As I read articles that discuss different learning principles, techniques, and models, I keep wondering how one makes the right choice on which to use. Merrill (2002) discusses five principles in his article, each of which sound as though they would work just fine, but I think it is fair to say that not every principle would work for every topic, student, or environment. Does this mean that the perfect teaching style is a mix of many principles? If that is the case, how does one create the perfect blend? I have limited teaching experience (which is one reason I am taking the Master of Arts in Learning and Technology program), as I gain more experience I would like to assess the subject matter I teach and blend learning principles to see how well the blend works for both me as the instructor and the students. I think the same concept applies to learning theories, the right one or ones depends on the topic. In one of my previous blog posts, I discussed my use of constructivist learning theory (Moore, 2019). As I revisit information regarding theories, I realized that the collaborative problem solving theory would also fit the limited teaching/coaching that I do in my current role. The steps outlined by Nelson (Nelson as cited in Merrill, 2002, p. 54) would help learners to feel confident in the lesson presented to them as they learn in order to bring that skill to the working world.
While I have worked with Merrill’s article (2002) before, I enjoyed revisiting it and seeing how my perspective has changed. I am looking forward to one day implementing these theories and principles in the classroom, and in curriculum design and development.
Merrill, M. (2002). First principles of instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50(3), 43-59.