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What do the learning theories say about how we learn?

Watch this animated video illustrating four different learning theories about how we learn and how they relate to teaching and learning.

This animation explains some of the different theories about how we learn and how they relate to teaching.

These theories have a big influence on how we learn and how our education is structured, so it is important to take time to understand them.

Learning can occur in formal situations, such as a classroom, lecture theatre, or tutorial. It can also occur in informal situations, such as using Google and Youtube to learn how to fix your bike. The Web, social media and smartphones have led to a blurring of the boundaries between the formal and informal, the professional and the personal.

This means we need to assess the relevance of these different learning theories to teaching and learning in the network age.


Learning theory Teaching approach
Behaviouralism Instructionist
Cognitive Constructivism Experiential
Social Constructivism Collaborative Peer Learning
Connectivism Networked Learning

You will have a chance to investigate these theories and approaches in more detail during the next steps in this activity.

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Learning in the Network Age

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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