July 2000

"Helping People Succeed"

Intentional Learning: Learning to Change the Brain

Purpose: Keep readers informed about learning orientation research and the application of individual differences in learning theories, models, and design strategies to mass-customize and personalize intentional learning. This whole-person approach highlights the importance of emotions and intentions on learning, in addition to social and cognitive aspects. This online newsletter appears at: (http://training.trainingplace.com/newsletter/jul2000.htm). The index for these newsletters appears at: (http://training.trainingplace.com/newsletter/index.htm).








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This newsletter presents recent educational and neuroscience research advances to highlight implications for educators and educational research. The special topic for this newsletter is adaptive learning. It is an exciting time for the field of learning for all of us, especially in the area of adaptive or personalized learning and learning object technology.  In this newsletter, you will find an assortment of resources that touch on these subjects. Many of these you might know about already, but hopefully you will find a few new items of interest.


a. Wiley, David (June 2000). An Instructional Design Theory Supporting Learning Object Design and Sequencing Theory.  (Dissertation) at: http://wiley.byu.edu

Abstract: Given the likelihood of the broad deployment of learning objects-based technology, and the dangers of employing it in an instructionally unprincipled manner, the need for an instructional design theory providing explicit support for the instructional design and use of learning objects is clear.  This study reviews, synthesizes, and combines four existing instructional design theories, namely Elaboration Theory (Reigeluth, 1999), Work Model Synthesis (Gibbons, et al., 1995), Domain Theory (Bunderson, Newby, & Wiley, 2000), and the Four-Component Instructional Design model (van Merriënboer, 1997) with new work, the result being a new instructional design theory, Learning Object Design and Sequencing Theory (LODAS).

LODAS provides guidelines for the analysis and synthesis of an undifferentiated content area (e.g., English), the application of which produces specifications for the scope and sequence of learning objects. The theory also provides a taxonomy of five learning object types and provides design guidance for the different types of learning objects.

b. Congratulations to David Wiley who received a recent NSF grant for a learning objects-oriented postdoctoral program at Utah State University.

c. Hall (Bentley), Joanne (2000). Learning Orientation Correlation with The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument: An Instrument Correlation. (Dissertation)

This ongoing dissertation study addresses external validity for the Learning Orientation Questionnaire (LOQ). It accounts for individual differences in learning by correlating it to the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI). The purpose is to establish a basis for convergent and discriminant validation of the LOQ constructs. It is important to remember that the validity of an instrument is a phenomena developed over time rather than a single event. Future research will build on the findings from this study as the case for validity of the LOQ and its application and interpretation are strengthened.


a. The Next Generation of e-Learning is Adaptive Learning

Next-generation products depict the supportive learning role that technology can rightfully play in correcting learning problems that have continually perplexed training markets in the past. Adaptive learning is important because it enables learners or the computer to create learner-centric learning environments. It also enables the computer to offer flexible solutions that dynamically adapt presentation of content to fit individual real-time learning needs.

As learners move online and instructors disappear from the educational landscape, adaptive learning (instructor in the box) is a more sophisticated solution for developing meaningful online relationships. Experience has always shown that the best way to improve learning is to respond to clearly identified needs and clearly articulated solutions.  Next, inferential technology is the giant step in using technology to improve learning.  Perhaps with adaptive learning, we can meet Cronbach's challenge that he stated so many years ago, i.e., "find for each individual the treatment to which he can easily adapt" (1957).


a. Martinez, M. August 29, 2000, at David Merrill's Instructional Technology Institute in Logan, Utah. "Adaptive Learning: Designing Learning Objects to Personalize Learning" www.id2.usu.edu/itinstitute/

b. Martinez, M. August 30, 2000, at David Merrill's Instructional Technology Institute in Logan, Utah. "Design Guidelines for Adaptive or Personalized Learning."  www.id2.usu.edu/itinstitute.

c. Martinez, M. September 26, 09:30 AM - 11:00 AM, at Online Learning 2000.  (Session 527) in Denver, CO. "Adaptive Learning: Designing Learning Objects to Personalize Learning.” www.id2.usu.edu/itinstitute/

d. The Twelfth Annual Utah State University Instructional Technology Institute, August 29 - September 1, 2000 Eccles Conference Center Utah State University Logan, Utah. Conference Information: www.id2.usu.edu/itinstitute/ Purpose: For the past eleven years the Utah State University Department of Instructional Technology has hosted an internationally attended Instructional Technology Institute. Participants are a small but diverse group of persons concerned and ready to discuss recent developments in the diverse communities of instructional technology. The institute provides opportunities for these researchers and practitioners to exchange knowledge and pursue joint research and business ventures.


a. Martinez, M. and Bunderson, C. (July, 2000). Building Interactive Web Learning Environments to Match and Support Individual Learning Differences. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 11(2).

Abstract - This article discusses individual differences and successful learning in interactive Web learning environments from a perspective that highlights the preeminent aspects of emotions and intentions and the impact of these factors on cognitive processing and learning. The study introduces learner-difference profiles called learning orientations and the System for Intentional Learning and Performance Assessment (SILPA), an interactive Web learning environment. These resources were useful in investigating how individuals adapt to different treatments and manage learning in an adaptive environment, one that had been designed for research purposes to support three learning orientations.

b. Successful Learning Research Web Site: http://www.trainingplace.com/source/research/index.html

Abstract: This web site presents the intentional learning research, highlights primary sources for individual learning differences, and offers explanations about the powerful impact of emotions, intentions, and social and cognitive factors on learning and performance.

c. Martinez, M., Bunderson, C. V., & Wiley, D. (2000, April). Verification in a design experiment context: Validity argument as design process. Symposium session at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA. http://www.edumetrics.org/research/presentations/aera2000-wiley01.pdf

This research paper describes a comprehensive, disciplined approach to the verification process for theory-based design. It considers the construct validity and scale properties of the outcome or growth scales through the domain--the domain theory. It will consider the construct validity and scale properties of any individual difference measures used in adaptive learning interventions--the individual difference theory. Finally, it will verify that the prescriptions from an instructional design theory (or model or set of guidelines), in context with these two theories, will indeed lead to success in learning in a certain construct. Thus, we cannot fail to provide a validity argument for inferences based on the individual difference instrument(s); and, we cannot but make a case that the design intervention is indeed the main causal factor in producing the desired growth in the constructs that define expertise.


a.  Adaptive Learning Discussion List Serv. This List was recently started to provide the training, learning, and education communities with an online discussion group that offers the opportunity for frequent exchanges related to the development of adaptive learning systems. To subscribe, go to: http://www.trainingplace.com/source/adaptive.html.

b.  Adaptive Learning List Serv.  This is another List supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. To subscribe, send an email to listproc@email.nist.gov.

c. You can subscribe to the XML Xtral newsletter at the http://www.xml.com/

d. Related Adaptive Learning Websites Links:

e. Standards-Setting Organizations:

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