Consulting

Our expertise lies in using innovative and creative instructional strategies that incorporate educational technology, and encourage us to actively participate in the educational paradigm shift.
Our consulting services foster creativity, lifelong learning and promote educational integrity globally using multidimensional approaches and multicultural perspectives.
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Optimal Learning Environments!

Our knowledge of the Learning Theory translates to knowledge of instructional methods, that moves towards creating optimal learning environments!

We identify learning needs based on learning theories and apply the core methodology of ADDIE and other models of instructional design to create effective learning materials.

Learning Theories

Behaviorism is a worldview that assumes a learner is essentially passive, responding to environmental stimuli. The learner starts off as a clean slate (i.e. tabula rasa) and behavior is shaped through positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement[2]. Both positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement increase the probability that the antecedent behavior will happen again. In contrast, punishment (both positive and negative) decreases the likelihood that the antecedent behavior will happen again.

References
Skinner, B. F. (2011). About behaviorism. Vintage.
Watson, J. B. (2013). Behaviorism. Read Books Ltd.
Pavlov, I. P., & Anrep, G. V. (2003). Conditioned reflexes. Courier Corporation.

The cognitivist revolution replaced behaviorism in 1960s as the dominant paradigm. Cognitivism focuses on the inner mental activities – opening the “black box” of the human mind is valuable and necessary for understanding how people learn. Mental processes such as thinking, memory, knowing, and problem-solving need to be explored. Knowledge can be seen as schema or symbolic mental constructions. Learning is defined as change in a learner’s schemata.

References
Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (1993). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective.Performance improvement quarterly, 6(4), 50-72.
Cooper, P. A. (1993). Paradigm Shifts in Designed Instruction: From Behaviorism to Cognitivism to Constructivism. Educational technology, 33(5), 12-19.

A reaction to didactic approaches such as behaviorism and programmed instruction, constructivism states that learning is an active, contextualized process of constructing knowledge rather than acquiring it. Knowledge is constructed based on personal experiences and hypotheses of the environment. Learners continuously test these hypotheses through social negotiation. Each person has a different interpretation and construction of knowledge process. The learner is not a blank slate (tabula rasa) but brings past experiences and cultural factors to a situation.

References
Vygotsky, L. S. (1980). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Harvard university press.
Piaget, J. (2013). The construction of reality in the child (Vol. 82). Routledge.
Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (1993). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective.Performance improvement quarterly, 6(4), 50-72.

Gamification in education, or gamification in learning, is sometimes described using other terms: gameful thinking, game principles for education, motivation design, engagement design, etc.  It is different from game-based learning in that it does not involve students making their own games or playing commercially-made video games. It operates under the assumption that the kind of engagement that gamers experience with games can be translated to an educational context towards the goals of facilitating learning and influencing student behavior. Since gamers voluntarily spend lots of hours playing games and problem-solving, researchers and educators have been exploring ways to use the power of videogames for motivation and apply it to the learning environment.

References
Malone, T. W. (1981). What makes things fun to learn? A study of intrinsically motivating computer games. Pipeline, 6(2), 50.

People learn through observing others’ behavior, attitudes, and outcomes of those behaviors[1]. “Most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others, one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action.” (Bandura).

Social learning theory explains human behavior in terms of continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioral, and environmental influences.

References
Bandura, A. (1977). Social Learning Theory. New York: General Learning Press.
Bandura, A. (1973). Aggression: A Social Learning Analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Bandura, A. & Walters, R. (1963). Social Learning and Personality Development. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

The researchers started from an understanding of cognitive load theory to establish the set of principles that compose e-learning theory. Cognitive load theory refers to the amount of mental effort involved in working memory, and these amounts are categorized into three categories: extraneous , intrinsic, and germane.

Extraneous cognitive load is any effort imposed by the way that the task is delivered (having to find the correct essay topic on a page full of essay topics).

Intrinsic cognitive load refers to effort involved in performing the task itself (actually writing the essay).

Germane cognitive load describes the effort involved in understanding a task and accessing it or storing it in long-term memory (for example, seeing an essay topic and understanding what you are being asked to write about).

Learner-Centered Design

Learner-centered design (LCD) theory emphasizes the importance of supporting the learners’ growth and motivational needs in designing software. In addition, since learners have different learning needs and learn in different ways, the software must be designed for the specific learner-audience.

The concept of scaffolds is central to learner-centered design. In order to support learners optimally, software should be designed with scaffolds that will support the learners as they need it. Examples of scaffolds in software are hints, explanation and encouragement to help learners understand a process, and questions to help learners reflect on what they are learning.

In focusing on learner-centered design, four elements must be addressed in designing the software. They are:

Context: The goal, purpose, and audience of the software
Interface: The front end and/or aesthetics of the software that learners interact with
Tasks: What the learners will do in the software
Tools: What is needed in the software to support the tasks that students will do; these can include scaffolds