Rósa's blog page – Instructional Design

“Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand” –Chinese Proverb–

Tag: Instructional design

The brain and learning


Photo by TZA – CC licenced

This weeks topic is the brain. How it works and why we remember things differently based on where we store the information.  I have been hunting the internet to find some articles and web sites on the topic and have found many useful sources.  As I searched the same articles kept surfacing so when I took a further look I saw that a lot of them were written by the same woman, Dr. Judy Willis. Her blog post about the need to Teach Teachers About the Brain I found very enlightening and as I read on I discovered that she has written many books and posts about the matter.  On the ASCD web site, there is a group hosted by her, called How the Brain Learns.  There she has linked to all kind of material written by her and I want to feature one of her articles called WHY A NEUROLOGIST BECAME A CLASSROOM TEACHER.  As a teacher myself I find it very interesting that a professional neurologist should find it interesting to go through teacher education herself to find out what is wrong with the school system and the teachers methods. As the content of this article relates directly to this weeks learning resources about the brains function and memory I found it would be appropriate to mention here.  As it says in the article:

Neuroimaging and new brain-wave technology provide evidence that rote learning is the most quickly forgotten, because the information is not stored in long-term memory. As students lose interest in lecture-and-memorize classes, their attention wanders, and disruptive behaviors are a natural consequence. Even for children who are able to maintain focus on rote teaching, the disruptive responses of their classmates are encroaching more and more on teachers’ instruction time as they try to maintain order (Willis, 2009).

This is the part that I found the most interesting as I have so often witnessed this where the teachers effort goes all into maintaining order and not teaching.  As the teachers complain about how ill-behaved their students are, they should maybe look into their own teaching strategy and see if the problem is with them but not the students.

Human brain

Photo by karmaOWL – CC licenced

Other site I found particular interesting is a site called Brains.org, Practical Classroom Applications of Current Brain Research.  There I found many good articles related to the brains functionality and teaching. The site is directed by Dr. Kathie Nunley who uses it to connect current psychological and neurological research to the field of education. There are many interesting articles and one that got my attention straight away called How the Adolescent Brain Challenges the Adult Brain. As a teacher of young people aged 16-20 years old I am always curious about why they sometimes behave like they do. Reading this article and the explanation of how the prefrontal cortex in adolescents is not fully developed sometimes till the age of 20 and thats why they act as they sometimes do  was an eye opener for me (Nunley).

Having resources like these available on the internet is priceless for teachers interested in improving performance in the classroom.  Knowing how to act to certain situations, how to deal with that difficult student and understanding what lies behind certain behavior are key elements for successful teaching and Instructional Design.


Nunley, K. F. (n.d.). How the Adolescent Brain Challenges the Adult Brain. Retrieved 11 11, 2012, from Help 4 Teachers: http://help4teachers.com/prefrontalcortex.htm

Willis, J. (2009, 4 2). Radical Teaching. Classroom strategies from a neurologist. . Retrieved 11 11, 2012, from Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/radical-teaching/200904/dr-judy-willis-rad-teaching-connections-neuroscience-research-the-class


Week 1 Assignment

This weeks blog assignment is to find other blogs related to the field of instructional design and write a post about how I can utilize them in the future.  As I went jumping off one page to another I found many very useful posts about all kind of matters related to instructional design.  As I’m always looking for new ways to embed technology into my teaching methods the blogs that focused on technology related to instructional design were the ones that found most interesting.  Here below I’ll outline three of them but in my Links section you can find more blogs related to technology and instructional design.

Number 1 is the Kristina Hollis blog on Teaching and Technology. Kristina explores many angles of both instructional design and technology related to e-learning. I specially enjoyed her posts about History of Instructional Design where the illustration made the post more alive and for a visual learner like myself very interesting and motivated me to read the entire post.  I sometimes catch myself in the act of skipping posts that do not have interesting pictures explaining the topic – the more interesting the picture is, the more I am likely to read the article/post/news.

Copyright - Rosa GudmundsdottirNumber 2 is the blog of online learning insights, a Blog about Open and Online Education.  The blogs article about 5 Tools and Strategies that Support Group Collaboration Online I found very enlighten and enjoyed reading about how to engage students in collaborative group work. Also the article called Dear Professor, I Really Enjoyed the Online Course But…. where the blogs author, Debbie Morrison, analyzes students responses from the end-of-course surveys that have given constructive suggestions about how the instructor might improve overall students experience of the course.  Many more interesting blogs in there that are related to the field of Instructional Design.

Number 3 is the blog about 21st Century Information Fluency – Leveraging Information.  The blog has not been operational for long but there are many great articles and resources that can be accessed from it.  Among the articles I enjoyed the most reading were the ones about strategies for better Power Point, Animoto as a teaching tool and the post about 10 Free, Must Have Web 2.0 Tools for Your Teaching & Training Needs.  The web page scoop.it seems to be very effective in spreading interesting blog posts around as when I followed one link over there I discovered a lot of other useful sources. Some of them I have bookmarked to view later and others have made my day less productive as I have been stuck reading a lot of interesting information.  If this blog continues in the same way it has been doing for the past couple of months it will be very promising source for the technical aspects of the Instructional Design.