Posted: February 26th, 2023
Applying learning theories and instructional design models for effective instruction | Advances in Physiology Education
The Implications Of 3 Adult Learning Theories On Instructional Design - eLearning Industry
Conditions of Learning (Robert Gagne) - InstructionalDesign.org
GAGNÉ'S 9 EVENTS OF INSTRUCTION - A TIME TESTED WAY TO IMPROVE TEACHING - ProQuest
Prior to this discussion, read Chapter 2 in Brown and Green (2020), Khalil and Elkhider (2016), Schwartz (2018), and Culatta (n.d.-b). This discussion gives you an opportunity to discuss learning theories and learning activities that support various theories and will support you with the Week 2 Gagné’s 9 Events of Instruction assignment.
Please review the Week 2 Instructor Guidance page and the Discussion Grading Rubric before participating.
Initial Post: Consider the different perspectives you explored this week on how people learn. In your initial post,
· Discuss which perspectives resonate with your own personal characteristics and why.
· Select two perspectives, and complete the following:
· Identify at least two benefits and two drawbacks for each
· Describe a learning activity that supports each
Critical Thinking Guidance: To help meet the critical thinking requirement, your post should do at least one of the following:
· analyze or evaluate information,
· make connections to other concepts in the class,
· provide examples that support your thoughts and viewpoints,
· share personal experiences relevant to the post,
· cite sources that support what you are stating in your post, or
· offer alternative viewpoints
Understanding How People Think and Learn
Discussions on how individuals think and learn have taken place throughout history. As a result, various perspectives, influenced by philosophy and psychology, have developed and continue to be developed. Successful instructional designers have a clear understanding of the major perspectives and how they influence the design and implementation of instruction.
This chapter provides an overview of the most common perspectives on thinking and learning that influence instructional design.
Why is it important for instructional designers to understand how people think? How have historical and current perspectives on thinking and the thinking process in instructional design been influenced by philosophy and educational psychology? What point of view do instructional designers typically have regarding thinking and the thinking process? What is learning? Why is it important for instructional designers to understand how people learn? What are two of the most common theories on how people learn that instructional designers make use of in their work? What different types of learning are there?
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behaviorism (page 30) classical conditioning model (page 34) cognition (page 27) cognitive abilities (page 28) cognitivism (page 31) constructivism (page 31) eclecticism (page 17) executive abilities (page 28) learning (page 33) learning objective (page 38) memory (page 28) mental power (page 28) metacognition (page 28) neuroscience (page 31) operant conditioning model (page 35) scholasticism (page 29)
Chapter Overview Take a moment to reflect on what your definition is for thinking. If you struggled to come up with what you believe is a clear definition, don’t anguish over it because you are not alone. John Dewey, in How We Think, wrote, “No words are oftener on our lips than thinking and thought. So profuse and varied, indeed, is our use of these words that it is not easy to define just what we mean by them” (1910, p. 2). The words that Dewey wrote decades ago still ring true. Thinking remains a complex concept that is often used in a variety of contexts to indicate very different things; therefore, at any given time, understanding what thinking means can be quite a challenge.
Despite the challenges inherent in understanding thinking and the thinking process, having knowledge about how people process, store, and retrieve information—in other words, think—is crucial for an instructional designer. This understanding can help him or her better comprehend how people learn because thinking and learning are very much interconnected. An instructional designer who has a solid grasp on thinking and learning is able to design and develop efficient, effective, and meaningful instructional interventions.
The goal of this chapter is to provide you with a framework for understanding how people think and learn. Our intention is to simplify, if possible, how thinking and learning have been conceptualized historically and in more modern times. The opening section of the chapter is organized around two major topics. The first is how instructional designers typically view thinking and the thinking process. The second is a discussion on thinking from various historical and contemporary perspectives. The second half of the chapter examines two major psychological perspectives of learning—behaviorism and cognitivism—and describes how each conceptualizes the learning process.
Basic Cognitive FunctionsBefore beginning a discussion on how instructional designers typically view thinking and the thinking process, an important concept to understand is cognition. How people go about the process of thinking is often referred to as cognition. Cognition is the mental process of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment. In essence, cognition includes all of the brain’s mental input and output. Cognition encompasses basic activities like using language and math functions during a trip to the hardware store, to making complex decisions such as selecting between two job offers, to writing a creative story, to being able to understand another person’s perspective.
Cognition and thinking are terms that can be used interchangeably. This may not resonate well with some; however, this book is not the place for a debate over the intricacies of cognition and how thinking may or may not be synonymous. It is important to realize as an instructional designer that cognition and thinking can be and often are used to refer to the same thing.Basic Cognitive Functions
Numerous technical terms exist related to cognition. Making sense of these is not an easy task. There are hundreds of terms for specific components of cognition, with many having the same or very similar meanings. What makes it difficult in dealing with these components of cognition is that they can mean different things in different settings. Some of the differences may reflect important scientific or theoretical nuances, but many are simply jargon specific to a particular discipline or profession.
The important thing to remember is that cognition and the components of cognition are important to understand because, as mentioned earlier, understanding how people think helps to understand how they learn. Understanding how people learn willhttps://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/chapter02.xhtml?#sp133593958:toc-sec2_3 https://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/chapter02.xhtml?#sp133593958:toc-sec2_4
help you as an instructional designer assist your clients in developing effective and efficient instructional interventions. You do not, however, need to be a cognitive scientist to have an adequate understanding of how people think.
Let’s review some important concepts related to cognition.
Memory is much more than just a passive storage system of knowledge. Memory is a set of active processes that encode information. Memory places information into “packages” or “packets” making information easier to recall and allowing it to be associated with related items already in memory. Memory also involves storing information. Part of this process is the constant rearranging of what has been stored for that new knowledge to be integrated with what has already been stored. Additionally, it allows provides for locating and retrieving of information as it is needed.
Mental power is the basic energy that supports mental activity. It refers to how much mental work can be performed during a specific amount of time. Power can be used to sustain something simple like using a television remote control or something more complex like operating a computer. With either case, the central issue focuses on having enough power on hand to complete the task. In the cognitive domain, power refers to arousal level, concentration span, channel capacity, and mental stamina.
Specific Cognitive Abilities
These functions refer to an individual’s stored supply of knowledge and skills. This includes items such as reading, writing, comprehension, motor skills, and visual-spatial skills.
Executive abilities encompass a very large category of cognitive functions. Executive abilities include such higher-order thinking skills as being able to anticipate future needs and planning accordingly, the ability to set priorities, and being able to self-correct and regulate actions. In essence, these are the capacities, which allow an individual to use her mental power and specific cognitive abilities to meet social, professional, and psychological needs.
Metacognition is the ability to control one’s own cognitive processes. It is often referred to as the practice of “thinking about thinking.” In using metacognition, an individual takes an introspective look at the thought process that she has gone through. It allows her to critically consider how she arrived at certain ideas, concepts, and thoughts. Metacognition is a reflective process that helps improve an individual’s control over his or her own thinking process and learning (Bleiberg, 2001; Flavell, 1979; Mayer, 2011, 2017; Ormrod, 2013; Sternberg, 1986; Woolfolk Hoy, 2016).
A Historical Perspective on Thinking: A Brief History Historically, thinking was consigned to the realm of philosophy. Possibly the earliest theory about how the mind works was offered in the 4th and 5th centuries bc by Greek philosophers like Empedocles, Democritus, and Epicurus. These philosophers believed that the mind perceived images given off by objects. These perceived images were then copied as sense impressions and stored into memory. “Knowledge then becomes a matter of knowing these mental copies, and the earliest copy theories suggested that the mind knew directly what the sensory nerves brought to it” (Herrnstein & Boring, 1965 as cited in Driscoll, 2004).
A very different perspective, suggested by Plato (and much later by Kant), generally known as idealism, stated that the mind does not directly comprehend reality or copy it. With this perspective, reason is considered the primary source for understanding and knowledge. The major proposition behind this perspective is that all data coming from the senses are interpreted by the mind according to the mind’s innate tendencies (Collinson, 1978; Driscoll, 2004).
Philosophy followed this theme (with numerous slight variations) up until the influence of the Church shifted philosophical thought around the 9th century. This influence led to what was called scholasticism, a philosophical perspective based upon a mixture of Aristotelian and Church writings and thought. Scholastic philosophy was built around a highly organized system of truths, which were distinct from Church doctrines but were not in opposition to them. Scholastic philosophers, such as Thomas Aquinas, believed that human intellect was incapable of acquiring knowledge of intelligible things without illumination from God. Individual interaction and participation with the Word of God was necessary if knowledge was to be gained. Thinking was directly related to what God provided to individuals through his inspiration (or “illumination”) (Nichols, 2003).https://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/chapter02.xhtml?#sp133593958:toc-sec2_5
Another shift in the view on thinking began with the dawn of the Renaissance and continued into the 17th and 18th centuries. A movement began that shifted attention away from the belief that truth was divinely inspired by God and that the individual was incapable of discerning what is real or what is truth. Philosophers, like Descartes and Locke, believed to be true what they saw with their own eyes and experienced with their senses. Rather than assuming God played the key role in the universe, humans began to be the standard for judging what was real and what truth was. Human intellect was deemed capable of discriminating between truth and error. Certain defined methods for discovering truth and evaluating evidence came to be considered reliable and sufficient for discovering truth. Thinking focused more on observation, experience, rational thought, and the scientific method, rather than solely on God and tradition (Almog, 2002; Sorell, 2001).
A Modern View on Thinking: The Shift from Philosophy to Psychology While philosophy continues to play a role in how thinking and the thinking process is conceptualized, the emergence of psychology (especially educational psychology), in the mid- to late 19th century, has had and continues to have the most significant influence on how instructional designers view thinking. Educational psychology, which originated as a separate branch of psychology in 1892 (Berliner, 1993; Mayer, 2017), has provided a concentrated look at thinking and learning through a more scientific perspective—one based upon research and which includes a focus specifically on how thinking and learning are interconnected.
Two Major Perspectives
Two major perspectives, with several variations, emerged from psychology and have dominated the way instructional designers view how people think, and, in turn, how people learn. Provided in this section are brief explanations of these two distinctly different perspectives—behaviorist and cognitivist—with mention of key individuals who have had influence on how these perspectives have developed.
As an instructional designer, it is important to keep in mind that neither perspective is inherently better than the other. Each perspective offers important contributions that help us understand how individuals think and how people learn. Although most instructional designers tend to feel more comfortable with one perspective over the other, instructional designers will use principles and practices from both as they design and develop instructional interventions. It is also important to remember that these two perspectives are two of out of many that exist. They are described here because they are two of the most influential perspectives.
Positivism and Interpretivism
Before we begin the discussion of behaviorist and cognitivist perspectives it is important to provide a brief description of two contrasting philosophical perspectives. We include this information because it helps explain how many people come to understand how people think and learn.
Positivism and interpretivism are often seen as a dichotomy for describing individual approaches to how knowledge is generated and verified. Positivism presumes that there are only two sources of knowledge—logical reasoning and empirical experience. Logical knowledge includes mathematics, which is reducible to formal logic. Empirical knowledge includes such areas as physics, biology, and psychology. Experience is the only judge of scientific theories (and therefore knowledge). Interpretivism is based upon the view that knowledge is a matter of perspective. To understand the world, an individual must interpret it. Schwandt (1998) wrote, “what we take to be objective knowledge and the truth is the result of perspective. Knowledge and truth are created, not discovered by the mind” (p. 167).
As you will read below, behaviorist and cognitivist perspectives draw from the positivist and in interpretist philosophies.
The Behaviorist Perspective
The behaviorist perspective, known as behaviorism, dominated psychology for first half of the 20th century (Brandt & Perkins, 2000). Behaviorism includes a group of theories that share several common beliefs—“the generalizability of learning principles across species, the importance of focusing on observable events, and the ‘blank slate’ nature of organisms” (Ormrod, 2013, p. 48). According to behaviorists, mental processes are invisible and therefore cannot be studied scientifically. What can be observed is outward behavior; therefore, rather than speculating on internal causes for why things take place, focus should be placed on how organisms respond to different stimuli (Brandt & Perkins, 2000; Brunning, Schraw, & Norby, 2011; Ormrod, 2013; Woolfolk Hoy, 2016). From a behaviorist perspective, the human mind is malleable, capable of being shaped and formed into producing desired responses and behaviors if specific conditions and circumstances are accounted for and controlled.
The early foundational work of behaviorism was carried out by individuals such as Pavlov (1800–1950), Thorndike (1874– 1949), Watson (1878–1958), and Guthrie (1886–1959). Their research was most notably conducted using animals—typically rats, pigeons, cats, and, in the case of Pavlov, dogs. Examples include the experiments conducted by Pavlov related tohttps://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/chapter02.xhtml?#sp133593958:toc-sec2_6
salivation in dogs. He observed that a dog’s behavior could be conditioned in such a manner that if provided with a specific stimulus (e.g., the ringing of a bell) a specific behavior (e.g., salivation) would take place. Pavlov conditioned a dog to associate the ringing of a bell with eating, which was done by repeated ringing of a bell and then immediately feeding some meat to the dog. After following this process, Pavlov eventually rang the bell but did not provide meat to the dog; despite this, the dog still salivated in response to hearing the bell. The dog was conditioned to associate the bell with food (Pavlov, 1927). This became known as the Classical Conditioning Model. Skinner, unquestionably the best-known behaviorist, built upon this early body of research by developing what is known as operant conditioning. By observing pigeons and rats, Skinner observed that the increase in the frequency of a behavior was more likely to occur if followed immediately by a reinforcer (i.e., a reward) (Skinner, 1978). These concepts provided important insights that have helped provide understanding of the mind and how people think.
The Cognitivist Perspective
Psychologists in the years following World War II began to move away from behaviorism toward a different perspective of the mind and how people think. This perspective was distinguished as cognitivism. With this perspective, internal mental processes were considered important and capable of being identified and studied (Brandt & Perkins, 2000; Ormrod, 2013). From a cognitivist perspective, the human mind is considered highly complex. A metaphor typically used by cognitivists to describe the mind is a computer. Like a computer, the mind processes information through a series of different processes that work together as a complete system.
Several individuals have had tremendous influence on the cognitive perspective. The foundations of cognitivism were built on the work of Vygotsky (1896–1934), Dewey, Piaget (1896–1990), and Bruner (1915–).
More Recent Perspectives
Although behavorist and cognitivist perspectives have dominated the way in which thinking has been perceived, more recent perspectives have influenced instructional designers views’ on how people think. These perspectives are constructivism, neuroscience, and postmodernism.
Constructivism, a variant of cognitivism, is centered around the principle that an individual constructs his own understanding of the world he lives in by reflecting on his experiences. An individual generates his own mental models, which he uses to make sense of his experiences. Brandt and Perkins (2000) write, “Both a philosophical and psychological stance, constructivism argues that the human mind does not simply take in the world but makes it up in an active way” (p. 160). Brooks (2001) describes the underlying principle of constructivism in more detail.
Each of us makes sense of our world by synthesizing new experiences into what we have previously come to understand. Often, we encounter an object, an idea, a relationship, or a phenomenon that doesn’t quite make sense to us. When confronted with such initially discrepant data or perceptions, we either interpret what we see to conform to our present set of rules for explaining and ordering our work, or we generate a new set of rules that better accounts for what we perceive to be occurring. Either way, our perceptions and rules are constantly engaged in a grand dance that shapes our understandings.
With constructivism, one of the most important factors that influences learning—the construction of meaning and knowledge —is interacting with others. Through social interactions learners will build deeper understandings (van Merrienboer & de Bruin, 2014).
Neuroscience is the study of the brain and nervous system. Neuroscientists focus on interpreting how the brain controls of all its varied and diverse functions. According to the Society for Neuroscience (2014), “Brain researchers are motivated to understand behavior. How do cell circuits enable us to read and speak? How and why do we form relationships? How do we think, remember, despair, or motivate?” (para. 6). Additionally, neuroscientists focus on disorders of the brain and body—how they occur and how they might be prevented or cured (Society for Neuroscience, 2014).
Although neuroscience is not a new field, the focused application of neuroscience to education has been relatively recent. According to Beauchamp and Beauchamp (2012), “Modern neuroscience research has produced findings about the brain and its functioning that could potentially impact the ways teachers in school classrooms approach their learners” (location 489). These findings can also have an impact on how instructional designers go about creating instruction. It should be noted that despite the positive applications of neuroscience in education, there have been many documented instances where applications
have not been based on sound empirical data (Anderson & Della Sala, 2012). According to Mayer (2017), “The potential of educational neuroscience rests in building connections between the science of learning and neuroscience to build a neuroscience-informed science of learning” (p. 844). This will help bring about “new implications for instructional design and classroom teaching” (p. 845).
In the late 20th century and into the early 21st century, an approach called a postmodernism has provided a different perspective on how humans think.
Postmodernism is largely a reaction to the assumed certainty of scientific, or objective, efforts to explain reality. In essence, it stems from a recognition that reality is not simply mirrored in human understanding of it, but rather, is constructed as the mind tries to understand its own particular and personal reality.
In the postmodern understanding, interpretation is everything; reality only comes into being through our interpretations of what the world means to us individually. Postmodernism relies on concrete experience over abstract principles, knowing always that the outcome of one’s own experience will necessarily be fallible and relative, rather than certain and universal.(PBS, 2003)
As mentioned, postmodern philosophy questions (and often rejects) the idealized view of truth and of knowing inherited from past philosophical traditions. To the postmodernist, thinking is a dynamic, ever-changing function that depends upon an individual’s interpretation of the world they live in (Butler, 2003; Goodman, 2008).
An Instructional Designer’s View on Thinking It is important to recognize that a person’s perspective on thinking largely depends upon a combination of that person’s education, training, philosophical beliefs, and profession. The perspective of instructional designers is no different. An instructional designer’s perspective on thinking, and in turn learning, is highly influenced by training and by the nature of the profession.
Instructional designers tend to look at thinking from a pragmatic point of view, asking themselves, What do we need to know about thinking and the studies done on thinking that will help develop efficient and effective instructional interventions? It is no surprise that the majority instructional designers are considered eclectic—borrowing from different perspectives and using what works for a given situation to produce desired results. Instructional designers tend to take a systems theory approach when it comes to looking at thinking (and learning) by exploring it from several different perspectives, rather than focusing narrowly on one aspect of what thinking is or is not. Instructional designers perceive thinking as a complex process that includes various interconnected elements, and therefore cannot be encapsulated in one neat and tidy description or theory. This view has been shaped by centuries of thought and study conducted by philosophers and psychologists on thinking and how the mind works.
What is Learning? As is the case with thinking, learning can be conceptualized in a variety of ways. Most often, learning is defined as being a relatively permanent change in either behavior or in mental representations or associations brought about by experience (Ormrod, 2013). The change that takes place will last for some time, but it may or may not last forever. These changes may be readily observable, such as when a child learns to tie his or her shoes, while other changes may be more subtle, such as when an individual gains a better appreciation for classical music (Ormrod, 2013). Additionally, these changes that occur may be deliberate or unintentional, correct or incorrect, and conscious or unconscious (Hill, 2002).
It is important to understand that change occurs as a result of experience. These experiences are events, planned or not, that occur in a learner’s life. Thus, change occurs as an individual interacts with his or her environment. It is important to note, however, that not all changes that take place are learned and therefore cannot be attributed to learning. These types of change are based on maturation or on temporary body states (e.g., fatigue, hunger, intoxication); they are not based on experiences (thus, they are not considered learned).
In examining the definition of learning, we propose that two very different types of changes can take place when learning occurs. The first is a change in behavior; the other is a change in mental representations or associations. It is important to note this difference because it reflects the divergent viewpoints of two psychological perspectives: behaviorism and cognitivism.https://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/chapter02.xhtml?#sp133593958:toc-sec2_7 https://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/chapter02.xhtml?#sp133593958:toc-sec2_8
Two Major (and Very Different) Approaches to How People Learn There unquestionably exist more than two perspectives that describe how humans learn. Arguably, however, two of the most influential and popular perspectives that have had the greatest impact on instructional design are behaviorism and cognitivism. Throughout much of the first half of the 20th century, behaviorism dominated how instructional designers approached their work; it wasn’t until after World War II that cognitivism began to supplant behaviorism by providing an alternative viewpoint. Both perspectives, along with their various branches, continue to have great influence on instructional design activities in the 21st century. The purpose of this section is to provide a brief overview on how each perspective approaches how people learn.
A Behavioral Approach to Learning
From a behaviorism perspective, learning is defined as a change in behavior due to experience that can be measured (Burton, Moore, & Magliaro, 2004; Driscoll, 2004; Ormrod, 2015). Woolfolk Hoy (2016) writes that, “Behaviorism attempts to explain learning by focusing on external events as the cause of changes in observable behaviors” (p. 198). Brandt and Perkins (2000) add that behaviorism suggests
organisms learn through classical and operant conditioning. Complex behaviors are built up through “shaping”, starting with parts of or rough approximations of the target behavior and providing reinforcement in ways that gradually shape the pattern of behavior in the intended direction. Much learning in natural circumstances occurs because the environment shapes behavior in this way. Not only direct rewards like food but also indirect “tokens” of reward shape behavior through learned associations.
Classical and operant conditioning models provide explanations for how learning specifically takes place within the behaviorism perspective. The classical conditioning model (developed by Pavlov) describes a type of associative learning. Classical conditioning occurs when two stimuli are presented at approximately the same time. One of the stimuli is an unconditioned stimulus (i.e., it has been shown to elicit an unconditioned response). The other stimulus (neutral stimulus), through its association with the unconditioned stimulus, begins to bring on a response, as well—it becomes a conditioned stimulus that brings about a conditioned response. Figure 2.1 depicts an example of classical conditioning based upon Pavlov’s experiment with dogs.
Figure 2.1 Classical Conditioning Analysis—Pavlov’s Experiment on Dogs
Source: Adapted from Pavlov, I. (1927). Conditioned reflexes (G. V. Anrep, Trans.). London: Oxford University Press.
The operant conditioning model was developed by Skinner. Skinner believed there were two types of learning—classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Operant conditioning results when a response is followed by a reinforcing stimulus. The response produced is a voluntary one. The individual (or other organism) producing the response has complete control over whether the response occurs. Skinner’s term operant indicates that the individual willingly operates on the environment and therefore can have an effect on it (Driscoll, 2004).
Figure 2.2 is a comparison of operant and classical conditioning.
Figure 2.2 Differences between Classical and Operant Conditioning
Source: Ormrod, J. E. (2007). Human learning. Printed and electronically reproduced by permission of Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.https://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/chapter02.xhtml?#sp133593958:toc-sec2_9 https://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/chapter02.xhtml?#sp133593963:fig2_1 https://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/chapter02.xhtml?#sp133593963:fig2_2
Despite the variants of behaviorism, Ormrod (2015, pp. 30–31) writes that historically behaviorism have shared certain basic assumptions.
Principles of learning should apply equally to different behaviors and to different species of animals. Learning processes can be studied most objectively when the focus of study is on stimuli and responses. Internal processes are largely excluded from scientific study. Learning involves a behavior change. Organisms are born was blank slates. Learning is largely the result of environmental events. The most useful theories tend to be parsimonious ones.
The Role of the Learner from a Behavioral Perspective
Skinner (1978) stated that a learner “does not passively absorb knowledge form the world around him but must play an active role” (p. 5). Therefore, learners learn by doing, experiencing, and engaging in repeated trial and error. Burton et al. (2004) write that, “The emphasis is on the active responding of the learner—the learner must be engaged in the behavior in order to learn and to validate that learning has occurred” (p. 9).
A Cognitivist Approach to Learning
From a cognitivist perspective, learning is a change in mental representations and associations brought about by experiences. Greeno, Collins, and Resnick (1996) write that cognitivists view learning as “transforming significant understanding we already have, rather than simple acquisitions written on blank states” (p. 18). This follows the standard cognitivist view of learning that assumes that mental processes exist, and can be studied scientifically. Brandt and Perkins (2000) noted that early research in cognitivism “focused primarily on information processing, especially pattern recognition, memory, and problem solving. The mind was considered a rule-governed computational device. A scientist’s task was to identify the specific rules by which the mind manipulates symbols to arrive at results” (p. 165). This view reflects a common metaphor used by many cognitivists that the mind works in the same way as a computer; therefore, learning takes place by applying set-in-place algorithms. Brandt and Perkins go on to write that, “Over time, cognitive scientists gradually expanded their attention to include a remarkable array of human activities: the formation of judgments, decision making, creativity, critical thinking, and even the emotions” (2000, p. 165).
The Role of the Learner from a Cognitive Perspective
Cognitivists believe that learners are not passively influenced by environmental events; rather, they are active participants in their own cognition (Ashcraft, 2002). As individuals engage in the learning process, they “actively choose, practice, pay attention, ignore, reflect, and make many other decisions as they pursue goals” (Woolfolk Hoy, 2004, p. 236).
What is Learned?
The behaviorist and cognitive perspectives differ in their assumptions regarding what is learned. From the cognitive perspective, knowledge is learned. It is the increase of knowledge that makes it possible for changes in behavior to occur. According to the behaviorist perspective, the new behaviors themselves are learned (Shuell, 1986).
A Constructivist Approach to Learning
In addition to the two major approaches to how people learn that we discussed above, the constructivist approach has emerged over the past three decades, with a tremendous impact on learning. Constructivism has its roots in both psychology and philosophy. Constructivism goes beyond the traditional view of cognitivism that “people represent information in their minds as single or aggregated sets of symbols, and that cognitive activity consists of operating on these symbols by applying to them learn plans, or algorithms” (Winn, 2004, p. 79).
Marzano (2000) writes, “Constructivism refers to the general principle that learners use their prior knowledge to construct a personally meaningful understanding of new content that is the focus of learning” (p. 81) The learner takes in information from the world, filters this information, and use this information to make his or her own unique reality (Jonassen, 1991). Driscoll (2004) adds that constructivism “rests on the assumption that knowledge is constructed by learners as they attempt to make sense of their experiences. Learners, therefore, are not empty vessels waiting to be filled, but rather active organisms seeking meaning” (p. 376). Driscoll (2004, pp. 382–383) summarizes the conditions necessary for learning in a constructivist environment as:
embedded learning in complex, realistic, and relevant environments;
provision for social negotiation as an integral part of learning; support for multiple perspectives and the use of multiple modes of representation; encouragement of ownership in learning; and nurturing of self-awareness of the knowledge construction process.
Using Various Approaches to Learning The different approaches to learning can provide very useful perspectives on how people learn. It is generally not advisable to strictly follow one approach when carrying out instructional design activities, because every instructional context is different and brings with it different variables that need to be accounted for such as the context, the learners, and the type of learning that needs to occur. No one approach can completely account for all of these variables. For successful instructional design to occur, it is critical that instructional designers are able to borrow from the different approaches to develop instructional interventions that take into consideration all of these variables.
Types of Learning
As mentioned, one variable that is part of every instructional context is the type of learning that needs to take place. Instructional designers must have the ability to identify different types of learning to design efficient and effective instructional interventions. Probably the most well-known and used distinctions made regarding types of learning is that of learning domains. There are three commonly used learning domains that refer to specific types of learning—cognitive, affective, and psychomotor. The major idea behind the learning domains is that learning can be organized and measured along a continuum from low-level to higher-level knowledge, attitudes, or skills.
Benjamin Bloom (1913–1999) and colleagues are typically credited with developing the original idea and work behind the three learning domains in the mid-20th century (Eisner, 2000). The result of Bloom’s work originated out of his efforts to improve university examinations (Eisner, 2000; Ormrod, 2015). The result of this work was three taxonomies of educational objectives corresponding to three learning domains. In recent years, other researchers (e.g., Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001; Cangelosi, 1990; Marzano & Kendall, 2007) have published revisions to Bloom’s original work. Despite this, the major premise behind Bloom’s original work remains intact.
One of the most useful ways that the learning domains can be used is to consider them when learning objectives are being developed for instruction. Learning objectives are descriptions of what an individual should know or be able to do once he or she has completed an instructional intervention. In addition to the development of learning objectives, the domains can be useful in planning assessments.
The cognitive domain is historically referred to as Bloom’s Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain. This taxonomy describes six levels: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation (Bloom, Engelhart, Frost, Hill, & Krathwohl, 1956). It is common to consider these levels as a hierarchy—each level building upon the ones below. This is not entirely accurate for every subject or discipline (Seddon, 1978); some subjects or disciplines—like mathematics—do not fit this structure extremely well (Gronlund, 2000). At the bottom level of the domain (knowledge), individuals can remember basic information without necessarily understanding, using, or manipulating it. With evaluation, the highest level, individuals can make judgments about complex ideas, materials, and processes as they are applied in various contexts.
Figure 2.3 Bloom, Engelhart, Frost, Hill, and Krathwohl’s Cognitive Domain (1956)
Source: Adapted from Bloom, B. S., Engelhart, M. D., Frost, E. J., Hill, W. H., & Krathwohl, D. R. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives. Handbook I: Cognitive domain. New York: David McKay.
The affective domain deals with emotional responses. The levels range from least committed to most committed (Krathwohl, Bloom, & Masia, 1964). The levels are: receiving, responding, valuing, organizing, and internalizing (see Figure 2.4). At the basic level of this domain (receiving), an individual is able to pay attention to a certain idea (e.g., listening to music at a live event), but does not show any concerted interest. With internalizing, the highest level, an individual can adopt a new idea or value and act consistently with it (e.g., openly demonstrating an appreciation for classical music).
Figure 2.4 Krathwohl, Bloom, and Masia’s Affective Domain
Source: Adapted from Krathwohl, D.R., Bloom, B.S., & Masia, B.B. (1964). Taxonomy of educational objectives. Handbook II: Affective domain. New York: David McKay. Bloom
The psychomotor domain deals with physical abilities and skills. There are several taxonomies (Cangelosi, 1990; Harrow, 1972; Simpson, 1972) that depict this domain that typically describe levels that move from basic physical actions to more skilled and creative movements. Simpson (1972) outlines a domain with seven levels: perception; set; guided response; mechanism; complex overt response; adaptation; and origination. Cangelosi (1990) looks at the psychomotor domain by stating that it is useful to look at it as either voluntary muscle capabilities (e.g., flexibility, agility, or speed) or the ability to perform a specific skill (e.g., tying shoes).
Figure 2.5 Simpson’s Psychomotor Domain (1972)
Source: Adapted from Harrow, A.J. (1972). A taxonomy of the psychomotor domain: A guide for developing behavior objectives. New York: David McKay.
Summary Attempts to understand and describe the human mind and how it works can be noted throughout history. Consideration of the topic began in ancient times with the writings of the Greek and Roman philosophers and has continued into modern times with the research conducted in psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience. As the understanding of the human mind and how it works continues to grow, instructional designers need to be able to continue to determine how this information can be used to positively impact their work. Successful instructional designers know that understanding different and often very divergent perspectives on how people think will provide insights into how people learn. This understanding is important because understanding how people learn is a key element in designing successful instructional interventions.
An instructional designer who has a solid understanding of how people learn can articulate the basics of various psychological perspectives that describe different approaches on how people learn. This ability allows him or her to use thishttps://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/chapter02.xhtml?#sp133593963:fig2_4 https://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/chapter02.xhtml?#sp133593958:toc-sec2_11
knowledge to create instructional interventions that meet the goals of their clients. As described in this chapter, behaviorism and cognitivism (and their various branches) are two major psychological
perspectives that have dominated how learning has been viewed throughout the 20th century and now into the 21st century. These two divergent perspectives provide unique approaches on how learning takes place. Behaviorism stresses that learning is a result of a change in behavior based on experience, while cognitivism stresses that learning is a change in mental representations and associations resulting from experience. It is important to understand that neither approach should be used exclusively.
Chapter Comprehension Questions
1. How people go about the process of thinking is often referred to as _________________. 2. Cognition and thinking are often used to refer to the same thing.
a. True. b. False.
3. The practice of “thinking about thinking” is called:
a. Executive abilities. b. Memory. c. Mental Power. d. Metacognition.
4. Prior to philosophy, psychology greatly influenced how scholars thought about how individuals thought and learned.a. True. b. False.
5. According to the ________________ perspective, mental processes are invisible and therefore cannot be studied scientifically.
6. According to the __________________ perspective, the mind processes information through a series of different processes that work together as a complete system.
7. A relatively new area of research that focuses on the brain and how it functions is:
a. Behaviorism. b. Cognitivism. c. Interpretivism. d. Neuroscience.
8. An instructional designer’s view on thinking is influenced primarily by their:
a. Age. b. Education and training. c. Philosophical beliefs. d. Place of birth. e. Both (a) age, and (b) education and training.
9. The perspective that borrows from different philosophical perspectives is called __________. 10. Most often, _____________ is defined as being a relatively permanent change in either ________________ or in mental
representations or associations brought about by ________________ (Ormrod, 2013). 11. From a _______________ perspective, learning is a change in mental representations and associations brought about by
experiences. 12. From a _________________ perspective, learning is defined as a change in behavior due to experience that can be
measured. 13. The three general domains of learning are __________, __________, and __________. 14. The ________________ domain focuses on emotional responses. 15. The ________________ domain focuses on physical abilities and skills. 16. The ________________ domain focuses on six levels of mental processes.
Activities Connecting Process to Practice
1. Why is it important for instructional designers to understand different perspectives on how people think? 2. You are having a discussion with a client. Your client says he recently read an article about behaviorism and cognitivism,
but he isn’t certain whether he clearly understands how each views human thinking. He asks you if you could help himhttps://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/chapter02.xhtml?#sp133593958:toc-sec2_12 https://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/chapter02.xhtml?#sp133593958:toc-sec2_13
clear up any misconceptions he might have by describing the two perspectives. How would you describe the two perspectives to your client?
3. You have been asked to give a brief talk about how perspectives on how humans think and learn have changed over time. What would you include as major topics to discuss?
4. What are some of the most common myths about the brain? 5. What might a simple training session to teach someone how to properly change a flat tire look like if you took a
behaviorist approach in design the training? How about if you took a cognitivist approach or a constructivism approach? 6. Create a chart that describes the major components of behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism. 7. Discuss which learning theory you believe would be the most effective approach to take in creating instruction or
training that focuses on procedural knowledge. 8. Discuss which learning theory you believe would be the most effective approach to take in creating instruction or
training that focuses on declarative knowledge. 9. Locate a piece of educational software. Examine the software and determine what learning theory you believe has
guided the instructional design of the software. Explain your rationale. 10. Conduct a web search on neuroscience and education. What themes do you find? How might these themes impact your
work as an instructional designer? 11. Search the Web for “Dr. John Medina’s 12 Brain Rules.” Explore these. How might instructional designers use these in
the design of instruction or training?
Recommended Reading Antonenko, P.D., van Gog, T., & Pass, F. (2014). Implication of neuroimaging for educational research. In J.M. Spector, M.D. Merrill, J.
Elen, & M.J. Bishop (eds), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (4th edn). New York: Springer. Aquinas, T. (1998). A summary of philosophy. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing. Bigge, M.L. & Shermis, S.S. (2004). Learning theories for teachers. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Brown, J.S., Collins, A., & Duguid, S. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18(1), 32–42. Bruner, J. (1992). Acts of meaning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Bruer, J.T. (1999, May). In search of… brain-based education. Phi Delta Kappan, 80, 645–657. Carey, B. (2015). How we learn: The surprising truth about when, where, and why it happens. New York: Random House Publishing. Dewey, J. (1997). Experience and education. New York: Free Press Publishing. Ertmer, P.A. & Newby, T.J. (1993). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design
perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(4), 50–72. Geake, J.G. (2009). The brain at school: Educational neuroscience in the classroom. Maidenhead: McGraw Hill-Open University Press. Hattie, J. & Yates, G. (2013). Visible learning and the science of how we learn. New York: Routledge. Heshusias, L. & Ballard, K. (1996). From positivism to interpretivism and beyond: Tales of transformation in educational and social
research (the mind-body connection). New York: Teacher’s College Press. Howard-Jones, P. (ed.). (2009). Education and neuroscience. London: Routledge. Immordino-Young, M.H. (2016). Emotions, learning, and the brain: Exploring the educational implications of affective neuroscience (The
Norton Series on the social neuroscience of education). New York: W.W. Norton & Company. Jaeggi, S.M. & Shah, P. (2018). Editorial special topic: Neuroscience, learning, and educational practice—Challenges, promises, and
applications. AERA Open, 4(1), doi: 10.1177/2332858418756053. James, W. (1955). Principles of psychology. Toronto, Canada: Dover Publishing. James, W. (2002). The meaning of truth. Toronto, Canada: Dover Publishing. Joyce, B., Calhoun, E., & Weil, M. (2017). Models of teaching (9th edn). London: Pearson Publishing. Kant, I.A. (1999). Critique of pure reason. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. Kearsley, G. (2009). Theory into practice (TIP). Accessed on January 7, 2010, from http://tip.pscyhology.org/. Mayer, R.E. (2014). The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning. New York: Cambridge University Press. McDonald, M. (2008). Your brain the missing manual: How to get the most from your mind. Sebastapool, CA: O’Reily Media, Inc. Medina, J. (2008). Brain rules: 12 principles for surviving and thriving at work, home, and school. Seattle, WA: Pear Press. Phillips, D.C. (1995). The good, the bad, and the ugly: The many faces of constructivism. Educational Researcher, 24(7), 16–25. Rhodes, R.E., Rodriguez, F., & Shah, P. (2014). Explaining the alluring influence of neuroscience information on scientific reasoning.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 40(5), 1432–1440. Sala, S.D. & Anderson, M. (2012). Neuroscience in education: The good, the bad, and the ugly. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Saettler, P. (1990). The evolution of American educational technology. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited. Sousa, D.A. (2006). How the brain learns (3rd edn). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. van Merrienboer, J.G. & Kirschner, P.A. (2012). Ten steps to complex learning: A systematic approach to four-component instructional
design. London: Routledge.
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van Merrienboer, J.G. & de Bruin, A.B.H. (2014). Research paradigms and perspectives on learning. In J.M. Spector, M.D. Merrill, J. Elen, & M.J. Bishop (eds), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (4th edn) (pp. 21–29). New York: Springer.
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Examining the Situation Needs, Task, and Learner Analysis
According to the principles of instructional design, before you can begin to create an instructional intervention for any group of learners, you need to first thoroughly analyze the situation in order to determine the best course of action. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 describe the instructional design processes that help to answer the question, What type of intervention is needed?
Chapter 3introduces the principles, processes and practices of needs analysis, which helps determine what kind of change the instruction should help bring about. Chapter 4 introduces task analysis, which is a way of understanding the content and/or tasks that will form the basis for the instruction being developed. Chapter 5 explains learner analysis, which is a way of getting to know the people the instruction is designed for.
These analysis activities are essential elements of instructional design. They help the instructional designer decide upon the goals and objectives of the instructional event and help them select and organize the best possible activities for instruction.https://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/part02.xhtml?#sp133593958:pt2 https://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/part02.xhtml?#sp133593958:pt2 https://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/part02.xhtml?#sp133593958:pt2 https://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/part02.xhtml?#sp133593965 https://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/part02.xhtml?#sp133593966 https://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/part02.xhtml?#sp133593967 https://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/part02.xhtml?#sp133593965 https://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/part02.xhtml?#sp133593966 https://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/part02.xhtml?#sp133593967 Chapter 3 https://platform.virdocs.com/rscontent/epub/687388/1409592/OEBPS/chapter03.xhtml?#sp133593958:toc-chapter03
Brown, A. H., & Green, T. D. (2020).
The essentials of instructional design: Connecting fundamental principles with process and practice(4th ed.). Routledge.
· Chapter 2: Understanding How People Think and Learn
· The full-text version of this ebook is available through the RedShelf platform and can be access using the link provided in your online classroom. Chapter 2 presents various learning theories, discusses what learning is, and why it’s important that instructional designers understand how people think. Chapter 2 will help you complete the How People Learn discussion, and the Learning Theories discussion.
Khalil, M. K., & Elkhider, I. A. (2016).
Applying learning theories and instructional design models for effective instruction Links to an external site.. Advances in Physiology Education, 40(2), 147–156. https://doi.org/10.1152/advan.00138.2015
· This article presents the science of learning and instruction as theoretical evidence for the design and delivery of instruction, as well as a practical framework for implementation. This article will assist you in the How People Learn and Gagné’s Nine Events of Instruction assignment this week. Accessibility Statement does not exist.
Culatta, R. (n.d.-b).
Conditions of learning (Robert Gagné) Links to an external site.. InstructionalDesign.org. http://www.instructionaldesign.org/theories/conditions-learning.html
Culatta, R. (n.d.-c).
Learning theories Links to an external site.. InstructionalDesign.org. http://www.instructionaldesign.org/theories/
Schwartz, M. (2018, March 9).
The implications of 3 adult learning theories on instructional design Links to an external site.. eLearning Industry. https://elearningindustry.com/adult-learning-theories-on-instructional-design-implications-3
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