Monday, December 19, 2011


I have a hard time sticking to one school of thought when it comes to learning theory. While I think theories are valuable, I believe that learning theories provide a solid foundation, however multiple theories and procedures should be in place when designing online courses- similar to instructional design processes, learning theory should be adaptable to suit the learner’s needs. We can’t say we are going to design a course based solely on behaviorism or cognitivism, as that would lead to a stagnant environment. Cognition is the process where people are active in acquiring knowledge, and the cognitivism theory relates to how skills are acquired and the goal of instruction is to communicate effectively by breaking down knowledge into smaller tasks that build upon each other. This is an overall great way to design courses so the learner does no get overwhelmed, however should be combined with other types of learning theory in order to create a well rounded learning experience.
I agree with Karl Kapp (2007), when he says “What we need to is take the best from each philosophy and use it wisely to create solid educational experiences for our learners.” The links to two other blogs on cognitivism are found below:

Responded to:


  1. I agree with you that learning should be adaptable because all learner have different learning styles. As educator, we must provide instructional strategies.

  2. Hi Karen:
    This was very insightful.
    According to Howard Gardner, (as cited in Smith, 2002/2008) one must first consider the theory of multiple intelligences. Gardner believed that humans possess various multitudes of intelligences. He adds that the intelligence come with their own strengths and constraints. Lastly, he states, “Although each one is entirely independent of one another.” Do you believe Kerr and Kapp reflects Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences?

    Smith, Mark K. (2002, 2008) 'Howard Gardner and multiple intelligences', the encyclopedia of informal education,

  3. I agree that we should not stick with just one learning theory. We should use them in unison. If one theory is used in a classroom, not all learners are reached. Howard Gardner has taught us that there are multiple ways in which each individual learns. We should try to use several learning theory methods so that every learning style is encompassed. BV

  4. I completely agree! Instructional design of online courses should be a cocktail mix of learning theories to meet the diverse needs of adult learners. The points and feedback from instructors we receive serve as a reward, (behaviorism) and the weekly discussions and blogging (constructivism & connectivism) allows us to network, chat, collaborate and interact with other educators as we construct new knowledge/alter our knowledge bases.