Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fitting the Pieces Together

  • Now that you have a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles, how has your view on how you learn changed?
I at this moment in time realize that I am a learner based on the Adult learning. Now more than Ever I am always looking for avenues for education. Since I have taken up military service, I have had the means to attend school and further my leanings. I do this because ultimately, there is an end to every chapter in life. I am nearing the end of my Army story. It ends with lots of training and at the minimum, a Master’s degree. Few who serve can claim this achievement, and I am proud that I had the foresight to pursue this. As an adult learner, I have my motivations and desires for learning.

     In taking the online courses so far, I feel that I have learned a bit more by being able to connect with others. The learning by Connectivism has allowed me to learn by closely connecting with the ideas and thoughts of other people online.
  • What have you learned about the various learning theories and learning styles over the past weeks that can further explain your own personal learning preferences?
Since I only attend school online including my undergraduate program, I am more inclined to be a Connectivism learner. Connectivism has had a new impact on my learning. I have learned by connecting through people I do not even know. However, when we all attend class, we come together to synergize thoughts and ideas. This is a new way to learn for me, and I think it better suits my introverted personality. Online, I can express my opinion and not fear the impersonal smirk or snide remarks that might create a chaotic atmosphere in a regular class. In connectivism learning, this is welcomely absent.
  • What role does technology play in your learning (i.e., as a way to search for information, to record information, to create, etc.)?
Technology has helped me to do more research and uncovering ways to reach out when doing written assignments. For example, this course relies heavily on the written assignment. When I get into each discussion, I have to evaluate the depth of each question. When I start I begin at the simplest levels on the search engines on the internet. The information on the internet that is not truly scholarly, so I turn my attention to the library. I focus my efforts on the Premiere EBSCO search. However, lately the eBrary has helped me find intriguing books based off of basic search terms. Technology has also assisted in the creation of APA or MLA standard papers. There is a wealth of knowledge, including citation machines that aid in creating the proper citation.
Finally, to aid in the writing process, I do use an aide called “Grammarly and white smoke. Both are applications that can install on your computer, they act as a grammar corrector. Grammarly will add into your Microsoft word document application. After writing your rough paper, Grammarly can be used to correct it. While White Smoke corrects for pretty basic errors, it can miss some of them. Grammarly does a check on writing for, general, academic, business, technical, creative and casual. It checks for past and present tense, spelling, capitalization, plagiarism, writing styles, punctuation, wordiness, and enhancements just to name a few. It is a program I would recommend to any upper level

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Blog Assignment: Mapping Your Learning Connections

Click image to enlarge.


I have brainstormed before for papers, and for working on projects, and it is extremely valuable when getting your ideas out. I created this mind map to include some of the things I think are significant to me. These things were interesting to pull out, especially the things regarding career, and learning. I learned that there are more issues that populate the more I jot down thoughts and ideas. This helped to provide a visual representation of where everything falls into place.

In a mind map, in contrast to traditional note taking or a linear text, information is structured in a way that resembles much more closely how your brain works. Since it is an activity that is both analytical and artistic, it engages your brain in a considerably richer way, helping in all its cognitive functions. And, best of all, it is fun! (What is Mindmapping, http://litemind.com/what-is-mind-mapping/)

In the absence of a physical appearance of an instructor, I have learned better when there are outside experts speaking about the topics we study. Being introduced to embedded lectures at Walden University is a welcome change of pace from reading and articles that are more time-consuming. It does help to have a physical presence speaking about ideas for the week. In addition, the informal lectures are not just readings from a lecture book. They are the thoughts and input on the topic at hand from a knowledgeable expert. This is a tool that can further assist in learning when the course work is an unfamiliar path.

When I am in a rough spot, questions on how to process are at hand. I do ask questions when I feel a loss of information. At the risk of sounding like someone without a compass, I do try to figure things out on my own to a degree. In learning, as well as in personal work and experience, I feel that questions are like an obstacle or task that needs to be knocked down. The more questions I encounter, or a problem, the more I feel like brick walls that need knocking over.

Learning has been a much better experience when the connectivity from other people assists in the process. Already the class for ID is full of experts and teachers, and educators. Many of them have the credentialing for their skills and knowledge. In addition, those who are knowledgeable have the experience to back up their input. I have taken bits and pieces from those who have the motivations and desires to talk about something we learn, and used it as my own learning.


What is Mind Mapping? (and How to Get Started Immediately). (n.d.). Litemind. Retrieved July 22, 2012, from http://litemind.com/what-is-mind-mapping/

Friday, June 29, 2012

Introducing David Velasco's Blog

Hello, I am new to blogging, and usually keep my social networking to aminimum. However, I am quite adept at Facebook, Tumblr, Foursquare, andLinkedIn. I am new to the field Instructional Design. I have a backgroundin the Army as a Joint Nodal Network Switch Operator. My Bachelors degree is in Technical Management.

I hope you enjoy my Instructional Design Blog.

David Velasco

Thursday, June 21, 2012

eFrontlearning Blog Review

eFrontBlog is an eLearning resource for Instructional Designers. It is also set up as a formal website that offers to host solution and learning environment tools for customers. eFront is a learning management system that is set up to help organizations in rich social functionality. Essentially they offer this service to offset the cost for organizations that utilize learning technologies and systems.
           At first, I felt as if the site was built by amateurs, the modest blue and navy headers would have turned me off to it. It also has a simple design that looks like it came from a high school html media class. However, hidden behind the simplistic design is the power within the organization and all the solutions it is offering. This could be a diamond in the rough.

RSS links and older postings are where you would expect them to be. Within the blog area, the postings are original, they have been recently written. They offer a collection of authors that post each entry. And as a professional service the grammar and spelling are on point.

            Blog Activity is spotty at best. I noticed more than two weeks sometimes a month between postings. Perhaps they are researching the best information before they post. Commenting is welcome though there seems to be only one reply for each post. There are areas for twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Delicious.

The blog has a very plain and boring template, but it is informative and rich.

Instructional Design and Development Blog Review

Instructional Design and Development is a blog of De Paul University. It is created using WordPress, a blogging software company. The FITS department of DePaul University is the academic area of the college’s Faculty Instructional Technology Service. The posting comes from the department heads, teacher's facilitators and instructors with the occasional student of the program at the school. I would say this site is a valuable aid to De Paul and the students involved in that department.

        The blog looks unassuming, and they certainly are using the basic of templates for the design. With that simplicity in mind, each blog is straightforward and uses the same design as the main page. I did not find any issues with the layout. The simplicity of the design makes the blog easy to understand. It is difficult to get lost here. Each post opens dynamically in the main page, which makes it easy to follow, no using the back arrow here at all. A RSS feed and older posts are kept on the blue sub category bar on the right.

        All content is coming from the faculty staff and students of De Paul University FITS Department. Since all the postings are from an academic realm, they are written for students and faculty. The postings might be more slanted to those individuals, so an outsider might need some translations here and there.

        Postings are added almost daily, and I did not detect a break of more than three days long. Like all blogs, they offer up areas for discussion and postings, but I’m just noticing just one posting in few of the posts. I would propose that this being from a college environment only those in that group would be inclined to respond, or even the authors themselves.

        I would say this blog comes highly recommended from a student starting out in Instructional design.

Langevin Blog Review

This blog caters to students and veterans of the Instructional Design Field. One might say that it is for advanced persons in this field, or someone looking to pick up a credential or two. This blog offers subscribers the opportunity to check out the latest trends in instructional Design. It offers opinions and thoughts on trends that are working and some that are a part of this realm.

        Langevin offers workshops and learning opportunities to its visitors. They are the largest train the trainer company. They offer the best opportunities for credentialing and certification in the study of Instructional Design. This blog section is just a part of the site of a company that has been around since1984. It has an extensive history and offers customers the opportunity to be the best in their field.

        I was slightly confused at first, and then noticed that I was just in the blog portion of the website. The blog is built into the website itself.  Unless someone was specifically searching for the blog, I would not have known about its existence. The blog flows pretty well and is organized by date. Overall, the site looks fantastic and holds an academic appeal. The layout is easy to follow with tabs across the top

that guide the user to different areas of the site. To the left side in the blog section, we have a whole area with subcategories devoted to an RSS feed, recent post, Categories, Recent Comments, a Twitter feed, tags and authors. The contents of the posts are unique, and they range from essential leadership methods to dealing with down time. All the postings are easy to read and look as they came from the Yahoo news feed. The posts are lengthy and filled with the information any Instructional Design professional will appreciate. The posts are proofread, and there does not seem to be many mistakes in grammar or spelling. Posts seem to be added at intervals, as there are different postings from independent authors. In each post at the bottom, there is an area for comments though many of the postings lack participation or comments. As there are few  postings, the authors do not seem interested in replying. The authors might just be posting for the sake of doing it.

        A very academic and scholarly credentialing type of blog!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Blog Assignment: Evaluating and Identifying Online Resources

A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of. ~ Ogden Nash

The site I chose to use for evaluating and identifying online resources is the site Big Dog& Little Dog’s Performance Juxtaposition http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/index.html This is a web resource for locating great links, information and the finest knowledge on performance training and leadership. This site has been on the Internet for over 15 years. This website has been around for a long time, there is far more valuable information located in here including an area on knowledge which we discussed this week.  Donald Clark is the author and has received many accolades for his site, which determine that it is a great resource for information.

Like we are studying this week and in the previous week, Clark covers knowledge extensively, http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/knowledge/knowledge.html. Knowledge is the perception of the agreement or disagreement of two ideas — John Locke.
Let’s look further into this arena; Clark has given us the theories and ideas behind learning, including the citations for his sources, which are located on the bottom. I am sure glad he found these sources they assist in giving his site some level of credibility.

Now let us shift toward his Learning area. There is more information in here than is covered for this week’s class. It is helpful that the resource includes an outline for learning. Briefly, I can say that he covers areas of learning dealing from Delivery, Design Approach, Inquisitory, Expository, and Design Architecture to eLearning and Flow. Happily, there was mention of learning for coaching, Coaching - Decrease direction (so that learner can learn - trial & error) and increase support (needs emotional support due to some failure)

Let’s talk about the design on the site. It does look old, and that could confuse the reader with it being out of touch with the information. This is not the case because the information presented is very much relevant to today. Clark may not be an expert in design or might not care, but he demonstrates a wealth of knowledge in learning, training, leadership and all things related to improving human performance.

To summarize this site, I will say that there is a great deal of information here. It’s very choc full of information for learning. Try to look for something you are after, and you will get a little more.


Clark, D. R. (2004).The Art and Science of Leadership. Retrieved July 1, 2012 from http://nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leader.html

Monday, April 16, 2012

Blog Assignment: Evaluating and Identifying Online Resources

The second resource I chose is straight out of the Walden University Library. It’s actually a research paper on the benefits of transfixing traditional learning methods into an eLearning environment. This research paper talks about the learning theories that are used in the physical classroom. What is learned through these traditional methods for the class was applied towards an eLearning community. The author August Tsai researches how the use of a proposed hybrid eLearning course could work if the learning considered the individuals strengths and weaknesses. Here we discover there are some limitations in the classroom that are not evident in an eLearning community. Learning materials and supplements to learning are recorded and used as digital content. In the end, this is a win-win situation. There are great opportunities for improving upon conventional teaching and learning methods in a traditional classroom. There are a great deal of endless learning and invention when it comes to integrating these learning theories into a digital realm.


TSAI, A. (2011). A HYBRID E-LEARNING MODEL INCORPORATING SOME OF THE PRINCIPAL LEARNING THEORIES. Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 39(2), 145-152. doi:10.2224/sbp.2011.39.2.145