The purpose of this course is to address the fundamentals of learning theories and educational/learning technologies within traditional face-to-face, hybrid, and online learning environments. Students will read classic articles about learning theories, participate in discussions targeted on the key/guiding principles of selected learning theories, explore the use of different learning technologies, and apply the theories and technologies in designing personal learning environment.
This course is important because college students need to have the knowledge and skills to use a variety of learning strategies and tools when engaging in different learning activities. For example, they need to plan personal learning path, participate in discussions, engage in small group collaborations, perform laboratory exercises, work on problems, read textbook and other materials, as well as study for exams. College students are also terrible at estimating their abilities and academic potentials. Many of them have a fixed mindset that their learning ability is a fixed prior ability, resulting in focusing on efforts that prove they are smart and afraid of challenges that can actually make help them develop and thrive. At the same time, digital technologies, also known as information and communication technologies, that are supported by internet and computer-based systems, has greatly shaped how people learn and teach today. Thus, learning strategies today is highly associated with learners’ abilities to use different educational technologies to support their use of different learning strategies and personal learning process. The Association of Educational Communications and Technology (AECT)) defined educational technology as “the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.” It denoted instructional technology as “the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning.” As such, educational technology would help college students develop the skills and knowledge to not only be a successful student in college but also become a lifelong learner in the 21st century.