As I mentioned on a previous discussion, this course has not changed the way that I learn. None the less, it has definitely deepened my understanding of my personal learning process. For one thing, this was the first time in my life that I have done an exercise of metacognition to better understand what works for me in a learning environment. It was also the first time that I put together a mind map and thought about the networks from which I draw knowledge and information. In fact, after I handed in the original assignment, I was able to come up with another couple of nodes which I could have added to the map. I found the topic of multiple intelligences very enlightening as well. This was new to me and again, for the first time I did an exercise of analyzing what I am good at.
You realize you are learning when you are able to start differentiating and understanding the value of theories, learning styles, educational technology and motivation. My conclusion is that each learning theory explains a particular aspect of how we process information and gain knowledge, our learning style is the mechanism, activity or technique that works best for us to acquire our learning. As time evolves, we will only see an increase in technology and its usage within the education field. I think that at the moment, education is being redefined in order to utilize available technology. The idea of information anywhere/any time is redesigning the playing field of education and making online learning programs a rich alternative at the moment and probably, the preferred learning method for the future. Motivation is a constant requirement of any learning environment and very tightly related to adult learning. To the extent the instructional designer is capable of understanding and implementing the principles of the adult learning theory and develop instruction taking into account ARCS (particularly in online learning), the adult learner will remain motivated and ready to learn.
There is no doubt that this course will help me further my career in instructional design. One thing is to design and another to design with an understanding. This course has helped me to understand human aspects of learning which will be beneficial in the future. I think that the most important one is that each learner has a different way of learning. As instructional designers we need to develop a good understanding of the audience we want to reach, understand their multiple intelligences, understand their learning styles, appeal to their motivation and provide instruction in a way which capitalizes on their differences. This is not easy to do, but at least I have a good understanding of what to shoot for.