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Learning Theories are frameworks that are extensively used by Instructional Designers to meet the requirements of the target audience and the situation. To do justice to this mandate, an Instructional Designer must first understand Learning Theories in order to apply them. Once they understand the strengths and weaknesses of each Learning Theory, they can optimise their use.
Learning Theories are essentially are established frameworks that describe how learners acquire, process and retain information during learning. Where the same information can be presented in multiple ways, Learning Theories help guide Instructional Designers in crafting effective learning solutions by:
There are several modern Learning Theories that are used extensively to design eLearning courses. I outline 4 modern Learning Theories, as follows:
Adult Learning: The concept of adult learning was developed by Malcolm Knowles. According to him, andragogy is the art and science of how adults learn. Andragogy outlines six main assumptions about adult learners:
Action Learning: Reg Revans is the ‘father’ of action learning.
The approach links the world of learning with the world of action through a reflective process.
Experiential Learning: Kolb proposed this four-stage learning process. This theory states that without reflection, we would simply continue to repeat our mistakes. The experiential learning cycle involves:
Facilitation theory: Carl Rogers and others have developed the theory of facilitative learning. The basis of this theory is that the educator acts as a facilitator and creates a comfortable atmosphere for the learner to consider new ideas.
As we have noted so far, Learning Theories:
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