Readings: E-Learning, Chapter 2


Reminder: Click Reply, Don’t reply-as-linked-topic

Explanation: Unlike the challenges, in which your work is different from everyone else’s, here we are all talking about the same thing, so we want the conversation all in one place. If you get it wrong, flag your post and I’ll move it over here.

NOTE: That “want to see some questions” hidden text down there has the author’s quiz questions. You can answer them if you want and compare your answer to other people (if they answer them too). When I answered them all (without actually reading the text, mind you), I got nearly all of them right; I think that means that they are pretty decent questions as multiple-choice questions go. This is not a claim about how “smart” I am. I was in grad school at Vanderbilt for 8 years and have been reading in this field since 1995. If I don’t know the answers, they probably aren’t good questions. It was the fact that I knew most of the answers that persuaded me that this might be a good book for the course in the first place. I think that the poll feature has a mechanism for indicating the right answer. Maybe I’ll figure that out for the next chapter.

What to do:

Read the Chapter. Write your response by Thursday. Reply to at least 2 people’s posts. Maybe :heart: a few that seem interesting, provocative, or that you agree with. At least one of your responses should be written after Thursday when everyone has had a chance to post. Ideally, you’ll participate on at least three different days.

What to Look for

Pay careful attention to the three Metaphors of Learning (p. 34). Were I to write this chapter, I would likely instead write about different epistemologies. Something like this:

| Epistemology          | Notion of  Knowledge              | Teacher's Role        |
| Empiricism            | derived from sense-experience     | Information Delivery  |
| Constructivism        | constructed in our brains         | help make connections |
| Social Constructivism | knowledge is socially constructed | manage communities    |

Instructional designers mostly work from an information delivery model. For them, the metaphor of opening up people’s brains and pouring in the knowledge makes sense. For others, knowledge is constructed in each person’s brain; taken to its extreme of radical constructivism, there can be no such thing as "shared knowledge." Another view is that all knowledge is socially constructed; for them, knowledge lives in communities. A next step is a set of Post-human philosophies that give agency not only to people, but also the things they interact with.

What is teaching to you? How can you tell if someone has learned?

Want to see some questions about the chapter? Click here. ## CHAPTER 2: How Do People Learn from e-Courses?

2.1 An e-lesson that uses audio to explain an animation is based on which of the following cognitive science principles?

  1. Dual channels
  • Encoding specificity
  • Active processing
  • Transfer of learning

0 voters

2.2. An arrow used to draw the eye to an important part of a graphic most directly supports which cognitive process:

  1. Selecting
  • Organizing
  • Integrating
  • Split Attention

0 voters

2.3. A review exercise presented at the beginning of a lesson helps learners bring prior knowledge into working memory. Which cognitive process is supported?

  1. Selecting
  • Organizing
  • Integrating
  • Encoding specificity

0 voters

2.4 Active learning processes take place primarily in:

  1. Sensory memory
  • Working memory
  • Long-term memory
  • Metacognitive memory

0 voters

2.5. An instructional metaphor of the learner as a sponge absorbing information poured out by the lesson reflects which view of learning:

  1. Response strengthening
  • Information acquisition
  • Knowledge construction
  • Cognitive processing

0 voters

2.6. The analogy of sticks and carrots to promote learning reflects which view of learning:

  1. Response strengthening
  • Information acquisition
  • Knowledge construction D. Cognitive processing

0 voters

2.7. Cognitive overload is based on which cognitive science principle?

  1. Dual channels
  • Limited capacity C. Active processing D. Transfer

0 voters

2.8 The ability to apply new skills learned in training to the workplace environment will primarily result from instructional methods designed to:

  1. Direct selection of important information
  • Manage limited capacity in working memory
  • Support integration of words and pictures
  • Encourage retrieval and transfer

0 voters

Other Readings

[Where Is the Mind? Constructivist and Sociocultural Perspectives on Mathematical Development]("from JSTOR") (Paul Cobb, 1994) DOI:10.3102/0013189X023007004 Strangely, the PDF from the publisher (the DOI link) is a worse copy than JSTOR’s.


Continuing the discussion from Readings: E-Learning, Chapter 2:

##Teaching Teaching is any human activity that manipulates acquired knowledge through prior experiences in the environment generating new behaviors, thought processes, and experiences; or actions known as learning.


Learning occurs when the learner demonstrates signs cognitive processing by demonstrating, explaining, or constructing concepts or models.

A Teacher

A teacher is someone who helps students acquire skills by teaching concepts in different ways, while providing practice, feedback, and opportunities to applied acquired processes to new situations to construct new knowledge.


From a psychological view, learning is a permanent change in behavior that can be presented as skills, knowledge, or attitude. This is why when a learning outcome or goal is written there are three basic parts: behavior, criteria, and condition. who can tell that I’ve been studying for my comps?

Clark and Mayer (2011) seem to be positing learning from a constructivist position. Constructivist believe that people construct knowledge through their senses and experiences. I think they believe in this philosophy because they focus on it (pg. 35).

Personally, I believe that teaching is sharing information with someone else or demonstrating a skill. I have taught for the past six years in high school and middle school. For me, teaching has been about sharing information the students need to grow as people and be successful in the world. I think that @pfaffman is doing the same thing for us. He is sharing knowledge and skills with us that will advance us in the workplace or in our chosen profession.

Being able to see that someone has learned something goes back to the learning objective. The instructor needs to see that the student can show the desired behavior to a particular standard of success. Today in class, I was discussing the difference between a compound sentence and a compound verb. At the end of the mini lesson, I asked the students to write their own compound sentence. If they were able to write the sentence using a comma and a coordinating conjunction, I knew that they understood what a compound sentence was. I made a student cry :unamused: because she did not know if she had written the sentence correctly. By writing an example, the students demonstrated the skill to me. I could tell that they learned what a compound sentence was because they used the highest level of brain engagement (Gagne’s cognitive or Bloom’s synthesis level of learning) by creating their own example.


That’s horrible. That’s how I feel when people say they can’t tell if they did it right.


It was good to read about too much extraneous processing when discussing different techniques of online learning. I have seen plenty of e-learning modules that cram as much information (text, flashy graphics, movies, diagrams, gifs…) as possible to “utilize” the space/time allowed. All of these unessential “bling” (non-relevant instructional material) have an effect on cognitive load. There is a happy medium utilizing technologies to provide information that integrate ideas from working memory to long-term memory without overdoing it. It’s important for us to realize this limited capacity by removing all the non-essential content to allow substantial cognitive processing – Active processing (Clark & Mayer, 2011).

###What is teaching to you? How can you tell if someone has learned?

I have operated professionally as an instructor for many years, and my idea of what an instructor is has evolved over those years. This view is effected by what and who you instruct. My current view as an instructor/teacher of professional adults is not to make an individual learn the material. That is the responsibility of the recipient/student. My role is to provide experience and knowledge (guidance) and more importantly to provide real-time feedback to facilitate learning. If there is no motivation to learn, it becomes very difficult to manage and hinders learning.

I agree with @sjmasline that a behavioral shift tied to the learning objective is proof of learning. Being able to relate topics that have been covered/discussed to real world examples shows evidence of committing those ideas to long-term memory. As a pilot, we have Emergency Procedures committed to memory. If A happens you need to conduct X, Y, and Z to ensure survivability. But if A happens to be a hydraulic leak (hydraulics power the flight controls), I need to be able to maintain aircraft control after completing X, Y, and Z. As an instructor pilot, I expect student pilots to have immediate behavior, if there is a hydraulic leak they perform X, Y, and Z. I then hope they can tie in the additional learning they have completed about the hydraulic system to analyze where the leak is and if securing the primary hydraulic system will provide more of less control of the aircraft. That is the behavior shift I expect/want to see and verifies learning has been successful.

Clark, R., & Mayer, R. (2011). E-Learning and the science of instruction (Third ed). San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer


I agree! I think motivation is important for many things, especially when it comes to learning. I feel that feedback plays a big factor for motivating learners. Sogunro (2015) stated that the effect of learning and motivation is greater when the feedback is timely. I would agree with this. The faster I get feedback, the more involved and motivated I am to do a project or assignment.

###Reference Sogunro, O. A. (2015). Motivating Factors for Adult Learners in Higher Education. International Journal Of Higher Education, 4(1), 22-37.

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I applaud you for including a reference to an article.

For completeness sake, you should have added a link like this to your citation: doi: 10.5430/ijhe.v4n1p22





to be more DOIy.

But, really, you should never look at that “Journal” again.

The Full Story

Though I consider providing a full reference to the textbook superfluous (if anyone should include a full reference to the textbook here, it would be the person who started the topic), I do appreciate citations. I claim not to care much about APA formatting styles, but I am a big fan of including links wherever possible. Those APA people really want you to include a DOI link if there is one, and some other kind of web link if there’s not. It’s a good bet that you found the article online, so that request isn’t entirely unreasonable.

I was going to add a link to this article. I selected the title and clicked on the Google Scholar button (that you will install soon). Google found the article and provided a link it. When I got there, though, it looked a little fishy. I didn’t recognize the publisher, and something about their logo looked bogus. I think it was the (R).

A quick search of found this page:

Another clue is that in education and the humanities, reputable journals do not charge author fees (that also raised my suspicion).

This is a growing problem, fueled by many non-US institutions requiring unreasonable amounts of publishing.

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I added this to the FAQ category:


@nrhudson It seems that you are thinking like a constructivist. You are the “guide on the side.”

Would you say that this is far transfer? I was thinking about prior knowledge and transfer. What skills would you think are entry level? Do they have to already know what to do in the case of a the hydraulic leak? Would your learning objective be to know how to handle the leak or keep the bird in the air?

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When I think of teaching and learning, I reference my own experiences from perspectives as a teacher and as a learner. I have been in various teaching roles throughout my life specifically as a parent, as a therapist, and as a professional. I can readily identify the three metaphors of learning as listed in our textbook, as underlying learning beliefs that I allowed to shape my instructional plan in these roles. When teaching in my role as a parent or as a therapist, I was generally working with my child or client individually which easily allowed me to use teaching strategies based upon the learning metaphor of knowledge construction often paired with response strengthening. Teaching yoga is definitely grounded in the knowledge construction metaphor as the teacher is a guide with focus being on the yoga learner to connect with both the physical and spiritual aspects of the pose. The minor adjustments (yoga teacher manually guided students into proper alignment) sometimes needed are response strengthening examples of learning but necessary to prevent injury.

###To me, teaching is imparting knowledge in a positive, meaningful, and memorable format.

As a therapist, we use data collection as a tool to determine if the client learned the goal in the session (Near Transfer) and caregiver report to determine if carry-over has occurred (Far Transfer). As a yoga instructor working with a beginners, I can tell when a sequence is learned by observing the ease of transition from pose to pose with stability and confidence. As well as, the decrease in adjustments the individual needs. Also, yoga students often report their progress of their practice or acquisition of a pose.

###I believe learning is evidenced in the consistent demonstration of the desired behavior/outcome.

Clark, R., & Mayer, R. (2011). E-Learning and the science of instruction (Third ed). San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer


I found the article through USA’s Marx Library actually. So, I figured it would be ok for me to use.


Yeah, you’d think that.

Oh. Wow. Well, they managed to get ERIC and EBSCO to index it. That means that (if that’s where you found it):

  1. You should have included this link:
  2. I am increasingly concerned about how hard it is to tell the legitimacy of an article, and
  3. I trust ERIC even less than before. Ditto EBSCO. This is troubling.
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Lots of people would say that. However, I think that it is important not to conflate one’s epistemology (e.g., constructivism) with teaching methods. Whether you think that people construct knowledge in their heads (like constructivists), that you can just pour it in (like behaviorists), or it exists only in community (like e.g., social constructivists) doesn’t necessarily change your belief in how to teach. Behaviorists (and cognitive psychology) all agree that the immediacy of feedback has a big impact on learning.


@pfaffman I will be sure to include the link next time. [quote=“pfaffman, post:12, topic:2279”] That means that (if that’s where you found it): [/quote]

Yes, I really found it there through the Marx library thinking I could get a good source! Obviously not :fearful:


Judging from how much I find myself having conversations like this one, I am more picky about providing such links than most people are.

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###What is teaching? How can I tell if someone has learned?

My definition of student and teacher roles has evolved with age and experience. Many years ago, I believed that an effective teacher was one who could explain a concept in a manner that most understood. A good student was one who could excel in passing whatever test was offered for a grade. A good student had to know how to take different types of tests based on the prep provided by the teacher.

With more life experience, I began to notice that at times, those who passed the test could not always demonstrate knowledge or perform the skill covered in class. There was no long term memory. Now, I consider the role of the teacher to be very different. A teacher has the ability to influence knowledge, perspective and social community. The teacher offers a bridge to change. A student is one who actively participates in learning. Someone has learned when they can explain in their own words the why or how of a concept, though at times (with adult learners) all I need them to do is tell me the correct steps in the correct order. Learning is expressed when knowledge is demonstrated. In healthcare, the goal is often improved outcome.

My daily job is in an e-learning environment. My role is information delivery and community management. I do believe that learning is building a mental representation and often describe to others how to file information in their mind by building charts to learn new relationships. I most closely align with the knowledge-construction view of active sense makers.


What are comps (for all of the non-teachers in the room :wink:)?


@M_McCoy Comps are the comprehensive oral exam you take at the completion of your IDD Master’s program. It is an interview where three faculty members question you about what you have learned during your course of study. It is a really big deal because if you do not pass, you cannot graduate.

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To those outside of the profession, they do not realize the many factors that make up the very complicated profession of teaching. I have always approached teaching as an opportunity to allow children to explore the world we live in. I taught in a self-contained third grade classroom, so I taught it all (math, reading, science, social studies, writing, social skills, etc.). I found the more I centered my instruction around the students; the better the outcome.

As a teacher, I want to provide students with opportunities to ask questions and explore interesting ideas and relationships in our world. That is the first aspect of teaching is purposeful planning. I knew that I had to be prepared to engage my students in tasks that made them want to learn more and challenge their minds.

Next, I had to be sure to facilitate student learning in a social environment. That is the second aspect of teaching is **active facilitator of learning.**I believe that students learn best in a social constructivist environment. Students work together to achieve a common goal or lesson objective. This does not mean that students did not reach different levels, because the carefully selected task allowed for differentiated levels.

The third aspect of teaching is formative assessment. This also begins to answer the question, “How can you tell if someone is learning?” As the teacher, I have to know what my students are thinking and doing while they are working. If I’m not monitoring progress, students can easily fall behind without me realizing it. Let’s consider the third grade classroom that I was in today. The students were learning about the distributive property of multiplication using an area model. In monitoring student work, I could see that many of the students could “do the procedure,” but when I asked questions that pushed on why they were dividing the rectangle into parts or how they decided to divide the shape, the answer was “I just guessed” or “I just picked somewhere to split it.” I took this opportunity to bring the group together to discuss more about why this skill is important. Students shared what facts that give them trouble. I had the kids consider the different ways I could split up the fact that I loathed as a child 6 x 7. I’m sure someone out there can relate! Students shared different ideas, and we were able to explore the different possibilities. Then, students could synthesize about which way they would split the fact and why (usually based on the facts they are successful with). Today, I saw again why being a quality questioner during learning opportunities allows for greater student achievement in the classroom.

Clark and Mayer (2012) wrote “Learning is a change in the learner’s knowledge due to experience.” To continue the thought on how a teacher can tell if someone has learned something, I would like to consider a few ways I have measured this change. First, a teacher can use an engage to a lesson that gauges the knowledge that students are bringing to the table, and it also helps students connect concepts. Secondly, a teacher can monitor students while they are working. Sometimes this can be difficult when students are working in groups. I believe in students working in pairs and small groups, because it creates a larger amount of shared knowledge and improves social skills and collaborative behaviors. I think this hits home with me, because learning to be a good collaborator was pretty hard as an adult! A teacher can hear in the words of a student what their current level of understanding is even if they are in a group. I also liked to allow a brief period of time for students to work individually right after being given a task. This allowed a quick check for me to see who I needed to focus on in group discussions for differentiation (both high and low). Once students enter groups, you can be sure to check on the progress towards the learning objectives of the identified children. Another method of assessing student learning was the use of short exit tickets that were focused around a central idea for the day. This allowed for a quick sort of what students are struggling with and what students are ready to move forward. This also gives me feedback about my task selection and instruction for the day. Ultimately, a student truly understands a topic if they can apply their learning in a non-routine problem or situation. For example, students can learn how generalizing can cause stereotypes. If they can apply this new concept to today’s society, that would show they understand the reprucutions of over-generalizing.

Teaching and learning is definitely an intertwined relationship. I have seen where good teaching promotes great success in students, but I have also seen the behaviors of students cause a teacher to change and improve. I believe with today’s society, teachers are working with a new product when it comes to students. We have to be sure that we are doing our part to promote engaging learning to happen!

Clark, R. C. C. and Mayer, R. E. (2007) E-learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning. 2nd edn. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc.,U.S.


###What is teaching to me? I view teaching from the perspective of being a student, career advisor, parent and learner myself, but not as a formal classroom instructor. I take the responsibility of instructing others whether informally or formally as a serious issue and not to be taken lightly. Information is powerful and giving the wrong information or instruction can be misleading and difficult to unlearn. Whether you are showing your child how to tie their shoes or advising a student on strategies to strengthen their resume the information you are conveying needs to be understandable, relatable, and allow the learner to give feedback in order to tweak instruction as needed.

Another ingredient I believe is important to teaching is demonstrating that learning is an on-going life-long process. Instructors, teachers, advisors, or anyone in a leadership role serves as role model and the most effective instructors are the ones that can make the enjoyment of learning infectious.

###How can you tell if someone has learned? I know for myself, I need feedback to make sure the concept or instruction has been understood. In advising appointments I like to ask questions to ensure that the student understands. Another way is to have the student explain it back to you in their own words.