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Elizabeth Reicher

Principles of Instructional Design


RA 3
September 29, 2014

A. Our new understandings of brain physiology give us vital information concerning how we
should teach people.
Pro
Renate and Geoffrey Caine developed twelve principles for brain-based learning back in 1989.
They discuss how the brain can perform many functions at the same time and that we inherently
need to make sense of things. The brain can be affected by many different stimuli, both positive
and negative. Learners need time to process in their own time while educators support that
processing by providing a focused and non threatening environment in which to learn. Emotions
also can play a big role in learning, but most of all, learners need meaningful experiences to
retain and transfer their knowledge.
Con
This article discusses why linking brain function to learning is a myth. For one thing, the study of
the brain is in its infancy and none of the theories on the brain have actually been proven. The
author goes on to warn readers about learning strategies that say they improve brain function.
This may very well be the case, but there is no scientific evidence to suggest that the strategy is
based on brain function.
My Truth
Whether anything has been proven about brain based learning, I think that these strategies are
excellent educational tools, even if they are not backed up by facts. I think that individuals who
develop these successful strategies are familiar with and excel in the design of instruction. They

work because they are based on the principles of sound instructional design practices whether
they market it under the umbrella of scientific evidence or not.
Resources
Renate, C., & Geoffrey, C. (1994, January 1). 12 Principles for Brain-Based Learning. Retrieved
September 29, 2014, from
http://edweb.sdsu.edu/people/cmathison/armaitiisland/files/BBLrngPrin.pdf
Sara, B. (2014, April 13). Neuro Myths: Separating Fact and Fiction in Brain-Based Learning.
Retrieved September 29, 2014, from http://www.edutopia.org/neuroscience-brain-basedlearning-myth-busting

B. The greater number of times the target information is processed by the learner, the greater
the chance the learner has of recalling the information.
Pro
Mr. Johnson longs for the good old days when memorization was not a dirty word and perfect
was an expectation, not just something to shoot for. He goes on to say it is critical for learners to
have a knowledge base on which to build more meaningful learning. Teachers must use
strategies such as: Learn Alouds, Rhythm and Breath, and Jigsawing to help learners develop
knowledge in order to apply, synthesize, and evaluate real life learning situations.
Con
This article talks about deeper ways to remember facts than the rote method used for
generations. These strategies include links to the meaning of the information one is trying to
memorize. "Elaborative" processing helps aid information processing by using more information to
link the facts or task to a more meaningful idea. Mnemonic devices can improve retention of facts by
kinking visual images to the facts and creating a short saying that brings these images to mind.
Retrieval practice can be effective when one studies the information and self tests to determine what
has been learned.

My Truth

I think both sides of this issue want the same thing; to equip learners with a plethora of
strategies to help build basic knowledge that is meaningful to the learner in some way. This is
what Depth of Knowledge and Blooms Taxonomy are all about. I believe that learners need a
knowledge base to help them solve problems and be critical thinkers.
Resources
Simons, J. (2012, January 13). How to Maximize your Memory. Retrieved September 29, 2014, from
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/14/how-to-train-your-brain-to-remember

Johnson, B. (2014, April 13). When Rote Learning Makes Sense. Retrieved
September 29, 2014, from http://www.edutopia.org/rote-learning-benefits

C. Learner modality preference has a huge impact on learning.


Pro
The article tells the stories of children who have fallen behind in their learning due to major
life events or their background. The author believes there are four things every learner
needs to be successful. First they need to feel safe in their learning environment. Next, the
teacher needs to assess where they are in their learning journey. Thirdly, identifying what
information is relevant to the learner based on life experiences, and finally, as educators get
to know their students better, they become more aware of the emotional needs of these
learners to learn.
Con
In his video, Learning Styles Dont Exist, Daniel Willingham explains that good sound
instruction is good instruction for meaningful learning to occur regardless of the learners
different strengths in learning input. It is funny how 90% of people believe that they are
better at learning in a certain learning style and because of this belief, which is not based on
fact, they assume that they are more likely to learn in one way over another. It is true that

people can learn in different ways, but if instruction is engaging and meaningful, they are
more likely to learn anyway according to Willingham.
My Truth
Before watching Mr. Willinghams video, I was one of those who tried to design instruction
with the students learning styles in mind. In retrospect, I was just planning quality, engaging,
and relevant instruction which encompassed these different learning styles. Good instruction
is good instruction.
Resources
Willingham, D. (2008, August 21). Learning Styles Don't Exist. Retrieved September 29,
2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sIv9rz2NTUk
Powell, W., & Kusuma-Powell, O. (2011, January 1). How to Teach Now: Chapter 1Knowing Our Students as Learners. Retrieved September 29, 2014, from
http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/111011/chapters/Knowing-Our-Students-asLearners.aspx
D. The more positively motivated a human is to learn something, the more likely it is that he
will learn.
Pro
This article talks about the behaviorist and cognovits theories on learning and motivation.
Behaviorists believe teachers should structure the learning environment so students are
rewarded when learning concepts are mastered. Cognivtists focus more on the individual
and what is wanted out of the learning experience, based on sociocultural backgrounds.
Sociocultural Theories focus on the affect ones school, classroom, home and cultural
environment have on motivation to learn. Finally, situative theorisists believe learners are
motivated by the experience of learning in life situations.
Con
The information on this website repeats most of the theory that was discussed in the other
article however there is a theory of decent by David Ausebel. Certainly it is not a necessary
precursor for learning to occur. If anything, motivation is more a result or outcome of
instruction rather than a cause of it. (Learning Theory). According to this theory, the learning
experience itself is the motivation.
My Truth

In my experience, I find that I agree with Ausebel. I have witnessed reluctant learners
flourish when exposed to instruction that is both challenging and engaging. Young people
really have the love for learning instilled in them, it is up to the educators to provide learning
environments where learners are valued and challenged on a personal level.
Resources
Hickey, D. (2009, December 23). Sociocultural Theories of Motivation. Retrieved September
29, 2014, from http://www.education.com/reference/article/sociocultural-theories-ofmotivation/
http://www.theoryfundamentals.com/motivation.htm
E. If learners process target information deeply they are more likely to remember it.
Pro
This article proposes that there are 3 ways we process. Structural processing, where we
process only the physical appearance of an object, phonemic processing, where we
remember how something sounds, and semantic processing, where we tie the meaning of a
word to other words with similar attributes. This type of deep processing allows one to
explain a situation or problem by putting it into our own words.
Con
I was not able to find any research to disagree with the statement above.
My Truth
Meaningful engagement is the key to deeper learning. If a learner can use their knowledge
to complete a task or solve a problem and reflect and evaluate how their learning affected
the outcome, then they have achieved a deeper level of understanding. This is the type of
processing that supports high levels of achievement and versatility in our learners.
Resource
McLeod, S. (2007). Levels of Processing. Retrieved September 29, 2014, from
http://www.simplypsychology.org/levelsofprocessing.html
F.

People remember more of what they do than what they see and more of what they see than
what they hear.
Pro

David A. Kolbs model for Experiential Learning is presented on this webpage. This model
says that learners need to experience learning in a hands on setting. Then, they need to
reflect on that experience to form ideas to use in other learning situations.
Con
Again this article explains that quality instruction touches on all of the modalities as part of
the design protocol.
My Truth
Good instruction is good instruction and should engage learners to try new things regardless
of their learning strengths.
Resources
Experiential Learning (Kolb) | Learning Theories. (n.d.). Retrieved September 30,
2014, from http://www.learning-theories.com/experiential-learning-kolb.html
Multimodal Learning Through Media: What the Research Says. (2008). Retrieved
September 29, 2014, from
http://www.cisco.com/web/strategy/docs/education/Multimodal-LearningThrough-Media.pdf
G. We do not understand clearly how people learn.
Pro
Constructivists believe that knowledge is not knowledge until it is made meaningful by the
learner and this meaning and relevance create an individuals true understanding. Each
learner is different so, it is difficult to say that what will work for one learner will work for the
other.
Con
I did not realize that this article was from a handbook for an aviation company, but I think it
gave valid information on the process for learning. This article is about the learning process
and how that process starts with the intake of information through our five senses and how
that information is stored in our memory as knowledge used to form perceptions that give
deeper meaning to the information. Perceptions can be affected by many outside stimuli and
can hinder insights that are based on these perceptions. Insights make learning more
permanent as motivation and memory build a scaffolding on which knowledge is built until
the time that the learners can transfer their learning by thinking critically and problem

solving. As we progress from one stage of learning to another, it is the job of the educator to
nurture each step and encourage growth.
My Truth
I agree with the con side of this argument. Even though learning styles might not exist, I
have seen students progress through the different levels of learning despite their intellectual
abilities. Providing authentic educational experiences can take students beyond their
perceived abilities. I see transfer of their knowledge as the flexibility that high level thinkers
are able to perform, based on the way we intake information, make connections, and use
our knowledge to do things that we never thought possible.
Resources
Learning Theory. (2003, November 11). Retrieved September 30, 2014, from
http://www.dynamicflight.com/avcfibook/learning_process/
Hein, G. (1991, October 15). Constructivist Learning Theory. Retrieved
September 30, 2014, from
http://www.exploratorium.edu/ifi/resources/constructivistlearning.html