My final reflection for 504, limited to one page!
The most important things I learned this semester was about learning theories and the power of peer review. Even though I have been in education for 20 years, this was my first real exploration into learning theories. In the beginning, I thought I would align with cognitivism, but the more I read the more I realized I am firmly grounded in constructivism. The theory that really resonated both on a personal and professional level and inadvertently guided the rest of the research for this course was the cognitive apprenticeship. The peer review of a classmate’s paper was a major responsibility, especially since their grade may in part depend on my feedback. I did not want to let them down. During the review cycle, I kept looking back at my paper, but not from my own perspective. It was a more to reflect on how I would give me constructive feedback. The activity was an APA citation experience as well. I spent more time with the APA manual double and triple checking that I was giving accurate feedback than I did on my own work. Through this process, I recognized errors I had made in my paper as well as other assignments. One thing is for sure, it reinforced the importance of the feedback process.
It is going to take time to digest and apply everything I have learned in this course. The biggest changes in how I teach are yet to come, since I just went back to the classroom a week ago. What I take with me, from the research, is to keep in mind that every interaction has the potential to cause learning. I have always believed you lead by example, and constructivism, especially social learning theory reinforces this belief. Now I will have the opportunity to use much of what I learned. The class I am now “teaching” is a behavior modification program for students whose behaviors are disruptive to the educational environment; this is not a resource/special education class. Albert Bandura’s research keeps coming to mind. His social learning theory is rooted in criminal/deviant behavior research and the impact of exposure to violence. Now, I am tasked with doing the opposite, exposing students repeatedly to positive behavior and reinforcement. This is a new experience for me! It is very different from teaching computers, business courses, or even credit recapture. Therefore, I am weaving together what I gleaned from the learning theories with a positive behavior matrix, 30 years of parenting, and 20 years of teaching to create a positive structured learning environment utilizing online applications for the curriculum. It is a bit overwhelming, when you stop to think this may be “the turning point” for these students, and I am the responsible adult.
Based on the AECT Standards adopted in July 2012, the three assignments that best illustrate standards mastery are the Module 2 Learning Theories paper, Module 3 Annotated Bibliography, and Module 4 Synthesis Paper. Overall, participation in this course demonstrates mastery in Standard 3 Learning Environments – Ethics or Standard 3.4 from the previous standards, as evidenced by participation in this class: using Moodle to access course content and submit assignments, while complying with course requirements such as academic integrity and APA citations. The peer review demonstrated Standard 4 Professional Knowledge – Collaborative Practice. For Standard 5 – Research, mastery was demonstrated on all the projects, but more specifically in the gathering of research materials for the learning theories paper, the annotated bibliography, and of course the synthesis paper.
Association for Educational Communications and Technology. (2012). AECT standards, 2012 version. Retrieved