Saturday, June 23, 2007

ALA 2007 - Utilizing learning theory in online environments.

I arrived at this session late so I don't have the structure of the talk in front of me (so to speak) and can't structure this post in the same way as I have the preceding ones. Here are some of the ideas she presented:

Goals of learning in any discipline are the same, learning to think like, process and interpret data like a [enter discipline here].

There are lots of different types of learning (visual, auditory, kinesthic, etc.) and you can tell by observing them what their preferred learning styles are. By 'learning' from them we can create richer online learning evironments.

Most of this presentation is focused on library instruction and virtual reference.

Current educational theories (popular now):
(1) The idea that students learn in social groups; they learn from listening to each other and talking about things.
(2) Situated learning means that the learning takes place in the same place in which the knowledge will be later used; learning in context.
(3) Brain based learning or "ten minutes on, ten minutes off", in other words sharing some information and then giving the brain time "off" to absorb it.
(4) Behaviorism; negative feedback doesn't work.

A combination of face to face learning and online learning works best; helps to create an ongoing conversation which is (again) how Millennials learn.

She addressed generational differences in terms of it informing the learning process.

It seems to me that a lot of this has to do with non-verbal communication online...which sounds like an oxymoron until you think about "places" like second life and the presenters' comments about the changes in online communication that occur once the communicators have met face to face, for instance, think about the way you IM with someone or read a message from them (be it email or a blog comment, etc.) and how careful you are about what you say when you don't "know" them in person compared to how when you communicate with someone you do "know" in person and can almost hear the tone of their voice and can more easily tell when they're being sincere and when they're being sarcastic.

Interesting observation: I seem to engage in more reflection about the speaker's topic when I don't have an agenda for the presentation.

The Power Point for this presentation will be posted on the ALA website.

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