Learning Theories Mash Up 3

In a previous post (Learning Theories Mash-Up Update) I described my ideas of how several learning theories work together. I made one update to the post after receiving some initial feedback. The latest feedback I’ve received shows that my diagram communicates something I hadn’t intended. Learning Theory Mash UpThe conclusion viewers draw is that the combination of Cognitive Learning Theory and Constructivist Learning Theory results in Contextual Learning Theory. Instead, what I’m trying to convey is this:

  • Either a cognitive or constructivist (or combination) approach has been used in prior learning.
  • Prior learning set up a base of knowledge and experiences a student can draw from.
  • Now students are ready for contextual learning in an experiential learning environment.

In trying to think about how to visually convey this combination of learning theories, I started thinking about layering process. I’m not sure if I have the visual quite right yet. You can let me know if you think this imagery helps to convey my ideas. This is what I had in mind when I labeled this sketch.

  • Cognitive and constructivist learning comes first. It is an integral part of a students learning experience, thus, it is the innermost part of this fashion sketch.
  • Conceptual learning is added later. It’s a second layer of learning that adds depth and interest to the learning process.
  • Experiential learning is the shirt under the vest. This is optional and can be switched out for other types of learning that could be better enhancements, depending on what is being learned. And, this is where my sketch doesn’t quite work, you could choose not to include another learning theory at all.

Sketch provided by anyjazz65 on Flickr.


I’d love to know your impressions of this learning theory mash-up. Does the sketch bring about new ideas of how these theories work together? I’m hoping it conveys a better sense of how they work together, but maybe it only makes it more confusing and less coherent. Can you think of a better way to visually display this idea of the learning theories working together, yet as separate layers?


AECT Standards

1.1 Instructional Systems Design
A good game utilizes appropriate learning theories. Having a complete understanding of the learning theory basis for a game will help direct and focus its development while insuring that the final product is educationally effective.


4 responses to “Learning Theories Mash Up 3

  1. I like the idea of layering as clothing layers…not sure if I relate to the idea of experiential learning being exchangeable. I think experience might be before cognition and construction – maybe like the skin underneath everything. Think of of the baby’s first breath fresh out of the womb – what’s happening then? Is it cognition? Is it construction? Is it pure experience?

  2. Pingback: Learning Theories Mash-up Update | Sharon Vogt: EDTECH Learning Log

  3. Pingback: Game Flow | Sharon Vogt: EDTECH Learning Log

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