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Learning Theory Series

Be learner-centric!

Keep the learners first always!

As Instructional Designers, we are bombarded with these phrases. Even though we understand the value of each phrase, we struggle with how to apply them. To be able to apply, we can begin with understanding how learning works.

The workings are explained using Learning Theories. These theories are not just any random piece of information, but philosophies about how learning works based on research.

Learning Theory: A set of principles that describes how learners receive, process, and retain knowledge during learning and impact of internal and external influences.

The first three theories namely, Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism forms the basis of all learning theories. The remaining two theories Connectivism and Humanism are related to Cognitivism and Constructivism respectively.

Read more about the five types of learning theories.

Learning Theories Series 01: Behaviorism

Behaviorism is based largely on the works of Pavlov’s classical conditioning (Stimulus-response) which psychologist John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner expanded to give us the learning theory. According to...
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Learning Theories Series 02: Constructivism

In constructivism, as the name suggests, each learner builds upon their previous experience and knowledge to "construct" a new knowledge. Constructivism focuses on learning as an active process, which is...
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Learning Theories Series 03: Cognitivism

Cognitivism emphasizes that significant internal mental or cognitive processes takes place during the process of learning and learning is not simply an “output” or observable behavior which results from an...
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Learning Theories Series 04: Connectivism

Connectivism is strongly influenced by the technologies of the digital age that have created newer opportunities to learn and share information through forming connections with others.  Connectivism focuses on a...
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Learning Theories Series 05: Humanism

Humanism emphasizes that learners are inherently good and will make good decisions when all their needs are met. Feelings, intellect, social skills, artistic skills, practical skills, along with self-esteem, goals,...
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Once you have mastered these five learning theories, you may proceed and read more about additional learning theories including transformative, social, and experiential. (Everything is available on the Web).

Then you may come back here and move onto the Content Types.