Week 3 – Applications of Learning and Teaching Theories

Activity 3 – Learning and Technologies Theory Reflection

I feel cognitive load (cognitivist) theory is most consistent with my own experience of learning. This may reflect the style of education (i.e. process of teaching/learning) I experienced in my given the sociohistorical context (Canada in the 1970’s through the 1990’s).

I am an introvert, and have received, for instance, significantly less value in terms of knowledge acquisition from collaborative group work vs. working on my own. I have experienced cognitive overload from dealing with the social interactions with members of my group when doing collaborative work, which undermined the learning process for me.  I prefer working on my own. However, working on my own has always involved making connections between sources of knowledge, be it books, journal articles, etc.… (In the present digital age, journal articles are probably my primary source of information, with news articles and documentary film also being important sources for me. Wikipedia is an important source for me when I am beginning research on a topic. I’ve not yet started to rely much on other sources, such as blogs. )

Considering the above, I feel connectivism has (had) a role in cognitive load theory, in my own learning experience.

In EDIT 202, at times I feel my learning of the concepts and theories is impeded by the concurrent learning of technological tools. My habitual means of acquiring conceptual knowledge has been via lectures, reading books, writing papers, etc., vs. my habitual means of acquiring technical skills via following demonstrations by an expert or via discovery learning. I’ve been struggling in combining these into a “new” learning “style”, and thus have been experiencing cognitive overload. I am optimistic, however, that this struggle reflects that my existing schema about learning process is expanding to accommodate!

(I feel it may be pertinent to note that, for this week’s activity, I found using MindMeister extremely frustrating. I can see the potential of the application as a tool, but I am used to working with graphic design programs, and I could have created my mind map more effectively using a more flexible application such as Adobe Illustrator. I think this compounded my feeling of “struggle” this week, in particular!)

Regardless, I think having students create mind maps or concept maps represent one way a teacher/facilitator could use technology to support the learning, per a cognitivitst / cognitive load framework. Such tools could help prevent cognitive overload by enabling students to organize complex ideas in a way that make them easier to comprehend and easier to understand their relatedness. For instance, a mind map outlining the factors influencing the outbreak of WWII might allow a student to identify and understand the relationships between certain events which may not otherwise be apparent. Evaluation could assess whether students are adequately identifying key concepts/ideas, appropriately grouping/organizing these, and appropriately identifying the relatedness of concepts. The teacher/facilitator could then provide support where weaknesses are identified, such as misinterpreting key concepts.

A second way teachers/facilitators could use technology to support learning per a cognitivist / cognitive load framework is providing learning modules in which information is “chunked” together to avoid cognitive overload. More and more knowledge could be scaffolded as the students acquire the knowledge in each module and move on to the next module.

A third way is for teachers/facilitators to use technology which incorporates design and organization that supports the student’s ability to recall information from long-term memory upon which to build new knowledge via the technology application, and helps the student organize and store the new information acquired (ex. application design that helps facilitate coding into long-term memory). For instance, a program that uses the Multiple Representation Tool, such as word and picture presented together, which leads to dual-coding. (Chipperfield, 2004; Mayer & Moreno, 2002)


Chipperfield, B. (2004, April). Cognitive load theory and instructional design. [Online paper]. Retrieved from http://www.usask.ca/education/coursework/802papers/chipperfield/index.htm

Mayer, R., and Moreno, R. (2002). Aids to computer-based multimedia learning. Learning and Instruction, 12, 107–119.


Mind Map

Here is a link to my Mind Map:



References (for my Mind Map):

Appel, G. The Professional Development Blog. Re: Cognitivism. [Blog post]. Retrieved 27-Jan-2013


Applied Behaviour Analysis (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retreived January 27, 2013 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Applied_behavior_analysis

Cognitivism (learning theory) (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retreived January 27, 2013 from


Connectivism (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retreived January 27, 2013 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connectivism

Educational Broadcasting Corporation. (2004) Constructivism as a paradigm for teaching and learning. Retreived from http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/index.html

Burk A. (2013, January 22). Educational technology learning theory. [PowerPoint slides]. Retreived from https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4z1kEoDCtrsc0pScnZySGFDMGM/edit?pli=1

Learning Theories/Behaviouralist Theories (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retreived January 27, 2013 from http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Learning_Theories/Behavioralist_Theories

Levinson, P. (2000) McLuhan and Media Ecology. [Online article]. Retreived from http://www.media-ecology.org/publications/MEA_proceedings/v1/McLuhan_and_media_ecology.html

Media Ecology Association. What is Media Ecology? Retreived January 27, 2013 from http://www.media-ecology.org/media_ecology/index.html

Seimens, G. (2004 December 12.) Re: Connectivism – A learning theory for the digital age. [Blog post]. Retreived from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm

Social Construction of Technology (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retreived January 27, 2013 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_construction_of_technology


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