Instructional design is a field that depends on other fields to expand its understanding of how people learn in order to make the learning experience more effective and meaningful. In my practice I focus on Social Learning Theory (SLT) expanding its focus from the cognitive domain and psychomotor skills to a more holistic view of who we are while keeping the essence of the theory. I see the current view a little limiting since we are not just computers with arms and legs. Our physical domain is much more than psychomotor skills. Our bodies capture sensations and and it is the location of every abstract function we engage with. It feels, it gets sick, it shows the product of happiness, sadness, worry, to name a few. We also have feelings and emotions, therefore, I consider the affective domain a very important aspect of our humanity. Moreover, our connection to ourselves, everything that surrounds us, and things unseen, is also under consideration under the spiritual domain. We are the product of the constant interaction between cognitive, affective, physical, and spiritual factors (CAPS) and the interaction of these factors with the environment and our behavioral responses. For this, my approach to instructional design depends on natural sciences, social sciences, art, and humanities and the ability to connect the dots to focus on effective learning practices.
Lately, as I prepare to engage in a research project, I’ve been studying some neuroscience to understand the neurobiology of learning and trauma. In previous years, the brain was considered a ‘black box’ where stuff was processed and things happened, but without clear understanding of how it worked, or at least not many people wanted to get involved in explaining it. With advances in MRI technology, neuroscientists have been able to map areas of the brain and pinpoint specific functions that are of great importance for learning, for understanding trauma, and for the field of instructional design. Learning about the brain has been much more interesting than I ever thought possible. I can’t wait to shape up this research project and start the writing process. I also can’t wait to share it with all of you. Until then, I will be exploring the brain in my brain.