Monday, 25 March 2013

Learning Theories



I often deal with learning theories in the classroom, physical and virtual.  In fact it was when I was first exposed to learning theories that first attracted me to specialise in "education."  Specializing in education typically involves taking courses on Educational Psychology, Testing and Measurement, Teaching Methods or Pedagogies, and so on.  After taking an Ed Psych and an Instructional Technology course, I fell in love with the Education world.  I took more courses in the College of Education at the university (NIU) where I studied and I loved it so much that I switched my interest from my undergraduate major in Biological Sciences to taking up a specialization in Instructional Technology at the post-graduate levels.

Did you know that many events or things that we see in education are common sense but not for all people and not all the time?  Take learning for example.  How one person learns is different from how other people learn.  How one prefers to interact in the classroom is different from how another prefers to interact.  Theories are able to explain just that.  Theories of learning and personality theories explain the latter and the former.

How one is motivated in different ways and at different times may also be explained by motivation theories.  Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a classic one that is applicable in almost all, if not all situations.  Keller's ARCS model for learning motivation has stood the test of time since it was first developed about 30 years ago in how it explains the engagement of students to the learning process.

The best news is, I recently found an Infographic that summarises the theories of learning that we learned before and are learning about now.  The visual provides a quick overview of each of the learning theories and what each entails.  I wish I had this many years ago when I was a student.  It would have made my learning easier.  This goes to show that I am, by preference, a visual learner.

To see what I mean, view it at:  http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/03/learning-theories-every-teacher-should.html.  I think you will like it.