Individualized Learning

Create a 4–6 page description and justification of your ideal learning situation. Your situation should incorporate learning theory terminology and concepts and be supported by learning theories. You will then analyze how well a selected theory can explain and predict a case.

Traditionally, schools have been seen as the place where learning occurs, yet people are continually learning all day, every day. In this assessment, you will explore how you learn best when you are learning something of interest, and you will compare and contrast your preferences with a case study.

Demonstration of Proficiency
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

Competency 1: Evaluate the strengths, limitations, and applications of the foundational learning theories.
Justify which learning theory best supports a personal learning situation.
Analyze the ability of a theory to explain and predict a case.
Competency 2: Evaluate the strengths, limitations, and applications of learning principles and concepts.
Apply learning theory terminology and concepts to describe a learning situation.
Competency 4: Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with expectations for members of the psychological professions.
Apply APA style and formatting to scholarly writing.
Competency Map
Use this online tool to track your performance and progress through your course.
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Learning Theory Case Studies
Review the case studies in order to select one to use for Part 2 of this assessment.

Learning Theories: Case Studies.
APA Style and Format
Because this is a psychology course, you need to format this assessment according to APA guidelines. Refer to the resources found in the APA Style and Format section of the Writing Center. You may also use the APA Paper Template [DOCX] for this assessment.

Appropriate References
The Psychology Research Guide can help ensure that the articles you select for this assessment are appropriate, credible, and valid. The Supplemental Resources and Research Resources, both linked from the courseroom navigation menu, provide additional resources to help support you.

Assessment Instructions
Traditionally, schools have been seen as the place where learning occurs, yet people continually learn all day, every day. In this activity, you will explore how you learn best when you are learning something of interest, and you will compare and contrast your preferences with a case study. 

Assessment Instructions
Part 1
Imagine you have inherited a ton of money and will never have to work for income for the rest of your life. Think of something you have wished you could experience or learn or figure out if only you had the time or money or energy. What would you learn, and how would you do it? Is your unique way of approaching learning this thing like other people’s, or is it different? 

Apply learning theory terminology and concepts to describe the learning situation.
Identify what you will learn. 
Using a learning theory of your choice from any presented in the course, explain your understanding of this topic, concept, or skill so far. 
Describe how you will learn your new topic, concept, or skill. 
Predict what you should be able to do or understand after your learning experience, using terms from this theory. 
Justify which learning theory best supports your personal learning situation.
Explain why this plan works best for you. Is it your personality, experience, knowledge, or something else that makes this the best plan? 
Critique this theory: what could it explain well about you and your learning plan and what could it simply not?
Part 2 
Select a case from Learning Theories: Case Studies. 

Analyze the ability of a theory to explain and predict a case.
Identify what the person in the case was hoping to learn. 
Explore whether your approach to learning your topic, concept, or skill from Part 1, above, would work effectively for the person in the selected case to learn their topic, concept, or skill. 
Explain any challenges that would be involved for the person from the case study learning this way. 
Critique the learning theory you chose in Part 1 for its ability to explain and predict learning for the person.
Note: You are asked to write from your perspective for many of the elements of this paper. When you are presenting your own theoretical orientation and learning plan, it is most appropriate to use the first person.

Additional Requirements
Written communication: Write coherently to support central ideas, in appropriate APA format, and with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics.
Tone: Write in the first person when you are presenting your own theoretical orientation and learning plan. 
Length of paper: 4–6 typed, double-spaced pages, not including the title page or reference page.
References: At least five scholarly articles (from peer-reviewed journals). Books and other sources can be used, if needed, in addition to the journal articles.
APA format: Follow current APA guidelines for style and formatting, as well as for citing your resources in the body of your paper and in alphabetical order on the reference page. Refer to APA Style and Format. You may also use the APA Paper Template [DOCX].
Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
Note: In graduate-level writing, minimize the use of direct quotes. Lengthy quotes do not count toward assessment minimums. Your interpretation of the material is assessed, as well as its application to practice.

Note: Faculty may use the Writing Feedback Tool when grading this assessment. The Writing Feedback Tool is designed to provide you with guidance and resources to develop your writing based on five core skills. You will find writing feedback in the Scoring Guide for the assessment, once your work has been evaluated

The following case studies introduce you to people who are in a potential or current learning scenario. Review the details in each case and consider how learning theories may provide a framework for understanding and addressing each person’s need.

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Dog standing behind a gate.
Greta is a 32-year-old single woman who has recently begun dating someone new and believes they could really have a future. There is just one problem. Greta is very afraid of dogs. Her new love has 3 enormous Leonbergers and has said that life wouldn’t be worth living without animals around. Greta knows she has to change.

When Greta was six years old, while she was walking the two blocks to school all by herself, a beautiful shiny black dog was in a yard along her path. Delighted, she opened their gate and rushed to the dog. The dog charged at her and gave warning barks but Greta just wanted to pet it and kept coming. The dog bit her on the shoulder and shook her and dragged her around the yard, not releasing her until a passer-by pulled the dog off her and called 911. Greta sustained some injuries from the bite and had a shoulder surgery to repair a ligament. Throughout the rest of her childhood, Greta developed more and more fears. First, it was anything about hospitals and dogs, other black animals, then loud noises, sirens, first responders, and she struggled with wetting accidents due to fears for quite some time as a child. In college Greta worked through some of her anxieties with a counselor, but she did not address her dog fears as she claimed “I have just become really good at avoiding dogs”.

Hands holding a video game control.
Ari describes himself as being an “awkward geeky sort”. His very favorite thing to do is play video games, particularly creative and multiplayer games, and he is quite famous in his online communities and has developed a popular YouTube channel mostly with his Minecraft server.

At 10 years old, Ari is 5′ 7” tall. His physical development is “off the chart” and physical education teachers have tried to coax him into athletic activities for years as they see his height as a true advantage. Ari’s parents say “his body hasn’t caught up with itself yet. He stumbles on stairs and bumps into walls… he just doesn’t have much coordination. Everyone in our family is tall (both of us are over 6’2”), and we all took this same path. Sports don’t tend to work well until about 13 or 14 years old, sadly.”

At school, Ari has begun to notice that all the popular boys are athletes, and has now shared with his parents “I just want to be able to run fast and throw a ball… I’m tired of being picked last all the time in gym class, and I just want to fit in”. They have noticed that Ari’s performance at school seems to be suffering lately; he claims it is a result of being a social outcast. The parents said “well, he’s learning something at this school, but maybe not what we would hope he is learning. Maybe we should look at a different kind of school.”

Hands holding a tray of freshly baked cookies.
Dot grew up in a large family in the Midwest. By the time she married Bill after college, she was a “whiz” in the kitchen, particularly with baked goods, and Dot and Bill and their kids enjoyed her skills with home-cooked hearty meals when the children were young.

Dot, her husband, and four children moved from their very small town to a large coastal city and Dot took a full-time job about five years ago. Things got busy over time and their lives became fast-paced. Dot turned to prepared foods for many of their dinners and stocked the pantry with snacks and other easy-to-grab foods for lunches and breakfasts on-the-go. Her spouse and children are all having issues with food sensitivities and Dot has been recently chastised by her physician that something has to change—her weight has ballooned and she is pre-diabetic. She admits she does not seem to have an “off-button” when it comes to sweets and is really distracted by them and will sometimes just eat a couple of boxes of cookies and nothing else during the day.

Dot’s physician suggested she might suffer from sugar addiction and said to stop all processed foods and sugar. Dot is in agreement yet every time she tries to come up with a healthy meal plan she says she can’t think it through and doesn’t follow the plan and they end up ordering pizza instead. She claims the whole thing is exhausting and every time she tries to find out information on the web every nutrition guru contradicts the rest. “I know I have to fix this, but it seems I have to un-learn everything I know and then figure out exactly what I am supposed to eat.”

Chef chopping vegitables.
Mike is 28 years old. He has recently been released from prison after serving 4 years for distribution of a controlled substance. Before he was incarcerated, Mike struggled for many years with addiction, primarily to methamphetamine and heroin. During his time in prison, Mike finished an associate’s degree in food service and is hoping to someday have a career as a chef.

Mike comes from a very high-achieving family. His parents and siblings are all successful and have “fancy degrees”. He is estranged from his family currently due to his behaviors in the past while he was trying to score drugs. Mike shared that when he was a child he was considered hyperactive and his school demanded he was put on medication as he would not sit still. He was prescribed Adderall, which he took from age 6 until he was in high school when he started to sell some of it or trade it for marijuana.

Despite this, he did very well in school and graduated 5th in his class and was on the 4A state champion varsity baseball team. He sustained an injury to his knee post-season his senior year, effectively ending his opportunity to play in college. Once he went to college “everything fell apart”. He would start his day with a bong hit and then stay high all day long. He said that once he was in recovery he realized he is a perfectionist and has a very deep fear of failure.

He is now in his halfway house for 6 months and says the biggest thing he wants to learn is how to live a clean life “on the outs” and not be so hard on himself with unreasonable expectations.

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