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Theories of Learning By Lora Plank. Learning Theories Theorists BehaviorismCognitivismConstructivism Principles Characteristics Design Implications Example.

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Presentation on theme: "Theories of Learning By Lora Plank. Learning Theories Theorists BehaviorismCognitivismConstructivism Principles Characteristics Design Implications Example."— Presentation transcript:

1 Theories of Learning By Lora Plank

2 Learning Theories Theorists BehaviorismCognitivismConstructivism Principles Characteristics Design Implications Example Theorists Principles Characteristics Design Implications Example Theorists Principles Characteristics Design Implications Example

3 Behaviorism Theorists Albert Bandura B. F. Skinner Clark Hull E. C. Tolman Edwin Guthrie Ivan Pavlov John Watson

4 Albert Bandura Social Learning Theory … People can learn by observing the behavior of others and the outcomes of those behaviors. Claims that modeling can have as much impact as direct experience.  Modeling – individuals learn how to act by observing another. retrieved June 29, retrieved June 29, 2007.

5 B. F. Skinner Principle of reinforcement … the behavior of an organism can be shaped by reinforcing, or rewarding, the desired responses to the environment. Proponent of operant conditioning  Operant conditioning is the use of consequences to modify the occurrence of voluntary behavior. Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (2 nd ed.). Boston and Bacon, p. 34. Heinich, R., Molenda, M., Russell, J., & Smaldino. S. (2002) Instructional Medial Technologies for Learning (7 th ed.). Columbus, OH: Merrill Prentice-Hall, p (retrieved June 29, 2007)

6 Clark Hull Believed that internal stimuli also elicit responses and that observed behavior was a function of these internal stimuli as well as environment variables. Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (2 nd ed.). Boston and Bacon, p. 34.

7 E. C. Tolman Purposive behaviorist … Believed that behavior is guided by purpose and individuals selectively take in information from the environment and build cognitive maps as they learn. Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (2 nd ed.). Boston and Bacon, p. 34.

8 Edwin R. Guthrie Believed that stimuli which are acting at the time of a response tend on their reoccurrence to evoke that response. One-trial learning  The last stimulus before a response occurs becomes associated with the response. Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (2 nd ed.). Boston and Bacon, p. 34. Peterson, Heather, retrieved June 29,

9 Ivan Pavlov Classical conditioning … repeatedly pairing an unconditioned stimulus with a neutral stimulus resulting in the neutral stimulus eventually eliciting the same response as the unconditioned stimulus.  A light shone in one’s eyes causes a blink (unconditioned). Repeatedly pairing a neutral stimulus like a chime with the unconditioned stimulus will result in blinking upon hearing the chime. Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (2 nd ed.). Boston and Bacon, p. 35. Heinich, R., Molenda, M., Russell, J., & Smaldino. S. (2002) Instructional Medial Technologies for Learning (7 th ed.). Columbus, OH: Merrill Prentice-Hall, p. 16.

10 John Watson Put emphasis on external behavior of people and their reactions in given situations. Believed that virtually all human behavior could be explained as conditioning. Believed that psychology should study observable behaviors, not internal processes Saettler, P. (1990). The evolution of American Educational Technology. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unllimited, p (retrieved June 29, 2007)

11 Behaviorist Principles Learning is demonstrated by changes in form or frequency of observable performance. Learning is accomplished when a proper response is demonstrated following the presentation of a specific environmental stimulus. Responses that are followed by reinforcement are more likely to recur. Ertmer, P.A., & Newby, T.J. (1993) Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features from an Instructional Perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, p. 55.

12 Behaviorist Principles The learner is a block box and nothing is known about what goes on inside. The learner is reactive to environmental conditions. Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (2 nd ed.). Boston and Bacon, p. 35. Ertmer, P.A., & Newby, T.J. (1993) Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features from an Instructional Perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, p. 55

13 Behaviorist Characteristics Positive reinforcement Premack principle Negative reinforcement Punishment Learned helplessness Extinction Response cost Timeout Shaping Chaining Fading

14 Positive Reinforcement The presentation of a reinforcer contingent upon a response that results in the strengthening of the response.  Primary reinforcers’ value is biologically determined, i.e. food  Conditioned reinforcers acquire value through association with a primary reinforcer, i.e. money  Example: Students who complete a pre-exam assessment and get at least a 90% score get 5 bonus points (conditioned reinforcer). Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (2 nd ed.). Boston and Bacon, p. 39.

15 Premack Principle Making high-frequency behaviors contingent upon low-frequency behaviors in order to strengthen the low-frequency behavior.  Example: Using playing outside as a reward for eating all of your spinach. Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (2 nd ed.). Boston and Bacon, p. 41.

16 Negative Reinforcement Strengthens a response through the removal of an aversive stimulus contingent upon that response.  Students who score above 95% on all tests will not have to take the final exam. (This is similar to not having to take the GRE (aversive stimulus) by maintain a specific GPA (strengthens the response of getting good grades.) Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (2 nd ed.). Boston and Bacon, p

17 Punishment Presentation of an aversive stimulus contingent upon a response that reduced the rate of that response.  The surgeon yelling at a student for selecting the wrong instrument. Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (2 nd ed.). Boston and Bacon, p. 42.

18 Learned Helplessness Passive acceptance of events seemingly beyond one’s control.  A student repeatedly fails tests no matter now hard they study. Eventually, they stop studying because passing the test seems to be beyond their control. Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (2 nd ed.). Boston and Bacon, p. 43.

19 Extinction Previously existing contingencies of reinforcement are taken away, thereby causing a reduction in the frequency of a response.  A student repeatedly makes jokes during lecture. Everyone is annoyed but chuckles. Eventually, the chuckling stops and the student stops telling the jokes. Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (2 nd ed.). Boston and Bacon, p. 43.

20 Response Cost Removal of reinforcement contingent upon behavior.  Fine or loss of some previously earned reinforcer Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (2 nd ed.). Boston and Bacon, p. 44.

21 Timeout Removing the learner, for a limited time, from the circumstances reinforcing the undesired behavior.  Common method of behavioral modification for children, generally 1 minute per year of age. Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (2 nd ed.). Boston and Bacon, p. 45.

22 Shaping Reinforcement of successive approximations to a goal behavior.  When students are learning to set up a surgical table, they receive praise after first preparing the drapes, then after preparing the sutures, then after preparing the instruments until they are finally able to set up the entire table. Praise is a strong social reinforcer. Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (2 nd ed.). Boston and Bacon, p. 45.

23 Chaining Establishing complex behaviors made up of discrete, simpler behaviors already known to the learner.  When learning to prepare for a surgical procedure, each of the individual steps (opening supplies, washing the hands, gowning, preparing the table) has been learned through shaping and then each of these steps is chained together to complete the complex process of preparing for the procedure Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (2 nd ed.). Boston and Bacon, p. 49.

24 Fading Fading out of discriminative cues used to initially establish a desired behavior.  The instructor coaches the students as to which instruments to place in which position on the Mayo stand. During each successive setup, the instructor gives fewer cues until the student is able to complete the setup independently. Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (2 nd ed.). Boston and Bacon, p. 50.

25 Design Implications Behaviorist strategies are best suited for well- structured problems.  Recalling facts  Defining and illustrating concepts  Applying explanations or association  Chaining Ertmer, P.A., & Newby, T.J. (1993) Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features from an Instructional Perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, p

26 Design Implications Emphasis is on sequencing, mastery of early steps before progressing to more complex levels. Use of reinforcement (rewards, feedback) Ensure a strong stimulus, response association (cues, practice) Ertmer, P.A., & Newby, T.J. (1993) Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features from an Instructional Perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, p

27 Programmed Instruction Leading a learner through a series of instructional steps to a desired level of performance.  A frame, or small unit of information is presented as a stimulus  The learner then makes a response by answering a question  He is given feedback and a correct response is reinforced  The cycle is repeated to present a complete program in a logical sequence of information Heinich, R., Molenda, M., Russell, J., & Smaldino. S. (2002) Instructional Medial Technologies for Learning (7 th ed.). Columbus, OH: Merrill Prentice-Hall, p. 16. Saettler, P. (1990). The evolution of American Educational Technology. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unllimited, p. 297.

28 Drill-and-Practice The learner is led through series of practice exercises designed to increase fluency in a new skill.  Learner has previously received some instruction  Include feedback to correct and remediate errors  Example: Students use drill-and-practice when learning new medical terms. Heinich, Robert. (1999). Instructional Media and Technologies for Learning. Columbus, OH: Prentice Hall, p. 9.

29 Example From My Field A mastery learning approach is well-suited for instruction of surgical fundamentals required to prepare the operating room for a procedure. This is a well-structured problem. Well-structured problems are performed by recalling procedures and performing them exactly as taught. It is not necessary to understand why the procedure works. Well-structured problems are ideally suited to behaviorist strategies such as Bloom’s mastery learning approach. There are ten fundamental competencies that must be demonstrated before any student can participate in “real-world” patient care. These ten competencies are sequential, beginning with simpler skills and progressing to more complex skills. Saettler, P. (1990). The evolution of American Educational Technology. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unllimited, p Silber, K. (1998). Cognitive approach to training development. ETR&D, 46(4), p (retrieved June 29, 2007)

30 Example From My Field The first step is to specify and publish the particular knowledge or skills to be learned. For each competency students are first presented with clearly stated learning objectives from one or more of the three learning domains, cognitive, affective and psychomotor. Objectives are developed using Bloom’s taxonomic approach. Students are next presented with underlying theory related to the specific competency. An initial assessment of theoretical knowledge follows in the form of a written exam. This allows the instructor to determine what particular areas of instruction the student is having difficulty with.

31 Example From My Field Students are then assigned to specific lab groups to participate in relevant learning experiences which have been developed for each competency. Groups are based on similarly demonstrated strengths or weaknesses of the students assigned to the group. Additionally, self- paced learning modules may be assigned to groups weak in specific theoretical aspects of a competency. For example, students weak in the fundamentals of asepsis (as demonstrated by poor performance on the written assessment) may be assigned to watch videos or computer- based tutorials.

32 Example From My Field Each small group then works under the guidance of an instructor to learn to apply theory to simulated practice. The specific skill is demonstrated by the instructor so that the students may model her behavior. Students will use drill-and-practice to improve fluency in each skill. Using fading, in the early stages of learning, the instructor may give cues. As learning progresses, cues will become less frequent. It is important for students to receive prompt feedback regarding deficiencies so that corrective measures can be instituted and “bad behaviors” can be eliminated. Even those who demonstrate initial mastery must continue to practice (overlearning) so that behaviors become automatic. Through shaping the instructor will have reinforced successive approximations of the goal by giving praise as the student completes each successive step of the process. Ultimately, the student will master the complex behavior of preparing the entire room by chaining each of the simpler tasks involved.

33 Example From My Field Finally, criterion-referenced assessment measures performance in terms of the specifically stated learning objectives. Assessment of theoretical knowledge is through comprehensive written examination. Authentic assessment in a laboratory situation (students demonstrate all tasks expected in the surgical setting and are evaluated using a rubric) demonstrates application of theory to practice. Students who demonstrate mastery of fundamental skills are assigned to the clinical setting where ultimately, in order to graduate from the program, they will be expected to synthesize theory and practice in new, increasingly complex situations. Students who fail to demonstrate mastery of fundamental skills are reassigned in groups or worked with individually for remediation.

34 Cognitive Theorists Charles Reigeluth David Ausubel David Merrill Howard Gardner Jerome Brunner Robert M. Gagné Robert M. Gagné

35 Charles Reigeluth Elaboration theory … instruction should be organized in increasing order of complexity for optimal learning.  The simplest version of a procedural task is presented first  Subsequent lessons present additional versions until the full range of tasks are taught  In each lesson, the learner should be reminded of all versions taught so far (summary/synthesis).  Learner needs to develop a meaningful context into which subsequent ideas and skills can be assimilated. retrieved June 29, 2007.

36 David Ausubel Made a significant contribution to the field of learning in the research and development of advance organizers. Subsumption theory … new material is related to relevant ideas in the existing cognitive structure on a substantive, non- verbatim basis. retrieved June 29, retrieved June 29, 2007.

37 David Merrill Component display theory … instruction is more effective if it contains all necessary primary and secondary presentation forms.  Learning is classified along two dimensions: content (facts, concepts, procedures, and principles) and performance (remembering, using, generalities).  Four primary presentation forms: rules, examples, recall and practice.  Secondary presentation forms include: prerequisites, objectives, helps, mnemonics, and feedback. retrieved June 29, 2007.

38 Howard Gardner Defined cognitive science as “a contemporary, empirically based effort to answer long-standing epistemologically questions – particularly those concerned with the nature of knowledge, its components, its sources, its development, and its deployment.” Bednar, A.K., Cunningham, D., Duffy, T.M., & Perry, J.D. (1991) Instructional Technology Past Present and Future (7 th ed.). Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, Inc., p. 90.

39 Jerome Bruner Maintains that people interpret the world in terms of its similarities and differences in which people form a hierarchical arrangement of related categories. Ideas are based on categorization. "To perceive is to categorize, to conceptualize is to categorize, to learn is to form categories, to make decisions is to categorize." retrieved June 29, 2007.

40 Robert M. Gagné Conditions of Learning … there are nine events that activate processes needed for effective learning: gain attention, inform learner of objectives, stimulate recall of prior learning, present stimulus material, provide learner guidance, elicit performance, provide feedback, assess performance, enhance retention and transfer retrieved June 29, retrieved June 29, 2007.

41 Cognitivist Principles Mental models are the key to learning and using knowledge. Learning is equated with discrete changes between states of knowledge. Memory is given a prominent role in the learning process. Foshay, W.F.; Silber, K.H., and Stelnicki (2003). Writing Training Materials that Work. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pferiffer, p. 17. Silber, K. (1998). Cognitive approach to training development. ETR&D, 46(4), p. 66. Ertmer, P.A., & Newby, T.J. (1993) Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features from an Instructional Perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, p. 58.

42 Cognitivist Principles Focus is on how learning occurs, how information is received, organized, stored and retrieved by the mind. The learner is an active participant in the learning process. Ertmer, P.A., & Newby, T.J. (1993) Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features from an Instructional Perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, p retrieved June 30, 2007.

43 Cognitive Characteristics Schemata Assimilation Accommodation Chunking Rehearsal Elaboration Mental models Authentic contexts Advance organizers Analogies/metaphors Mnemonics Hierarchical organization Hierarchical organization

44 Schemata Mental structures by which individuals organize their perceived environment.  Students are aware that there are various categories of instruments, clamps, retractors, etc. Heinich, R., Molenda, M., Russell, J., & Smaldino. S. (2002) Instructional Medial Technologies for Learning (7 th ed.). Columbus, OH: Merrill Prentice-Hall, p. 16.

45 Assimilation Integration of new information and experiences into existing schemata. The schema expends but does not change its basic structure.  The student becomes aware the clamps may be further categorized for various uses vascular clamps, neuro clamps, etc. but all clamps are used for hemostasis. Heinich, R., Molenda, M., Russell, J., & Smaldino. S. (2002) Instructional Medial Technologies for Learning (7 th ed.). Columbus, OH: Merrill Prentice-Hall, p. 16.

46 Accommodation Modification of existing schemata or creation of new schemata in an attempt to deal with a new concept or experience.  The student becomes aware that not only clamps are used for hemostasis. There are various chemical means as well. Heinich, R., Molenda, M., Russell, J., & Smaldino. S. (2002) Instructional Medial Technologies for Learning (7 th ed.). Columbus, OH: Merrill Prentice-Hall, p. 16.

47 Chunking Breaking information into smaller bits to improve memory.  When learning surgical instruments we first learn all instruments in a specific group, first the clamps, then the graspers, and so on Silber, K. (1998). Cognitive approach to training development. ETR&D, 46(4), p. 63.

48 Rehearsal Repetition of information in order to move it from sensory stores to memory  Repeating phone numbers  Association of an important characteristic with a name, i.e. Allis has alligator teeth Foshay, W. R., Silber, K. H. and Steinicki, M. B. (2003). Writing Training Materials that Work. San Drancisco: Pfeiffer/Jossey-Bass, p. 12.

49 Elaboration Adding information to the information being learned. Association of new information to existing information creates more pathways from which to retrieve the new information.  When students are learning to use instruments such as retractors, we associate this new information with existing information such as the use of kitchen instruments, i.e. forks, knives. Foshay, W. R., Silber, K. H. and Steinicki, M. B. (2003). Writing Training Materials that Work. San Drancisco: Pfeiffer/Jossey-Bass, p. 13.

50 Mental Models Representations of reality that we use to understand specific phenomena  Association of declarative knowledge Three types of declarative knowledge are facts, concepts, principles.  Organization of declarative knowledge  Application of declarative knowledge  Bridge between declarative and procedural knowledge Foshay, W. R., Silber, K. H. and Steinicki, M. B. (2003). Writing Training Materials that Work. San Drancisco: Pfeiffer/Jossey-Bass, p (retrieved June 28, 2007)

51 Authentic Context Use authentic contexts for explanations, examples, and practice to help the learners relate what they learn to situations in which they will need to use the knowledge.  Any skill taught, for example inserting a Foley catheter, is put into authentic context. Theory is first presented with “real-life” stories of when the skill would be used and complications that may occur. Training then moves to the lab where the student practices the skill while interacting with the instructor and receiving feedback. Silber, K. (1998). Cognitive approach to training development. ETR&D, 46(4), p. 64.

52 Advance Organizers Popularized by David Ausubel, advance organizers help prepare the learner for new information and should be given in advance of the presentation of new information. They help the learner organize and interpret new information.  Overview or lesson introduction  Statement of learning objectives  Matrix Ertmer, P.A., & Newby, T.J. (1993) Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features from an Instructional Perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, p. 61. Heinich, R., Molenda, M., Russell, J., & Smaldino. S. (2002) Instructional Medial Technologies for Learning (7 th ed.). Columbus, OH: Merrill Prentice-Hall, p retrieved June 29, retrieved June 29, 2007.

53 Analogies and Metaphors Cognitive theories emphasize relating new information to existing knowledge in memory. Analogies and metaphors relate new concepts to prior experiences.  In surgical study, we relate suturing techniques to some common household sewing techniques. Ertmer, P.A., & Newby, T.J. (1993) Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features from an Instructional Perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, p Silber, K. (1998). Cognitive approach to training development. ETR&D, 46(4), p. 64.

54 Mnemonics A mnemonic is a memory aid used to create associations between easy-to-remember information and to be remembered lists of data.  We use the mnemonic “On Old Olympus Towering Top A Famous Vocal German Viewed Some Hops” to help students remember the cranial nerves … olfactory, optic, oculomotor, trochlear, trigeminal, etc. retrieved June 29, 2007

55 Hierarchical Organization Information being learning should be hierarchically organized or categorized in a manner such as to approximate the way information is stored in memory in order to increase retention.  When teaching the student the various surgical instruments, we first discuss, present similarities and then practice with all the clamps, then the retractors, then the graspers, and so on Silber, K. (1998). Cognitive approach to training development. ETR&D, 46(4), p. 64..

56 Design Implications Cognitivist strategies are best suited for moderately-structured problems which will require reasoning, problem-solving and information-processing. Goal is to communicate or transfer knowledge to the students in the most efficient, effective manner. Ertmer, P.A., & Newby, T.J. (1993) Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features from an Instructional Perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, p. 59.

57 Design Implications Emphasis on structuring, organizing, and sequencing information to facilitate optimal processing. Emphasis on making associations to existing knowledge in memory. Use authentic-context presentation with practice and feedback. Ertmer, P.A., & Newby, T.J. (1993) Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features from an Instructional Perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, p Silber, K. (1998). Cognitive approach to training development. ETR&D, 46(4), p. 62.

58 Example From My Field Merrill’s First Principles of Instruction can be applied to the moderately- structured problem of teaching students surgical instruments and their uses. Students will be presented with learning objectives and an advance organizer including the five basic categories of surgical instruments, general use of the categories and representative examples of instruments in a given category. “Learning is promoted when learners are engaged in solving real-world problems.” (Merrill, p.45) The learner’s attention will be gained by showing a short video of a surgical procedure which focuses on the instruments being used. Merrill, M.D. (2002). First principles of instruction. Education Technology Research and Development, 50(3), p

59 Example From My Field As a child develops schemata to classify objects from their environment, so will the students develop a schema for the classification of surgical instruments. They will learn to place the instruments into one of five categories, i.e. the clamps have rings, the graspers look like tweezers. It will be very important to use chunking, to break the very large task of learning 100 instruments into the smaller chucks of categories, beginning with the simpler categories first, then proceeding to the more complex categories. This hierarchical organization will enhance the students’’ learning. Merrill, M.D. (2002). First principles of instruction. Education Technology Research and Development, 50(3), p

60 Example From My Field “Learning is promoted when relevant previous experience is activated.” (Merrill. 46) Learners will be encouraged to recall, relate and apply knowledge from relevant past experience such as the uses of ordinary household objects, forks, knives, tweezers, etc. Each learner has experience with many objects that can be related to the use of surgical instruments. In fact, during the days of the civil war, many household objects were used to perform surgery. Through elaboration and the use of analogies, learners will be able to relate the use of surgical instruments to objects used in daily life, i.e. much as a fork is used to hold a piece of meat to be sliced, an instrument is used to hold tissue to be resected. Merrill, M.D. (2002). First principles of instruction. Education Technology Research and Development, 50(3), p

61 Example From My Field “Learning is promoted through demonstration of what is to be learned.” (Merrill, p. 47) The individual instruments will demonstrated to the students. Demonstration will move to a lab setting where a simulated minor surgery will show the instruments in use. Students will apply their new knowledge of instruments a laboratory simulation. Students will recognize instruments learned. They will be able to identify instruments used in specific situations. Learners will be guided by instructor feedback and coaching which will gradually be withdrawn before final testing. Merrill, M.D. (2002). First principles of instruction. Education Technology Research and Development, 50(3), p

62 Example From My Field Finally, students will integrate the new knowledge into authentic context in the clinical setting. They will be expected to not only recognize the surgical instruments but also to anticipate which instruments will be used in a given situation. Merrill, M.D. (2002). First principles of instruction. Education Technology Research and Development, 50(3), p


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