Learning theories are found in online courses through the programs instructors choose to use to deliver them as well as in the instructors beliefs. Many tools that an instructor can decide to use can be adjusted to fit the instructors own learning theories. As Moore and Kearsley (2012) wrote, “If an online course is being delivered via a Learning Management System (LMS), such as Blackboard or Moodle, the content can be designed using the editing capabilities of this system. The system provides a structure for the creation of the course materials, and the instructors decide which of the options provided they want to use”. In my opinion, it really depends on the instructor on whether multiple learning theories will be used in the online courses they teach and how they will use the behaviorism, cognitive, and constructivist learning theories.
“A behavioristic approach focuses on guiding learners reach pre-established learning outcomes. Learning is considered to take place when learners manage to reach these expected outcomes designed to meet the learning objectives of the eLearning course” (Keramida, 2015). With behaviorism, learners should focus on the expected outcomes while learning. At the end of the lesson, they should analyze their learning and decide if they met the expected outcomes.
“Cognitive psychology claims that learning involves the use of memory, motivation, and thinking, and that reflection plays an important part in learning. They see learning as an internal process and contend that the amount learned depends on the processing capacity of the learner, the amount of effort expended during the learning process, the depth of the processing, and the learner’s existing knowledge structure” (Alzaghoul, 2012). Much of distance learning is cognitive because the learner needs to be motivated to complete each lesson and the course. He or she is responsible for his or her own learning and therefore must reflect on his or her own learning. It is important to think through readings and make meaningful connections to it.
“Constructivists see learners as being active rather than passive. Knowledge is not received from the outside or from someone else; rather, it is the individual learner’s interpretation and processing of what is received through the senses that creates knowledge. The learner is the center of the learning, with the instructor playing an advising and facilitating role” (Ally, 2004). I feel like this is the foundation of our courses with Lee because she wants and expects us to take an active role in our own learning and the learning of our classmates. Of course, we cannot do that without the cognitive (where we read the material and make sense of it) and behavior (achieving the expected outcomes each week).
Ally, M. (2004). Foundations of Educational Theory For Online Learning. Retrieved September 15, 2016, from Athabasca University: http://cde.athabascau.ca/online_book/ch1.html
Alzaghoul, A. F. (2012, April). The Implication of the Learning Theories on Implementing E-Learning Courses. Retrieved September 15, 2016, from The Research Bulletin of Jordan ACM: http://ijj.acm.org/volumes/volume2/issue2/ijjvol2no5.pdf
Keramida, M. (2015, May 28). Behaviorism In Instructional Design For eLearning: When And How To Use. Retrieved September 15, 2016, from eLearning Industry: https://elearningindustry.com/behaviorism-in-instructional-design-for-elearning-when-and-how-to-use
Moore, M., & Kearsley, G. (2012). Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.