CECS 5510 – Week 1 Activity 3 Part 3

Choose one of the ID articles posted by a peer and read it before next week. Write a blog reflection about what you learned from your three readings and note items, theories, and elements that you would like to know more about and whether it impacts your design or tells you more about how you learn. 

I read three articles for this week’s assignment. The first, “Problem based learning: An instructional model and its constructivist framework,” was assigned to us. The second we had to choose for ourselves and write about it – I chose “A theory for eLearning.” For the third article we had to choose one of the articles that a classmate chose to write on. I read “Learning Solutions.” From these articles I learned that where as teaching and social presence are more foundational to basic learning tasks, cognitive presence takes learning beyond basic knowledge and into deeper understanding, application, and appreciation (Wilcoxon, 2011).

Based on these three articles I want to know more about the role of social interaction on learning. I like the concept that the social environment is critical to developing our understanding (Savery & Duffy, 1995). How else can we know something to be true unless we test that knowledge against other’s opinions? Lack of social presence can lead to high levels of frustration, disengagement, critical attitudes toward the instruction, and lower levels of learning (Wilcoxon, 2011). If so, I question if my own apprehension to social interaction with classmates has influenced my perceptions of misunderstanding the course material. Too often I feel I am struggling with concepts in instructional design. At the start of each assignment I am again researching to answer questions like ‘what is learning theory,’ and ‘what are instructional design models?’ Knowing that I’ve had difficulty retaining the material leads me to embrace discussion assignment with a new set of eyes. I’m still not comfortable with sharing, privacy, and trust. But I think I need to use the discussion assignments as a learning tool. Before now, I was treating the individual perspective of others as their opinions and I didn’t take them as educational. I have not liked any of the previous course assignments that required me to ‘post meaningful comments to at least two classmates discussion threads.’ I didn’t see the benefit of comparing their experiences with mine to test my opinions or challenge my methods. Now I finally understand what I’m supposed to do with discussion assignments. (Although others may already understand this concept, a social interaction for learning course presented early in this online degree program would have been beneficial to me.)

Reading these articles will impact my instructional design project for this course. I now plan to add an element of social interaction. I will be creating a 16-week online course on recruiting. Topics covered will include legal issues and best practices in posting jobs, reviewing applicants, and interviewing candidates. My thoughts for designing the course originally included only how to present the material in a variety of methods so it appeals to different learning styles. Now I will include discussions so learners can interact and hopefully develop a greater understanding of the recruiting process as a whole.



Nichols, M. (2003). A theory for eLearning. Educational Technology & Society. 6(2). 1-10.

Savery, J. R., & Duffy, T. M. (1995). Problem based learning: An instructional model and its constructivist framework. Educational Technology, 35, 31–38.

Wilcoxon, K. (2011). Learning Solutions. Building an Online Learning Community.

Retrieved from: http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/761/building-an-online-learning-community