My Mind Map


Brain, Learning and Instructional Design

This week, as I continue to learn more about Brain and Learning, Information Processing theory, Problem solving methods during learning process, I started giving more thought on relevance of brain research on improving teaching methods and in particular, it’s influence on instructional designers to come up with more effective learning programs.

I’ve tried to summarize information from a few books and articles I read in this pursuit.

Brain research has been one of the most challenging and exciting field of study.  Based on a multidisciplinary research, relationship between learning and brain now includes, role of emotions, patterns, meaningfulness, environments, body rhythms, attitudes, stress, trauma, music, movement, enrichment etc…So, by integrating the knowledge of brain with the current standard educational practices, Brain Based Learning (BBL) suggests that the current educational environments can be transformed into a total learning organization.

Caine and Caine (1989) developed principles with the knowledge of brain’s function to teaching and learning.  They are very well summarized in this wheel .

Brain- based education considers how the brain learns best. To maximize learning, it’s imperative to realize it’s working, appropriate and optimal environment to survive.  I believe that it’s smart and professional to consider research on brain to develop learning programs, since brain is the “organ of learning” (Hart 1983)

Learning about Information Processing Theory is personally very useful and relevant. I’ve been experiencing a lot of load on my working memory (WM) with a lot of new material and trying to transfer this knowledge to Long Term Memory (LTM) by elaboration and encoding techniques.  If new material is not added to existing knowledge in the mind, it is quickly forgotten as fresh information demands attention and “space” in the working memory.  Encoding depends upon attaching new information to knowledge that already exists in the brain.  The more ways the new information is attached to existing information, the more readily it can be retrieved when needed. Young students as well as even adult learners need help in processing information.  Some helpful hints on this aspect are given here.

The implications of Information Processing theory to an instructional designer are that, we need to:

  • know a students’ prior knowledge;
  • arrange learning material; organize new information by relating it to existing memory to make it meaningful;
  • provide cues that learners can use to recall information when needed;
  • let student participate in an active research, give proper help when students have question;

During learning process, problem solving is a very important challenge as well as a learning outcome. David Jonassen, in this paper, distinguishes well-structured problems and ill-structured problems. The model for solving well-structured problems is based on information processing theories of learning, while the model for solving ill-structured problems relies on an emerging theory of ill-structured problem solving and on constructivist and situated cognition approaches to learning. I felt as trainees in instructional designing, this is a very helpful article to note.


  • Brain Based Learning-The New Paradigm of Teaching by Eric Jensen
  • Learning and Motivation in the Postsecondary Classroom by Svinicki, M.D.
  • Journal: Educational Technology Research and Development, Vol 45, (p65-94)

Swimming in the Ocean of ID Information

As I gear up to work on this week’s assignment to search and explore various blogs and resource sites relevant to the field of instructional design and training, I am thrilled to see an ocean of knowledge out there. It is a very practical way to gain practice working on a blog and use it as a networking and learning tool.

Recently, when I started thinking about taking a course on instructional designing, I stumbled upon this beautiful blog- by Connie Malamed, an eLearning, information and visual designer. The content is well organized. There are immensely useful articles under Cognition and Media headings. One such is 10 Ways To Design For Emotions.  I’m sure we’ll all love to refer to it and get tips on working to create a learning program in future. There are good resources: story board depot, stock photo sites, eLearning items that educate and simplify work, online learning demos and glossary, image editing tools and icon collections. Interestingly it also has some reviews on books, hard ware and software.

I also liked a service of the IDD department at Depaul University. There are many contributors and writing on various topics. Some are directly relevant to our course. I loved the information about the length of the post and reading time! For a busy mom like me, who’s trying to juggle work, family and studying a totally new subject, this information is VERY helpful to quickly browse through useful links.

Then, there is by Ferdinand Krauss, an instructional designer with an extensive background in distance education. It’s a blog with insights and reflections on eLearning strategies by this dynamic designer. There are resourceful articles which will definitely guide us through this course. This particular one, IDEAS: Instructional Design for Elearning ApproacheS talks about Constructivist training for online teachers. I’m sure we all agree that, in order to effectively teach online, instructors should experience it from a student’s perspective which the author talks about.

Another blog about innovation, design, development and trends in the learning solutions domain that caught my interest is by various contributors. There is a vast collection of design and development topics, including, e-learning, e-learning development, future learning, future technology, learning design, learning technology, game based learning, and work place learning. I liked how the Categories section has clear, well defined topics; it helps in narrowing down the search. There are downloadable white papers as well.

I must admit that at this point, I’m also overwhelmed by this ocean of information. I hope as I go along the course, it gets better and I make more sense out of all the information!

Yay! I’m blogging!!!

Finally it’s happening! I could never imagine myself blogging. For some reason, I always thought such  “techie activity” is not my forte’; although I’ve been a regular visitor to a few blogs and thoroughly enjoy reading them.

This is truly very exciting, because I’m blogging for the first time and for a reason!

The course I’ve taken requires that we start a blog of our own and this is an awesome idea to understand and apply what we learn in this course.

Please visit to read my future posts in my earnest attempt to learn Instructional Design and Technology.

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