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  • Writer's pictureInaia Correia

Summary of Three Learning Theories

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

When I started in Instructional Design, I used the ADDIE primarily in the corporate environment as a base learning theory. This helps me build corporate online courses. My belief is that the more we know theories, the better we can improve our content and apply our knowledge to what interests you and how you sympathize with it. Check out some of my favorite learning theories.

Gagnet’s 9 events of Instruction.

Gagnet's principle of learning is based on stimulus. The stimulus is, according to Gagnet, “is a change of inner state that manifests itself through behavior change and in the persistence of this change. An outside observer can recognize that learning has taken place when he observes the occurrence of a behavioral change and also the permanence of that change.”

In my view, this theory fits perfectly into virtual and/or online education and can be observed by separately analyzing each of the nine events:

1 - gain attention, 2 - inform learners of objectives, 3 - stimulate recall of prior learning, 4 – present the content, 5- provide learning objectives, 6 – Elicit Performance (practice), 7 – Provide feedback, 8 - Assess performance and 9- Enhance retention and transfer to the job.

In my experience as a content developer, Gagne's theory seemed more complete than ADDIE, as they are more points to pay attention to, but in any case, both present assertiveness in the construction of educational content for online platforms.

Mind Map and Action Mapping Process

I confess that for someone with ADHD like me, maintaining coherence and organization is an evolutionary and difficult process. For this reason, Mind Mapping theories draw a lot of attention. They make me feel that no matter how difficult the content is, there are ways to simplify and optimize it for education.

In addition, the Action Mapping Process streamlines and simplifies the design process. “As a result, the training is not only designed with a purpose and objective from the start, it also provides the opportunity to identify the information needed to achieve that objective.”

It simplifies, clarifies and connects the main sources of content information. With this, an online course becomes more accessible to its users, and often more creative.

In my experience as an ID, the most creative courses and games I developed used the Action Mapping Process.

Kirk Patrick’s Model of Evaluation of Training.

I believe that we can only educate when education is effective, or to be clear: learning is as critical as teaching. Kirk Patrick's Model of Evaluation helps with the training evaluation process and results analysis.

Through 4 different levels of evaluation, we can observe how effective and effective the content was for the student and also what changes are necessary for future content.

Level 1, reaction, shows how excited the students were about the training. When evaluating, we can often see that not always excellent design is enough to keep students engaged with the content. Instead, it is mainly the relevance of the subject and the way it is offered.

Level 2, learning, assesses how much content has been assimilated and learned by the student. Level 3, Behavior, shows how much the content has impacted the student to change their attitudes, behavior, actions and even methods. And Level 4, Results, evaluates the results directly from the course.

I once produced a course about a Chinese theory for optimizing time, organization and productivity in a work environment. When evaluating the results within 3 months of the organization implementing the course, it was noticed that the environment was almost 40% more productive and organized. In a society so accustomed to face-to-face learning, evaluating results even enhances sales and credibility for Distance Learning.


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