|Attempts to describe how people learn, by helping to understand the inherently complex process of learning. 
There are three main perspectives in learning theories:
|Behaviorism|| Theory of learning based on the idea that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning and that all the things that organisms do, including acting, thinking and feeling can and should be regarded as behaviors that can be studied in a systematic and observable manner with no consideration of internal mental state. Conditioning occurs through interaction with the environment, and there are two major types of conditioning:
According to the notions of operant conditioning an effective way of teaching would be to make the learners practice and to give them a reward for the correct responses. This reward could be represented by the knowledge of results. Whether the learners understand why the answer is correct or not is not considered to be a relevant aspect of learning.
|Cognitivism||The theory of cognitivism incorporates mental structure and processes into learning theories. According to this theory learning occurs when learners are able to add concepts and ideas to their knowledge by recognizing a relationship between something they already know and what they are learning. The focus of cognitivism emphasizes the internal processes and structures inferred through the observation of behavior. knowledge can be transferred from the outside of the mind to its inside, and is related to the mental processes concerning how the integration and retrieval of information is operated. Learning is seen as a willful activity, requiring attention and energy. As a result, issues of perception, techniques of gathering learner attention, and motivating learners are central.|
|Constructivism||Theory of learning suggesting that, people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. When a person encounters something new, he reconciles it with previous ideas and experience, maybe changing believes, or maybe discarding the new information as irrelevant. In any case, the learner is an active creator of his own knowledge. To do this, he must ask questions, explore, and assess what is already known. Learners and trainers should work together to construct meanings, rather than having these meanings pre-determined or prescribed in advance for the learner by the instructor. The basic assumptions of constructivism are the followings:
Meaning making is prompted by a problem, question, confusion, disagreement, or dissonance and so involves personal ownership of that problem.
|Getting more from e-learning
(Video, 30 minutes)
|This is an excerpt from the presentation of Bryan Hopkins about concepts and guidelines for adult learning and e-learning, considering the application of learning theories, held at the UNITAR Headquarters in Geneva, 6 April 2011.|
|Getting more from e-Learning
|The presentation of Bryan Hopkins about concepts and guidelines for adult learning and e-Learning held at the UNITAR Headquarters in Geneva, 6 April 2011. (To open the file, right click and select Open in a New Tab.)|
- ↑ Designing Successful E-Learning, Allen’s M, 2007. The operational analysis of psychological terms, Skinner B.F. 1984. www.learningcircuits.org (29 July 2008), www.13.org (29 July 2008), www.answers.com/topic/learning-theory (29 July 2008), www.psu.edu (29 July 2008) , www.learningguru.com (29 July 2008), olt.ubc.ca/distance_learning (29 July 2008), www.learning-theories.com (29 July 2008)