Way back, when I started my career, I was taught about content types. It stuck with me for the value it generated and I believe it to be the core of ID.

The learning theories can be applied to a wide range of content and contexts, but we cannot pinpoint a unique learning theory for each type of content.  As an ID, it’s pertinent for you to understand the learning theories fully to be able to make an educated guess on how to support learning rather than use any random idea that comes to mind. 

Primarily you can categorize any content into five types:

While I was writing about these content types, I chanced upon the Entelechy's Designing Training Based on Five Content Types and used a few examples from there too.

Along with the content types, I have combined the learning theories to make it easy to apply for designing the learning experiences.

Behaviorism focuses on the role of reinforcement in shaping behavior. It may be relevant when teaching facts or procedures, as these involve step-by-step instructions that can be reinforced through rewards or consequences.

Cognitivism emphasizes the role of mental processes in learning. It may be relevant for teaching concepts, as this involves understanding and applying abstract ideas.

Constructivism emphasizes the role of the learner in constructing their own understanding of the environment. It may be relevant for teaching principles, as this involves learners making connections between different pieces of information and developing their own understanding of how they fit together.

The most appropriate learning theory to use will depend on the specific learning goals, objectives, and outcomes as well as the needs and characteristics of the learners. It may be useful to consider using a combination of learning theories to address different aspects of the content and facilitate a more comprehensive learning experience.

Let’s look into these five primary content types.

Content Type #1: Fact

Dictionary definition of facts are pieces of information that can be discovered or are statements of truth that can be verifiable from experience or observation. What this implies is that...
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Content Type #2: Concept

Dictionary definition of concept is an abstract idea or a thought or a notion or a mental representation of a thing or class of things. Concept has also the ability...
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Content Type #3: Principle

Dictionary meaning of principle is any underlying or guiding theory or general belief, or a rule or law concerning a natural phenomenon or the behavior of a system or rule...
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Content Type #4: Process

Dictionary meaning of process is a series of actions which are carried out to achieve a particular result; or a method of doing something that involves a number of steps or operations;...
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Content Type #5: Procedure

Dictionary meaning of procedure is a particular course of action or way of doing something, or an established way of a proceeding in any action or conduct, or a specific...
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How to Visualize – Content Type #1: Fact

Facts are pieces of information that are true and verifiable. When visualizing facts, focus on presenting the information in a concise and clear manner. Consider using visuals like: Infographics: Create...
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How to Visualize – Content Type #2: Concept

Concepts are abstract ideas or principles that require understanding and contextualization. When visualizing concepts, consider using: Mindmaps: Create mind maps to visually represent the relationships between different components of a...
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