Connectivism: Mapping my learning connections

A map of my learning network has been constructed to show the latitude and the nature of my interactions as I seek information on instructional design topics, research trends , potentials for application and the career aspects of working as a professional instructional designer in Higher education or other sectors. The tools of ID have been quite fascinating even as I discuss with various practicing IDers. The synergy of learning opportunities with the flexibility and utility of advanced technology actually upholds the tenets of connectivism (Davis,Edmunds & Kelly-Bateman, V. 2008). Below is the graphic:

Connectivism: Mapping my learning connections


I am fascinated by the following ID tools, and I am looking forward to exploring their utility :

  • Microsoft Access
  • Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Adobe Flash
  • Adobe Acrobat Pro
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Captivate
  • Adobe E-Learning Suite 2.5
  • Articulate Storyline 2
  • WordPress CSS/HTML
  • JavaScript
  • MS Office Suite
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Basic Action Script
  • RoboHelp



Davis, C, Edmunds, E, & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved <insert date>, from

The Brain Resource: Vital and live

The adult brain has long been considered stable and unchanging, except for the inevitable decline that occurs with aging. Theories, studies and proof of brain plasticity are yielding very beneficial results.

Writing about Brain Plasticity and learning, Abiola & Dhindsa (2012).  cite J.R.  Skoyles who had done some hypothetical work on the brain’s plasticity. And according to Kurt Fischer, education professor and director of the Mind, Brain, and Education Program at Harvard University:

“The brain is remarkably plastic,” Fischer explains. “Even in middle or old age, it’s still adapting very actively to its environment.” (Bernard, 2010). Accessed at

The fact that the instrument of learning, the so-called ‘seat’ of the soul is in constant change, suggests that theories about the functionality of this awesome organism, the brain, cannot be fixed.

Ormrod, Schunk & Gredler (2009) (p.47) suggest that practitioners (especially including Instructional Designers ) should remember that cognitive advancements do not emerge until late childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. Our science must flow with the inherent change in neuroplasticity.



Abiola, O. O., & Dhindsa, H. S. (2012). Improving classroom practices using our knowledge of how the brain works. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 7(1), 71-81.

Gage, F. H. (2004). Structural plasticity of the adult brain. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience,6(2), 135.

Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York, NY: Pearson.


Perspectives in Instructional Design: A Synthesis of learnings

In this blog, I will be reviewing published works on the following topics:

  •  Problem-solving methods during learning
  •   Information processing theory
  •   The brain & learning.

The review of these topics will be done by referencing two to three publications.

As early as 1983, just before the advent of fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging)- about 1990, Dr. Norman Frederiksen published his work on cognitive theory and instructional problem solving. (Frederiksen, 1983). His article explored two pathways of application:

1)      How problem-solving skills may be taught

2)      The acquisition process: problem-solving skills.

His article further discusses a need for the generation of practice materials, how they may be structured, and finally considers opportunities for further study. Referencing the previous 25 years, Frederiksen claimed that Cognitive Scientists tried to define the psychological basis of problem-solving in chess, math etc. Concluding that this was the genesis of an information processing theory. However, he goes on to suggest the practical applications of this theory to teaching and learning.

According to Dr. Jeanne Ormrod, Professor Emerita of Psychological Sciences, University of Northern Colorado, there are three processes involved in learner problem solving.

  •  Encode the problem in a language that clearly defines the problem.
  •   Learning and being able to retrieve what is learned
  •   Metacognition: thinking about how one is thinking or learning.

Dr. Ormrod further suggests that these strategies can best be taught in an online setting where the bonus is that the learners learn how to learn.

Superimposing the pathways of application suggested by Frederiksen with the Metacognitive skills proposed by Ormrod, we have an incentive for an intelligence-stimulating Instructional design.

Another published work under review in this blog is one by Dalgarno, Kennedy & Bennett (2010) titled

Can Functional Brain Imaging Be Used to Explore Interactivity and Cognition in Multimedia Learning Environments?

The writers refer to a further level of cognitive analysis by neuroscience. Utilizing fMRI to compare brain activity mapping between individuals with syndromes such as autism to the scans of individuals without any comparative handicaps. This will help create a database of indices that may help the design of learning for the handicapped or groups with mixed populations.

According to Richard Mayer, of the University of California, Santa Barbara, the cognitive processes in humans have best been studied in comparison to Lab rats as standards. (Mayer,1996). Advocating research in real world settings, Meyer suggests cognitive psychology studies of humans as information processors. Since the human population is varied and undergoing globalization as well, we may be looking at a globalized study with set control points based on regional or local variations. The incentives for designing the framework could be cross-interpretation of languages or cultural differences.

All-in-all, it seems that the fields of Cognitive psychology and neuroscientific research are going to open some sluice gates on the practice of Instructional design before the turn of the next century. Will this match or herald a new level of Intelligent Instructional Design?


Dalgarno, B., Kennedy, G., & Bennett, S. (2010). Can functional brain imaging be used to explore interactivity and cognition in multimedia learning environments? Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 21(3), 317-342. (Accessed at LearnTechLib via Walden Library)

Frederiksen, N. (1983). Implications of cognitive theory for instruction in problem-solving. ETS Research Report Series, 1983(1), 363-407.

Mayer, R. E. (1996). Learners as information processors: Legacies and limitations of educational psychology’s second metaphor. Educational psychologist, 31(3-4), 151-161. (Accessed in Walden Library through Google Scholar).

Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York, NY: Pearson.






Intelligent Design:The Brain Connection


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Instructional Design is a scientific and research-based approach to incorporating proven theoretical methods into practical scaffolds of pedagogy. Brain research has intensified over the years, and findings have started to  a more unified design philosophy. This trend is seen everywhere, but more intensly in the growth and depth of literature on Instructional design applications. The message of the times is in the transformational need for all Instructional Designers. The environment is changing, the scenarios are changing and as always ‘Change is the only constant’. Speaking of change, I upgraded my Blog hosting, so I am providing this link to my old page, for those who missed it:

In this week’s blog, I want to address the inherent dynamism in design, by which the mindsets of Instructional Designers have to remain flexible.      Writing a blog is a continuous building exercise which brings everything under the ‘hood’ & into a seemless synergy. I have not been doing enough writing, but I have started to see the benefits as I crank up my scripts. Blogging virtually allows all the theory to be mixed with the spice of good research, while being served on plates of best practice and observation.

So, who are the Customers of intelligent instructional design? This interactive group includes Educators, Organizational Leaders, Students, Lifelong learners and Researchers. Is their satisfaction measurable? The answer is ‘Yes’! This is why Intelligent Instructional Design measures and assesses clear and trackable indices. One of such indices is ‘findability’ in online courses.

I will be writing on findability next week. So, please subscribe to this blog, and a notice of publication will be sent to your inbox. I look forward to your comments on this week’s blog. Adieu