about terms, themes, and theories…

“Learning is the creation and removal of connections between the entities, or the adjustment of the strengths of those connections. A learning theory is, literally, a theory describing how these connections are created or adjusted.” Stephen Downes on connective knowledge

Epistemology: concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge

Ontology: concerned with the nature of being, with questions concerned with what exists or can be said to exist (nature of reality)

The interpretive paradigm


New Media Studies (Janet Murray, CUNY, DePaul)

Great Media Debate

Objectivism & Constructivism


Constructivism, Social Constructivism, Connectivism

Critical Theory

Universal Instruction Design



“Transformative learning is the expansion of consciousness through the transformation of basic worldview and specific capacities of the self; transformative learning is facilitated through consciously directed processes such as appreciatively accessing and receiving the symbolic contents of the unconscious and critically analyzing underlying premises.” (Boyd)

“Transformative learning involves experiencing a deep, structural shift in the basic premises of thought, feelings, and actions. It is a shift of consciousness that dramatically and irreversibly alters our way of being in the world. Such a shift involves our understanding of ourselves and our self-locations; our relationships with other humans and with the natural world; our understanding of relations of power in interlocking structures of class, race and gender; our body awareness, our visions of alternative approaches to living; and our sense of possibilities for social justice and peace and personal joy.” (O’Sullivan)

A learning environment where transformative learning can occur should consider the following:

  • · The role of the teacher. The teacher’s role in establishing an environment that builds trust and care and facilitates the development of sensitive relationships among learners is a fundamental principle of fostering transformative learning. The goal is to create a community of individuals who are “united in a shared experience of trying to make meaning of their life experience”. The teacher also serves as a role model by himself demonstrating a willingness to learn and change.
  • · The role of the learner. Although it is difficult for transformative learning to occur without the teacher playing a key role, participants also have a responsibility for creating the learning environment.
  • · The role of the rational and the affective. Transformative learning has two layers that at times seem to be in conflict: the cognitive, rational, and objective and the intuitive, imaginative, and subjective. Both the rational and the affective play a role in transformative learning. Although the emphasis has been on transformative learning as a rational process, teachers need to consider how they can help students use feelings and emotions both in critical reflection and as a means of reflection.

Definition: Learning Technologies is the study, research, and application of different ways we can use technology for teaching and learning.

How do I fit? How can we use technology to create meaningful learning experiences with adult learners in different contexts (formal and informal learning, higher education and corporate, training and development)





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