Learning Theories And Instructional Design Models By Robert Bacal

While learning theories and models and instructional design models are different things, there's an important relationship between the two.

A learning theory or model is intended to describe how people learn, while the instructional design model maps out steps to create instruction that will cause people to learn.

The Relationship

We all have both implicit and explicit theories and models of learning. Some people take a more behaviorist view, some a more cognitive view, and there are hundreds of other models that affect how teachers and trainers both teach and think.

The instructional design models we might choose are going to be influenced by our beliefs about what causes learning, so first, designers tend to choose and be more comfortable with an I.D. model consistent with their existing beliefs.

Second, the activities we include while applying an instructional design model will also depend on the conscious or unconscious learning models we have.

That's one reason why a lot of training looks so similar, because most of it is delivered by trainers who have embraced angragogy (adult learning models) as the lens through which they understand learning.

The point here is that if you design instruction, you should take some time to make your beliefs about how people learn clear to yourself, because in both design and delivery, your beliefs will be important.

In short, your learning models are the base for how you do things, including the instructional design model you choose, and the learning processes you use.

For more answers to common instructional design questions, click here to go to the I.D. main page.

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