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EDDL 5141: Week 3 Learning Theory Reflection

This spring will be my first time teaching an online course at the post-secondary level. I have yet to be assigned the exact course; however, I know it will be within the purview of the Educational Assistant Certificate. After reviewing Emma’s thoughts on learning theories, I am especially interested in how I can purposefully integrate the use of a poll and cognitivism into my class. I had always considered polls to be a way for students to show their likes or dislikes, understanding levels, or interest levels, but I had not considered the use for enhancing cognition and how it can “form relationships; that is, in networks” (Ally, 2008, p. 22) to encourage learning and memory recall. Polls require students to participate actively by responding to questions or expressing their opinions, promoting engagement and involvement in the learning material, thus encouraging active learning. However, polls can be a tool to “present the materials and use strategies that enable students to process the materials efficiently (Ally, 2008, p. 22), help activate prior knowledge, bridge new information with existing schemas, and facilitate the integration of new concepts into students’ cognitive frameworks. I feel the use of the poll would be an excellent way to gain insight into students’ background knowledge and activate schema moving forward in my course.


Ally, M. (2008). Foundations of educational theory for online learning. The theory and practice of online learning (pp.15-44). Athabasca, AB: Athabasca University Press. http://www.aupress.ca/books/120146/ebook/01_Anderson_2008-Theory_and_Practice_of_Online_Learning.pdf

1 Comment

  1. mharrison

    Hi Hannah,

    I appreciated your focus on how you can use networks/networking to activate prior knowledge. What I always find to be a challenge is how to design activities that more directly link to and build on prior knowledge and schema. As one example, when I have used polls in the past, mostly in conference presentations (so short and time-constrained), I have always felt that we look at the results and then move on too quickly to the “planned” content – and have not meaningfully engaged with the results. So reflecting on those experiences I wonder if what might be helpful is to really plan in time and flexibility to be able to react and respond as a group to the information/knowledge that was gathered. It is definitely something I will ponder – and will be interested to see how you approach your it in your course design. Thanks!

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