Saturday, March 10, 2012

Module 1 - What are your beliefs about how people learn best? What is the purpose of learning theory in educational technology?

I believe people learn best when they are in an environment and setting that is comfortable to them.  When people are in new places or a setting that in awkward, they tend to be nervous, tense or out of place which can disturb the learning process.  I think this is why we tend to have trial runs in schools when it comes to testing. We want the students to become used to the environment that they will be in and also familiar with who their administrator will be.  This will usually provide the students with more confidence before the “big day”.

I also think people learn best when they have familiarity or prior knowledge with the subject that they are learning.  Mastery of skills previously helps students build onto new skills that they are taught.  It also helps make the attainment of new knowledge more cohesive with what they already know.

According to M.K. Smith, learning theory pertains to “ideas about how or why change occurs” (2011, ¶ 15).  This ties into educational technology because within the field of technology things are constantly ever-changing.  Since the field of education and technology changes constantly, learning theory helps and gives ideas on why those changes occur. 

Smith, M. K. (2003) 'Learning theory', the encyclopedia of informal education,, Last update: December 04, 2011


  1. Hi Ashley,

    I agree with you that people learn best when they make a connection to previous learned skills. When people/learners are comfortable in their environment they can then ask questions and reflect on new skills developed. It is also true how educational technology is constantly changing. The purpose of learning theory as it pertains to educational technology can enhance the knowledge of the learner.

  2. Ashley –

    I enjoyed reading your post! I found it especially interesting that you mentioned the learning environment and that learner are more successful when they are comfortable. I feel this is something that is often overlooked in comparison to other reasons; however it is very important! As much as I despise the standardized tests, we do the same with our students prior to the test to minimize some of the anxiety.


  3. I agree a person’s environment can have a positive impact or a negative impact on learning. This is a main reason why the teacher should create a calm classroom where students are free to answer and ask questions without feeling insecure. If you had a pick a learning theory, what would it be? I assign a lot of class projects. It helps them communicate with other students and brings all the children together.

    Yolanda Lyons

  4. It is so true that students gain more from a learning experience when they are comfortable and have the relevant prior knowledge. However I have found that when students become too comfortable, or if they think they know the topic being taught, then they can lose interest. It can be a tough job for the teacher to find the right balance between a comfortable atmosphere, and the appropriate level of alertness necessary for learning.