Sunday, 30 June 2013

Learning Theories

Learning Theories

There are different theories on how individual learns, some of them are

AndragogyCognitive LearningExperiential Learning

According to Marques (2006) Andragogy refers to one where Learners take responsibility for their own learning and resent authority, whereas cognitive learning is an approach where learning is an active ‘mental’ process of acquiring, remembering, and using knowledge but one of the criticisms of cognitive learning is that learning itself is not directly observable.

Experiential Learning

David A. Kolb – Experiential Learning theory, based on four elements: concrete experience, observation and reflection.  Kolb argued that learning can begin at any point and continues from their on. The following figures shows that one steps followed by another in a cyclical manner, and there is no exact end or start,  it could start from provision of an experience like in a training of softwares where the trainer first shows how to use the software and is followed by Reflection, Conceptualization, and questionably Active Experimentation. the following figure of Kolb Experiential Learning Cycle identifies the four key step in the learning process.

Concrete Experience

Learning experience deals with the 'doing' or 'actively trying out' the  contents so that the trainees can have an experience of the contents/material that needs to be understood.


Simmonds (2003) provides an equation which expresses that Action without reflection is not Learning, expressed as:

A – R ? L

Reflection according to Kolb refers to reviewing what has been done and experienced and understanding the effects. To foster reflection participants should be involved continuously in a process of discussion plus a session evaluation shall be conducted to find out how well the experience was and what they believed worked and what didn’t work thus providing with a chance to reflect on the experience.


This element of the cycle deals with developing an understanding of what happened by seeking more information and forming new ideas about ways of doing things in the future. To help conceptualization participants could be provided real world example relating to their own particular field which could help them conceptualize how they can use the learning experience in real life.

Active Experimentation

Active experimentation provides the learners a  chance to actively experiment their learning during the training event but it may not be provided  due to different constraints, for instance location constraint, but to cope up with the constraint participants could be provided with a Video Cd and Step by Step guide they can use it if they need in future, plus its also the job of the participants what they take out of training, they use it in their real life.


Simmonds, D.,  (2009). Training and Development. London: CIPD

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