Tiffany Espinosa


Reflection and Philosophy on Learning, Instruction, and Technology

  Philosophy [fi-los-uh-fee] –noun, plural -phies:

1) a system of principles for guidance in practical affairs
2) A set of ideas or beliefs relating to a particular field or activity
3) The discipline comprising logic, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, and epistemology
4) A system of values by which one lives

My Guiding Principles  

First and foremost, information technologies are a means, not an ends. They can facilitate or impede educational practices, and as ILT specialists we need to understand the fundamentals of education so we can use technology appropriately. The "no significant difference" studies comparing live and online learning don't adequately account for the variability in the quality of instruction in either medium. The cost and barriers (ranging from cultural to technological to adoption barriers) are not insignificant when planning new ILT intiatives. Some of the most important lessons in instructional design that I adhere to are:

  • instuction must be learner-centric and must meet learner needs. Learner needs include:
    • cognitive needs and constraints
    • perceptions and attitudes
    • motivations
  • learner motivation can be stimulated by understanding and valuing the goals of instruction
  • active learning and socially-based learning dramatically increase information retention and knowledge transfer
  • instruction that connects knowledge acquisition in the classroom to real-world application is more engaging
  • multimedia can improve learner outcomes by capitalizing on reinforcing information processing channels in the brain (though more is not better; there are well-documented multimedia best practices)
  • successful practitioners and managers are jacks-of-all trades: they can understand and negotiate through the process and politics from the nuts-and-bolts to the big picture/lay of the land level.

My Beliefs & Values

Life-long learning. Everyone has a responsibility to give back. Collaboration and community are powerful forces. Collaborating and mentoring are important ways of being professional.  Set the bar high. Be accountable, to all the stakeholders. Professionalism and excellence, in all things. Constant improvement. Innovation. The means are as important as the ends. Assumptions should be challenged; collaborators who will challenge us make us better. Solutions and strategies should match the problems and audience. Feedback, both quantitative and qualitative, is critical. Understanding mistakes is as important as knowing best practices. Being a leader also means mentoring the next generation of leaders.


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Updated: 10/25/06
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