outside sources. Of the three here, this blog is likely the one I will come back to most often.