Terry O. Faulkner

Creative Content Expert | Wordsmith

Myths of learning styles and others revealed

I have been exploring Instructional Design now for almost a year. One of the first designers to catch my eye was Cathy Moore who rocked my world when she suggested learning styles were fake. As many of you may know now, I too have become a critic of the myth of learning styles and a lot of the neuroscience that some teachers buy into. I wanted to share an article with you that I found via a podcast entitled “Trends & Issues in Instructional Design” with Dr. Brown and Dr. Green. I hope that it brings some interesting talking points and that it helps you question some beliefs you may hold about the brain.


Meeting Three (2/29/2016): Orientation Seminar

The following is a letter written to our SME (Ms. Moon) and it serves two purposes. One is to inform Ms. Moon about our perceptions of a training given to foreign exchange students studying at the university and second is to keep record of our steps in the sexual harassment design process:

Dear Professor Moon,

“As requested we have reviewed the powerpoint and our notes on the sexual harassment presentation given to the international students last Monday February, 29th. First of all, we realize that it was very challenging to speak to that kind of audience, especially regarding sexual harassment. Here are a few of the comments and suggestions that Martin and I have regarding the content and delivery of this presentation.

The section began with “stretching” and we found that some of the students did not see the connection between stretching and how that might lead to sexual harassment and/or sexual violence. We felt that the section where the speaker asked questions and the audience was invited to answer the question was a more engaging introduction.

We also found that some of the students at the back of the auditorium were not as engaged as the learners might have been sitting closer to the front. Another comment is that some of the English may have been too complex for some of the foreign students. Many of these students are speaking English as their third or even fourth language so not all of them have a good command of the English language, Additionally, the complexity of the translator’s English often seemed above the listeners’ abilities.

On several occasions there seemed to be a gap between the Korean speaker and what the translator uttered. In one example the translator said “entertain us…” and upon hearing that, Professor Moon seemed as though the translation was not what she was expecting to hear.

Another question we had was regarding the the study by Lin Farley (Farley, Lin. Sexual shakedown: The sexual harassment of women on the job. McGraw-Hill Companies, 1978).  How did they affect the laws of sexual harassment in Korea? Is that important to the learners? We liked the explanation of types of sexual harassment and how to deal with harassment if one is either the victim or the offender.  The steps were good but then when the video “Keep your paws to yourself” came up on the screen, the audience could not see it very well and the language used was full of slang and various American vernacular. I would find it VERY difficult to understand much of the video if I were not a native speaker myself.

Lastly, the Jefferson memorial took a long time to get to the point and when it finally did, the connection between the memorial and sexual harassment was vague. Could we shorten this connection or perhaps make it more evident?

Overall, we enjoyed the presentation and were able to take away a lot from it. I hope this helps Professor Moon and we will keep you updated as we progress throughout the project. Thank you and have a great weekend. Terry & Martin ”

That wraps up this section, check in at Martin’s blog for the next post!

Reaction to Blended Learning Reading

To begin I would like to answer one of the questions from the first reading of the #Blendkit2016 course. In what ways can blended learning be considered the “best of both worlds?”  What could make Blended Learning the “worst of both worlds?”

Using my reaction from the article and my own personal experience in blended learning (BL), I think BL can appeal to the different ways that people like to study. Some prefer to be in the classroom while others would like to access content from the comfort of their own homes and at their own pace(s). Students can get a taste of both methods and decide which one works best for them.

BR could also become less than desirable when a designer or instructor believes that online learning might makes their lives easier and they create poorly constructed content. It’s very easy to get comfortable in education and some educators, trainers, or even designers might see creating online content as a way to spend less time in class. Other problems might arise as the article states when objectives are not clearly identified before the creation of the course content.

Ideally, a designer would use a methodology such as ADDIE, Action Mapping or SAM to identify the best ways to get the ideas across as effectively as possible.