Chapters eight and ten in the course readings this week discussed the ideas of “Reinforcing Effort” and “Homework and Practice”. Both of these subjects have several principals that can be linked to the behaviorist learning theory. The technology cited in these areas also has a behaviorist learning theory basis.
Spreadsheet software can be used in a way so that students can see the connection between their effort and achievement. As students look at the data they can see the relationship between their effort and achievement. This type of technology embodies the behaviorist learning theory by allowing the student’s efforts to be reinforced. Students can make changes in their beliefs about their learning and start to make connections between learning and effort ((Pitler,Hubbell,Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007). When students are taught to correlate the relationship between the data and their achievement they can then are able to realize the importance between effort and achievement.
Data collection tools are another way to help student make the connection between achievement and effort. These tools show students data related to groups that they are associated with and how obstacles may be overcome with effort. Students need to be directly taught the importance of strong effort. Once students visualize how effort is reinforced through data collection, they may begin to take responsibility for their own success. Data collections tools relate to the behaviorist learning theory through the immediate feedback and reinforcement that the student experiences through the connection between effort and achievement.
Homework and practice allows students to further understand and gain proficiency in skills they learn at school. Homework can be controversial with student and parents because it is designed to be a tool that allows students to review and apply what they have learned in class. Technology can enrich homework through word processing, applications, spreadsheet applications, multimedia, web resources and communication software (Pitler,Hubbell,Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007). Students can use these tools to complete curriculum tasks. The behaviorist learning theory traits are observed through increased awareness by students of the correlation between practice and academic achievement. Technology can lend itself to providing reinforcement of desired behaviors outside of the classroom.
All of the technological strategies that have been mentioned above relate to the behaviorist learning theory through reinforcement of desired behavior. When educators help students become aware of the correlation between effort and achievement in the learning environment desirable outcomes will increase. The behavior of the students will change if there is a reason for it to change (Orley, 2001). Implementation of the technological tools mentioned above will aid in fostering behavioral changes and raising achievement.
Orey, M.(Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.