Synthesize Knowledge

The criteria for satisfying the Synthesize Knowledge competency are:

  • Demonstrates ability to read and understand educational literature related to Educational Technology
  • Demonstrates ability to describe fundamental theories of human learning
  • Applies knowledge of human learning, diversity, and effective pedagogy to solution of problems

Artifact for Synthesize Knowledge

Constructive Behaviorism: A Hybrid Theory and Method for Practical Use in Technical Training and Content Development for Software Companies


Justification for this Artifact

For the Synthesize Knowledge competency, I chose my final project from EDCI 53100: Learning Theory and Instructional Design. This paper, “Constructive Behaviorism: A Hybrid Theory and Method for Practical Use in Technical Training and Content Development for Software Companies,” aimed to combine the best aspects of both constructivism and behaviorism to try and ameliorate specific weaknesses presented by both theories. These were presented together to solve a pressing problem in the software development industry; developing technical content and technical training for new products as they rapidly iterate in a cloud-first, mobile-first world.

First requirement: “Demonstrates ability to read and understand educational literature related to Educational Technology”

Ten sources were used in writing this paper. Seven of these were academic sources, while three of them looked at demonstrated applications of common approaches to initial walkthroughs that can be built into software products. Even though the non-academic sources were less important to this component of the competency, they were crucial in providing source material for real-world implementations of day 0 walkthroughs. I intend to use this knowledge as part of my current job, where I write both technical documentation and UI text for these types of experiences, and through other, future projects.

Second requirement: “Demonstrates ability to describe fundamental theories of human learning”

The paper goes through a comparison of the two theories, then breaks down where there are issues specific to trying to provide software training using either of them. For example, allowing constructivist self-guided techniques may lead users to miss crucial prerequisites during setup, while only having users act out specific sets of behaviors may lead to catastrophic assumptions being made due to a lack of conceptual knowledge.

Third requirement: “Applies knowledge of human learning, diversity, and effective pedagogy to solution of problems”

I connected the “greatest hits” of both theories directly to the real-world application of instructor-led software training, with the end goal of earning a certification. I similarly described a solution for an individual distance user who is self-guided in their training on the product, which would be typically a less interactive experience than coming onsite to a training classroom. By implementing tools that create prescriptive walkthroughs via assistance notifications to enhance guided tutorials. Using just behavioral techniques would not have been enough to provide meaning; using just constructivist techniques would have not provided enough actual how-to information. I will continue to apply this in my current and future career when developing new experiences and performing accessibility and user research studies.