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        “Elearning is the marriage of technology and education, and most often, the instructional designer's greatest role is that of
        "bridging" concepts between the two worlds. ...the role of instructional design in elearning is often misunderstood - due to
          the perceived complexity of the process and to poor understanding of the pedagogical requirements of elearning.” 
Introduction to Denise Forgeron's E-Portfolio

Welcome to my Electronic Portfolio for Education 533: Integration and Instructional Design and
Information Technology (Spring 2004).  This is one of the courses within the Masters of Education in
Information Technology through Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), with this course being based through the University College of Cape Breton (UCCB).

Reflections on Activities
Education 533 has given me the chance to examine Learning Theories and Instructional Design in the
context of Learning Technologies.  Throughout this term, I was able to reflect on information and
questions posed by Dr. David Lloyd and the responses of my classmates. As a student in this course,
I participated in class discussions and the sharing of information, weekly group asynchronous online
discussions, synchronous chats, a collaborative project to produce an Instructional Design incorporating technology, and this e-portfolio, an on-going reflection of my learning.

After reading the assigned article by Ely, The Medium is not the message, I reaffirmed my belief that technology
is just another tool.  These tools do "not teach, but the organization and presentation of content, combined with high levels
of interactivity on the part of the learner and feedback from an authority" are necessary for online learning.  My reason to
continue studying is I want to be informed about what these tools can do to enhance my instruction and my students’

The Effect of Learning Theories and Technology on Teaching
Technology has causes people to pause and reflect upon the approaches to instruction (based on theories). Technology
has allowed a paradigm shift from instructor/instruction-based learning (knowledge acquisition) to constructivist learning.
Education has changed to meet the learner’s needs as new ideas emerge.

Behaviorism Learning Theory and direct instruction

Direct Instruction, from the teacher to student, is grounded in Skinner’s Behavioral Theory of stimulus and response. 
Review, practice, and feedback involving memorization for pre- and posttests reminds me of my early schooling. We were encouraged with grade and sticker (star) incentives to learn (behave) in a certain way. Technology, as a tool, also has produced some software CDs to allow for this drill and practice.  To enhance the students’ enjoyment of the exercise, animated characters often offer words of encouragement.  These computer-assisted instructions (simulations, tutorials, drill and practice) offer extra practice in what teachers teach.

Cognitive Learning Theory and direct instruction

Piaget's Cognivive Theory laid the groundwork for thinking there are different levels of understanding and a child, not at the top level, must begin with information, make it knowledge and work towards gaining understanding and being able to evaluate.  Similar levels are found as higher levels of learning in Bloom’s taxonomy . Vygotsky’s Social Learning Theory led to the understanding that learning occurred in social conflicts and situations. 

I use
memorization or drill and practice for mathematics or taxonomy when I am learning new information.  It gives me a
basic understanding; something to build upon when I then try to analyze situations or experiments.  I enjoy the
reinforcement that comes with group experiences of collaboration and cooperation.
Constructivist styles work best for
me when I already have a grasp of some information or a basic knowledge.  Then, I want to explore further or see for myself what else I can learn about a topic.  I believe that is why I study Science and let my students experiment in lab or explore outdoors in biology.
Even though my students and I may be building upon prior knowledge while constructing new knowledge, in our constructivist environment, I do not feel our learning has encompassed all that technology has enabled for constructivism and multiple intelligences.

Constructivism Learning Theory and cooperative/collaborative learning
Constructivism is based on the notion that students build upon their existing knowledge.  They construct their own
knowledge by doing meaningful tasks.  Technology allows students to complete projects such as publishing, that
previously were only completed in a workplace.   Another professor who facilitates within this Master's program, Elizabeth Murphy, followed the constructivist model. Upon reflecting, I realized I see more clearly how the theories evolved from one another: behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism.

Multiple Intelligences and cooperative/collaborative learning
Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Theory gets support with the various tools of technology.   Technology allows students and educators to demonstrate their knowledge through a media they feel is their strength.   I have met students that could draw an image and then describe it.  My son could not remember the names of all the provinces, at 9 years of age, but by learning a Stoppin' Tom song, he learned all ten.  I really like reading about multiple intelligences because all my students
come from different backgrounds and have various strengths. The computer, as a tool, allows the student to do more with
information, analyze it, present it in novel ways, their ways, the ways they understand it.

Reflection: I do not believe that any good teacher just follows one philosophy for teaching with all
students, all the time.  “Not all learning environments must be constructivist in nature, but learning is
enhanced when teachers pay attention to learners’ pre-existing knowledge and use it as a starting point for new instruction.” (Schaller et al., 2001)

Software and Learning Theories

Application software
Learning Theories impact educational objectives and software applications.   Educational Software
such as Tool software (also known as application or productivity software), Drill and Practice,
Tutorials, Simulations, Instructional Games and Problem Solving, and Databases are assessed to
determine their basis from Learning Theories.  When I examine the technology used today, I realize
that teachers and students in constructivist and instructivist-based learning environments use
application software.
Constructivism seems to be the final goal in many packages.
Jonassen, Carr and Yueh (Computers as Mindtools) use the word “mindtool”. Computer software allows students to
‘engage the material’ to ‘analyze and organize subject matter’ while gaining comprehension and understanding. Mindtools
do indeed enhance thinking and learning in ways a single teacher may not have initially envisioned.
Some packages have
beginning exercises to become familiar with vocabulary (or wizards), which could give initial instruction in place of a
teacher/texts. This direct instruction may work well for highly self-motivated or computer-philic students. My students
usually know about systems and functions of the body from having memorized information or doing searches in previous
years. When these students, who appear to be comfortable with software, use biological simulations they appear to gain a
greater understanding.  Parameters are changed and results are observed; it is like a light bulb goes on.  Group discussion
of the results occurs as information is gathered and shared.  New configurations are proposed and tried.  An example is
with physiology software that can examine environmental factors on invertebrate heartbeats, or salinity on kidney tubules.
My students receive the initial instruction orally and on paper.  In my lab, students watch a video or CD and experiment
hands-on with water fleas. They are constructing knowledge and I am aware that they learn differently.

I enjoyed Spiro's article, which notes that every new theory (bandwagon as a classmate referred), has its limitations or faults.Constructing knowledge may not be enough.  If chunks of information are learned but cannot be reorganized to be useful in another situation, there is failure.  Knowledge must be applicable to the real world.  I want my students to leave my lab with skills that will assist them in their future studies and into the realworld.  Spiro states that the Cognitive Flexibility Theory remedies the problems associated with memory retrieval to get advanced knowledge acquisition (p.2).   The knowledge gained must then be extracted with the possibility to be presented in different forms, contexts or media.  This problem of knowing details (of oversimplified units) but not comprehending is common.  Students must participate in their learning to get to these higher levels of knowledge.  Mindtools can simulate various real world situations; examples are, flight and submarine simulators. Mindtools can allow student to create a presentation or analysis of the information; thus showing they understood.

While constructivism is the theory most often used when discussing technology, multiple intelligences can be used to
demonstrate the preferred intelligences of those who like to read text (concrete word processing),  like to see facts
and numbers enjoying making graphs and spreadsheets, or like illustrations and use graphics. In Instructivist environments the teacher may use software to present information or may decide to direct the student to use the software.  Electronic
communications are becoming a way of life. In my last course, we used speech and actions to assist with the communications while designing an agent. Video cameras are very popular.  MSN is one of the most popular communication tool for real time, as a chat line for group collaboration.  For those who visually learn in Multiple Intelligences, this is an important tool.  Asynchronous discussions assist those who are unable to communicate synchronously.
  Chris Coquard posted a voice email to break monotony this term.

I use word processing to prepare student information in the form of lab handouts or booklets.  I also prepare tests using
word-processing software. My students use software tools to publish their knowledge. They use this software to prepare
lab reports and papers.   The university library has access to scientific databases that the students and myself use to support our writing with references.   I use spreadsheets to organize and record grades and I instruct my students to use spreadsheets and statistical packages to analyze their individual and group collected data.  These software packages save time and improve productivity. Telecommunications is a developing resource.  I have been involved in selection committees than began with telephone and also videoconferences.  Telecommunications are widespread among students using MSN to chat to each other. Using WebCT is starting to be used for in-house course discussions and communications. 

Instructional software
My students get initial instruction from text material, their professor and me (Instructivist-led). Drill and practice and tutorials also use behaviorism as a guide. I believe instruction comes before constructivism.  A foundation to build upon is needed.  They then explore in lab under direction in lab activities or simulations (Cognitive). Some students have individual projects and experiments where they do construct their own knowledge through the activity or literature searches. My students do not use virtual reality so I cannot say they fully create a biological situation using technology.  The closest is in a simulation. They really use technology a lot as tools not as an instructor.The exploration of a model or simulation, and searching of databases use cognitive theory to discover knowledge; there is no creative building. Constructivism could be found in virtual reality or pedagogical agents in virtual reality and in interactive multimedia.  These would also fit with multiple intelligences.

Instructional Development
There are “three different perspectives in which ID [Instructional Development] models can be viewed” (Gustafson &
Branch, 1997). These are “classroom orientation, product orientation and system orientation”. Classroom orientation:
Classroom teachers have little time to create learning materials, but often adapt existing materials to their teaching/learning
style and to that of the present class of students. There is not much time or resources put into trial runs, technology or
revision. Product orientation: An interdisciplinary team can produce an original product. This may be like a module or
unit of instruction. There will be resources to do preliminary analyses, use technology (Tam, 2000), pilot runs not done by
the team and extensive evaluation. This is a professional product that can be marketed. System orientation: A team of
developers and subject –matter experts will have resources to preliminary assess needs and gaps , use technology, pilot
the design to many stakeholders outside the development team and revise a course or curriculum package. These different directions have led to many types of ID.
Although ID has its basis in behaviorism, technology causes other learning theories to be more widely accepted to bring
about higher levels of learning. Instructional developers must know a variety of learning theories and being able to create
interactive environments.  Ideas from a variety of theories are needed to get the desired learning outcomes (Gustafson &
Branch 1997).

Instructional Design
The History of Instuctional Design reflects upon Bloom’s taxonomy of knowledge from the 50’s , to the 60’s with Gagne’s
Nine Events of Instruction, objectives, evaluations,  and individualized instruction for those with special needs, to Multiple Intelligences of the 70’'s to Constructivism and rapid prototyping of the 90’s.   Instructional Design can be examined in many ways. After examining the Instructional Development (ID) models, outlined by Remley (2002) including Dick and Carey's which requires time and mooney and then Valenzuela (2000), I believe the essential components of ID are assessment/analysis, plan/design, development, implement, and evaluate/revision. I propose a circular model that is similar to the ADDIE model.  My reason is ADDIE is the simplified version for Business and Industry for teaching a unit of information. I like simple. I realize that an educational design will look at educational settings.  Learners and teachers have various backgrounds and thus, these contexts must be taken into account when developing the instruction.  The instructional curriculum or lesson may be used for an extended period of time and for various types of learners so it is continuously evaluated and revised.  An educational setting is more concerned with objectives and outcomes.  Often there is not a great deal of time for the needs assessment or a lot of money to delve into every aspect.  I feel this model allows the developers the opportunity to do what is necessary.  

Instructional Design Models
ID models that may fit into different environments. Every model can be modified to take IT into consideration.
With the easy access to information, the design and development of ID using IT can make better lessons than ever before. Siemens (2002) stated,”the growth and success of elearning is closely linked to the design of quality learning, enabled through the use of technology". "The greatest objective of ID is to serve the learning needs and success of students through effective presentationof content and fostering of interaction.
Rapid Prototyping is ID that does not do a lot of preliminary assessment, but gets a general sense of thegoal (Gustafson & Branch 1997).   A limited design is produced before trials begin and edits are continuously made to make improvements.  When time is a limiting factor, this is the model.  This reminds me of a teacher making lesson plan
revisions after each cohort of students comes throughand of software upgrades that are occasionally available online.

Click on this worksheet to be familiar with some notes to begin a design.

I am very proud of the DJM Model of Instructional Design for Instructional Technology
Please click here to view our design. Myself, Michael Carrigan and Janice Gough created the Design for June 1, 2004.
We examined Information Technology in all stages of the design.  

Objectives in Instructional Design for Instructional Technology

An Instructional Design for Information Technology should teach a student how to “manipulate data or information to solve problems while learning new content or skills” (Morrison et al. 1999,p.37). Morrison et al. (1999) presented both
behavioral and cognitive objectives to describe what the student will be able to do after the instruction; the outcome of the
learning.  The behavioral objectives will be used as a measure of students demonstrating the ability to DO something.  The
behavior may be to calculate identify, arrange or observe.  The accomplishment of the objective can be measured with a
test.  This is used for general understanding of terminology and knowledge.Cognitive objectives are useful to “describe
higher levels of learning”.  They require more descriptive responses of student learning; eg. working in a group, searching
information on the internet, explaining meaning of a story, creating an essay or project, interpret a graph. When students
use the computer as a tool to solve a problem, “their motivation and engagement” increases.(Morrison et al. 1999,p.38)

Assessment- the future of IT in Instructional Technology
Assessment can be defined as the process that facilitators and learners' undertake to get information that can be used diagnostically to alter teaching and learning" ( Liang & Creasy, 2004).  Assessment in online classrooms encompasses more than appraising learning through written tests.   Assessment includes peer assessment, self-reflection, "teacher observation, classroom discussion, group collaboration, and analysis of student work" (Liang & Creasy, 2004). Assessments are used to provide feedback; did learning occur.  assessments are a reflection of what students learned and can do (Fredman, 1998).  "Assessment is not an end in itself but a vehicle for educational improvement" (Liang & Creasy, 2004).
Evaluation is the examination of the instructional design to see its worth.  Grades are assigned.  Each step/stage can be examined in formative evaluation.  The teaching methods are evaluated.  the final dsign and product can be examined in the summative evaluation. An evaluation of instructional models will determine if the goals and objectives have been met and if improvements can be made.For more reading on Assessment in a Constructivist Classroom see http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/methods/assment/as7const.htm.

Learning theories and outcomes
Ehrmann (2002) defines outcomes as “who can learn and what it is they can do by the time they’re finished with the academic program.”  There should be a difference between the measurement of constructivist and non-constructivist outcomes because online constructivist learners are “responsible for their own learning” and assessment should reflect this increased student autonomy (Liang & Creasy, 2004).
A behaviorist outcome may appear as:

        Knowledge or ability to design/create a graph and label the axes. 
The measurement of this may be tests/exams to demonstrate if a student has learned a behavior.

A cognitivist outcome may appear as:
        Ability to analyze a graph. 
The measurement of this may be to communicate in a paragraph the analysis of the graph to ensure higher levels of learning. 
A constructivist outcome may appear as:
        Ability to work in teams to design creative, realistic work.
The measurement of this may use a rubric to examine the creative use of technology and assess the performance, collaborative learning and skills within teams. 

The measurement of constructivist outcomes may include rubrics to evaluate or assess written work: reflections, or journal entries.  Rubrics may also evaluate proficiency in content and creativity: e-portfolios, Power Point Presentations, Inspiration flow chart and other electronic creations.  Rubrics allow individuals, peers and/or teachers to evaluate the time commitment and quality of learning during group projects (Liang & Creasy, 2004).  Students are involved in the assessments and there are a variety of assessments in constructivist environments (Freedman, 1998).  Blignaut (1999) suggested that when mindtools are used in constructivist environments, knowledge is constructed not reproduced, the teachers and learners should create the outcomes together, and they should reflect real-world situations of learning. I would like to note that as I have been studying within this degree, I have noticed that constructivism allows for more individualized programs of study.  This is similar to what was done a few years ago with special needs (http://www.ericfacility.net/ericdigests/ed395500.html).  It seems that constructivism and Multiple Intelligences Theories of learning, celebrate individuality.
I believe, after implementation, an assessment of instruction needs to occur to see if learning occurred as planned.  Collaboration and communication of learning, often including a demonstration of proficiency in technology and higher levels of learning, must be assessed. The best tool available today to assess constructivist learning would be a rubric. “Assessment rubrics listing benchmarks for student achievement assist in this evaluation by providing objective guidelines to measure and evaluate learning. These rubrics also improve learning because students who understand them before a project is due can take the evaluation criteria into account as they complete their work” (Holzberg, November 2002). 

The outcomes should be written in the instructional design.   Outcomes do not include the overall goal of the instruction or the objectives of learning that the teacher hopes will occur in the classroom.  The constructivist outcomes include what the student will have learned and will be able to do because of the collaborative environment where knowledge in constructed, not reproduced.

As a student in Dr. Lloyd's Education 533, I reflected upon the effect of learning theories on software design, technology as a mindtool, and instructional designs to incorporate software and technologies. I discovered I learned more about assessment versus evaluation.  I think my analytical skills improved as I found great URL links for this site.  My editing skills improved as I helped create the DJM Model.  My perspective will change how I view objectives - I think I will find myself asking- what learning theory influenced this objective.  I think as I continue in this program I become more aware of the influence cognitive psychology has on education.  I am definitely aware of constructing knowledge in the Biology lab and realizing presentations are a student's way to shine. I enjoyed my group interactions and reading the new sources of information presented by the professors and my classmates. I hope I will be a better facilitaor for students to learn with and about technology.


Blignaut, A.S. (1999). The use of computer-based mindtools in teaching and learning. Retrieved June 6, 2004 from Education 533 : http://hagar.up.ac.za/ cie/med/modules/ oro800_2000/resources/theory/ assessing.html

Ehrmann, S.C. (2002). Improving the Outcomes of Higher Education:
Learning From Past Mistakes.
EDUCAUSE Review. Retrieved June 8, 2004 from http://www.tltgroup.org/resources/Visions/Improving_Outcomes.html

Freedman, R.L.F. (1998). Constructivist assessment practices. Retrieved June 6, 2004 from
http://www.ed.psu.edu/CI/Journals/1998AETS/t1_7_freedman.rtf or http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:_d-Vi3vmyuMC:www.ed.psu.edu/CI/Journals/

Gustafson, K. and Branch, R. (1997) Revisioning Models of Instructional Development.
            Educational Technology Research and Development. Vol.45, No. 3, pp. 73-89.

Holzber, C. (2002). Assessment, Assessment Rubrics and Evaluation Guidelines. TechLEARNING. Retrieved June 6,              2004 from http://www.techlearning.com/db_area/archives/WCE/archives/evalguid.html.

Liang, Xin & Kim Creasy (2004). Classroom assessment in web-based instructional environment: instructors’
            experience. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 9(7). Retrieved June 8, 2004 from

Morrison, G.R. et al. (1999). Teacher as designer. Integrating Computer technology into
            the classroom.
New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Ch 3:pp. 37-60.

Remley, C. (2002). Instructional Design Models. Retrieved April 2004 from

 Schaller, D. Allison-Bunnell,
            S. & Nagel, S. (2001). Developing goal-based scenarios for web education.
   National Association of
            Interpretation Conference paper.  Retrieved May 24, 2004 from

Siemens, G. (2002) Instructional Dsign in Elearning. Elearnspace. Retrieved May 24, 2004 from


Spiro, R. J. (1993). Cognitive Flexibility, Constructivism, and Hypertext: Random Access Instruction for 
            Advanced Knowledge Acquisition in Ill-Structured Domains.
Institute for Learning Technologies. Retrieved
             April 2004 from http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/ilt/papers/Spiro.html

Tam, M. (2000). Constructivism, Instructional Design, and Technology: Implications for Transforming Distance Learning.
         Educational Technology & Society, 3(2). Retrieved  May 2004 from

Valenzuela, S. (2000). The ADDIE instructional Design Model. Cal State. Retrieved April 2004,
        from http://distance-ed.fullerton.edu/pages/faculty_staff/online_guide/guide24.htm