Osborne_LTEC 6010_Summative Reflection Blog

Assignment:

Write a concluding reflection about what you learned over the course of the semester and what you feel you need more work to understand. Where will you go next? This goes in the Summative Reflection blog.

 

Results:

In the beginning of the course when much of the textbook reading was difficult to comprehend, I did get some insight into epistemology and behaviorism concepts. The one thing that really stood out for me was ‘common sense theory”, covered in Chapter 3 of the textbook (Rosenberg, 2016). Now that makes sense to me – pardon the pun.

I felt handicapped throughout the course when it came to reading and understanding much of the content of the textbook. I know that it’s important with respect to the academics of social sciences, but I felt that I could not connect with the content. Is there a Philosophy of Social Science – Book for Dummies out there? Enough said here.

I did get some insight into the major and minor argument assignments for this course. I think we (classmates) would have benefitted from more work and analysis of these assignments. I confess that my approach to matters is practical and if I can’t make sense of the issue/content I feel lost and that I can’t contribute to the discussion. I think that my recommendation for improving the course and other courses is to focus on tools and templates that enable us as graduate students to work through a given frame work to complete a research study. Don’t get me wrong, the underpinnings are important, but I think that providing some standardized tools helps us to focus on the content and not the process.

I think that since I’m in an engineering career field, I have a specific approach to learning and knowledge capture. When I teach, I take a constructivist approach to the subject matter. I present the instructional content in a systematic linear manner, building concept upon concept. This may be exclusive to my focus on engineering concepts where mathematics and physical sciences are the focus of all of my efforts.

 

Reference

Rosenberg, A, (2016). Philosophy of Social Science, Westview Press, Boulder Colorado

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Osborne_LTEC 6010_Wk12_Blog

Assignment:

Are there any aspects of critical and cultural theory that especially interest you as a budding researcher? Why or why not?

 

Results:

The response to this issue is difficult for me in that I struggled with the reading. When reading Chapter 12 – Theories of Cultural Evolution, the author discusses the need for “Darwinism if we are to give any functional explanation of human behavior” (Rosenberg, 2016, p. 235). This notion makes my head spin. In my academic pursuits I have not been exposed to any studies in philosophy until this course. I would find it hard to begin to defend or support any of the philosophical positions or theories. At this juncture in my academic studies, I don’t feel a need to focus on these studies. However, I do have issues with agreeing on any stance that supports Marxist or Darwin theories. I guess that if I have time and an interest in researching these topics then I can begin to study the pros and cons of different philosophies.

In the textbook there is a discussion where the author states “some philosophers and biologists have generally concluded that there are really no further laws in biology beyond the three very broad principles of the theory of natural selection: there are hereditary traits; there are variations in hereditary traits; and there are differences in the fitness among these variants to their environments” (Rosenberg, 2016, p. 252). I agree this the assertion that there are “some philosophers and biologists that have concluded” (Rosenberg, 2016, p. 252). It’s good that the author didn’t saw off the tree from the limb he was standing on. I can’t come to agree with the notion of ‘natural selection’. The philosophical position of evolution is not tenable in that real physical science does not support these theories/claims. The supporting knowledge and facts of my beliefs and position can’t be defined in this blog and it is beyond the scope of this course, but man is not the center of all things.

 

Reference

Rosenberg, A, (2016). Philosophy of Social Science, Westview Press, Boulder Colorado

Osborne_LTEC 6010_Wk11_Blog

Assignment:

Start by answering the following question: Is there such a thing as a social “science?”

Why or why not? What are the goals of a science? What does it mean to know? After reading all this philosophy mumbo jumbo, how do you feel about social research and our ability to understand and know the minds of others?

Based on this, how effective do you believe our systems for designing instruction and assessing learning can be, given the cognitive differences among humans.

 

Response:

I checked the test required for the course and found that the first part of Chapter 1 started the discussion related to the question of Social Science. I was somewhat startled to see the statement that philosophers and philosophy don’t agree on the definition of their subject (Rosenberg, 2016, p. 1). To answer the first question, there is such a thing called social science, although after reading the first chapter of the book left me with uncertainty – like trying to nail jello to the wall.

I had a hard time working through each chapter of the textbook. I have not had a course in philosophy so much of the content of the book was hard to grasp. I had to read and re-read sections just to get a glimmer of what the author was communicating. I did get in some good short naps😊.  I think that some preparation in earlier course work, taking a philosophy course would have been beneficial.

It is a good thing to have some of the controls and structure that science offers. Science can provide the boundaries necessary to not wander in different directions.  Think that is why I am comfortable with the field of engineering. One can’t get too far off track before there is a real problem that needs to be addressed.

I think that the answer to the last question rests with developing standardized processes that serve as guidance when developing instructional designs and assessing the learning outcomes. The course that I took as part of my Master’s degree that focused on course delivery and outcome effectiveness should be required for instructional designers. I think that we didn’t go far enough to address these issues. In addition this course would serve to establish a standardized process tool for assessing learning outcomes.

 

Reference

Rosenberg, A, (2016). Philosophy of Social Science, Westview Press, Boulder Colorado

Osborne_LTEC 6010_Wk9_Blog

Assignment:

How much can theory and research explain about what happens in a learning experience?

 

Response:

Theory and research can play a pivotal role in the explaining and impacting learning experiences. Additionally, one’s current level of knowledge and life’s experiences can have a significant impact on learning. Stephen Brookfield in his article entitled “Critical theory and transformative learning”, provides some insight into how theory and research impact one’s learning experiences (Brookfield, 2018).  The critical study of theory supported by effective research is transformational with respect to one’s learning experiences. The full understanding of critical theory can be used to transform its associative learning to bring about change within the social and political environment. This transformation can be supportive of ‘progressive’ or ‘conservative’ ideologies (Brookfield, 2018). In my opinion, depending on one’s political and social perspective, may in many ways influence their approach and delivery of informational content. This is an issue in many public schools (K-12, colleges and universities), as evidenced by the pervasive influence of social justice philosophies that narrow open and respectful discourse.

Developing a deep understanding of theory does take time, research, and study. Based on my observation, those learners that have not had the experience of accomplishing a full comparative study of the many theories, are at a disadvantage to articulate their ‘worldview’. The outcomes of student learning experiences can be influenced by the philosophical approach and bent of the instructor. Issues of personal worldviews should give way to comparative philosophical analysis that allows the learner to develop and articulate their worldview.

The study of theory application(s) provides further insights into the reliability of research suppositions and conclusions. There are still many avenues of theoretical research that is understudied or unresolved. Research in the social sciences is challenging in that each individual is wholly unique which makes it difficult to narrow results and draw conclusions related to learning experiences.

 

 

Reference

Brookfield, S., (2018). Critical theory and transformative learning. In Brockett, R. G., & Hiemstra, R. (Eds.), Self-direction in adult learning: Perspectives on theory, research and practice. San Francisco, CA, Wiley

Osborne_LTEC 6010_Wk8_Blog

Assignment:

Where do you think one’s identity really comes from? How much of an impact does it have on teaching and learning? Why? What examples can you give? Explain.

 

Response:

A person’s identity is based on the sum total of their experiences and decisions primarily on their past but potential future events can have an impact.  These experiences and decisions throughout one’s life provides the catalyst of one’s identity. There are four elements necessary to assess one’s identity (Van der Kooij, et al., 2013, p. 210): existential questions, moral values, influence in people’s acting and thinking, and providing meaning in life. One’s personal identity or worldview has both secular and spiritual implications.

With respect to teaching and learning, one’s personal identity will impact both of these elements. If a learner has been an underachieving student where they have been exposed to poor instruction and an equal poor home life, it would not be surprising that they in turn are an under achieving student. On the flip side, if an instructor or instructional designer has not been properly trained in this career field, there is an expectation that the outcome(s) of their work may not support the objectives of the course. This notion is true if there are no measurable outcome objectives to determine the effectiveness of the course design.

With respect to the discussion related to one’s personal identity, whether discussing the learner or the instructor, both individual types will demonstrate their skills, or lack thereof based on who they are internally and externally. There are root causes associated with the student and instructor alike that can provide an explanation of their performance. This is true whether the results are of high performance or low performance. Hence, improved home life and schooling can have a significant impact on one’s life.

 

Reference

Van der Kooij, J., de Ruyter, D., & Miedema, S., (2013) “Worldview”: The meaning of the concept and the impact on religious education. Religious Education, 108(2), 210-228.

Osborne_LTEC 6010_Act 2_Blog

Assignment:

Report back to me on the learning activities you created and experienced. How hard is it to spur critical thinking? Were there any issues in terms of say, wanting there to be one correct answer? Post a link to this blog post in Activity 2.

Besides what it asks for the blog, I want you to think about all the components of the technology challenges the communication work, social negotiation, and technology affordances you experienced with the activity. Also, think about how you would explain how you learned from the experience and what you learned during the process that may not have been intended.

Response:

The discussion/exercise was interesting, yet demanding to meet the time limits. After introducing ourselves we started to ask each other about what we would do to address the assignment.  Since we couldn’t identify a topic, I suggested creating an instruction design related to how someone would jump-start a dead battery since several of us had recently experienced this issue.

We discussed how we would go about creating the design and learning outcomes of the course for this assignment. Each of us gave our inputs and as a team we were able to address each of the five elements of the assignment. It was beneficial in that each of us had experienced this situation or were exposed to this issue in our lives. I thought the course subject matter was applicable because of the current weather issues and we are going from Fall to Winter this semester. I must confess that when I was teaching electronics courses at a local college, I taught the proper way to jump start a car with a dead battery. I taught this process so that when one of my students encountered this situation, they could safely perform this this process without hurting themselves or the car.

We determined that the theoretical framework for this instructional design was constructivist theory. This theory has the learner subjectively constructs their own representations of their objective reality. They take the current new information and link it to what they already know “thus mental representations are subjective” (David, 2015, p. 1). So the learner is constantly comparing and constructing the current presented information with what they already know.

The amount of information and subjective constructed is dependent on the learner’s internal assessment of the interest and need of the information. If the learner does not own a car and is not interested in knowing about or wanting a car, their subjective construction will be very low. However, most individuals drive or ride in cars so this topic will elicit some interests. The interest would increase when the learner is not certain about the proper process of jump starting a car’s dead battery.

Once we agreed on this topic we were able to construct the learning goals and set of instruction for the learner.  The set of instructions are listed in a linear format to provide a step-by-step process for the learner. This linear instruction reduces the confusion of this process by focusing one element of the task at a time. The course content provides a linear process that the learner can have access to a copy in the event they may need to perform this task.

The recommendations for the use of technologies for the learner would be to use the many resources for this subject on YouTube. This course instruction can include a short YouTube video link as part of the course content. The post-instruction assessment would consist of having the learner perform this process in front of the instructor via F2F or using FaceTime.

The technology challenges for this course design would be low in that the instructional designer can create a video that can be uploaded to YouTube for the learner. The video can contain additional hints and content, providing more in-depth information, that would not be included in the linear text instruction. This activity afforded our group the opportunity to exchange information that identified additional ideas to improve the course content that would not have been possible if this task was preformed by just one of us.

 

 

 

Reference

David, L., (2015) Constructivism. Learning Theories. Retrieved from: https://www.learning-theories.com/constructivism.html

Osborne_LTEC 6010_Wk4_Blog

Assignment:

How do you feel about the concepts of theory and philosophy we have approached so far? Do you feel a bit more immersed in the types of thinking a PhD is expected to do? How have you translated some of that thinking into your arguments both written and oral in class? Has there been any shift in your expectations about what a PhD does vs. an MS or other applied degree?

Response:

I have found that to discussion of theory and philosophy is difficult for me to fully understand. I tend to get lost in either the high-level concepts and the lack of examples that allow for an opportunity to discover a broad view. I tend to lose the significance of the mental activity of processing a theory or philosophical concept when I can’t relate it to the focused areas or concerns of my life.

The concept of a theory is that it is a “supposition or a system of ideas that is intended to explain something and can be usually proven with empirical evidence” (Hasa, 2016, p. 1). There are differences between scientific and philosophical theories. As noted, scientific theory is backed up with empirical evidence and philosophical theory may not have empirical evidence (Hasa, 2016).

The concept of philosophy is the “study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence and it consists of various sub-disciplines such as logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology” (Hasa, 2016, p. 1). In the absence of empirical data to support philosophical conventions there are many challenges to providing supporting evidence to support these questions.

I think that I would need more insight and research into the specifics of philosophy and theory. I attempted to take a philosophy course as an under graduate, but the course content was overwhelming and I ended up dropping the course. Since the focus of my PhD degree is primarily dealing with adult education issues related to the development of skills for use in industry, I think that much of my research will have associated empirical data results.

The expectations related to developing the understanding and use of theory and philosophical concepts is different somewhat for a MS degree versus a PhD degree. From an academic standpoint there would be a higher demand to address these concepts especially when doing research and publishing these findings. I hope that these concepts can be developed as part of this course. If I can study several examples of what’s acceptable versus what is un-acceptable this will be very beneficial in expanding my understanding of the concepts. In some of my conversations with other classmates they are also concerned that they need additional help with understanding these concepts.

 

Reference

Hasa, (2016). Difference Between Philosophy and Theory