Learning: Definitions Reviewed

Learning: Laws of Learning


I. Concepts of Learning

As trainers, we have completed a Methods of Instruction (MOI) course sometime during our career. That "Methods" class has served as the foundation for our instructional sessions and been expanded on through continuing education and trial and error.

Fortunately, the basic concepts that were covered in the MOI course still work when dealing with online instruction. Now, all that has to happen is to adapt our educational skills to a new format and to experiment with the technology until we are comfortable.

As a review, it is worth looking at the definitions of Learning, Training and the Learning process.

A. Learning, Training, and the Learning Process, Defined:

1. Learning

Learning can be defined utilizing several definitions:
a. Knowledge obtained by study. The act of obtaining knowledge or skill.

b. A (relatively permanent) change in behavior that occurs as a result of acquiring new information and putting it to use through practice.

c. Learning is an activity that affects behavior.

By utilizing dictionary definitions, we can avoid the educational specialists arguments concerning a concise definition and explanation of how it (learning) takes place. However, most educational specialists agree that learning is a change in behavior that occurs as a result of acquiring new information and putting it to use through practice.

It also should be realized and understood, for learning to take place the learner should be actively engaged in the learning process, and the experience should be satisfying, exciting, and rewarding.

Learning is an active process of thinking and doing.

2. Training
As defined in the dictionary, Training is:

To render proficient or qualified by instruction, drill, educate.

Training has often been related to the skills area of the educational process. However, training includes both knowledge and skill components that lead to an individuals understanding of the why and the how.

3. Learning Process
a. The terms are best defined separately:

First, learning is a (relatively permanent) change in behavior that occurs as a result of acquiring new information and putting it to use through practice.

Second, process can be defined as a series of continuous actions that bring about a particular result, end, or condition.

b. Then defined in context:

Learning process is the series of continuous actions (from motivation to evaluation) that brings about a relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs as a result of acquiring new information and putting it to use through practice.

 

Return to Main Page

Page Design and Layout by Ron Hopkins


Copyright © September 2000 All Rights Reserved
TRACE
Fire Protection and Safety Consultants, Ltd
123 Redwood Drive
Richmond, KY 40475
859-624-1136 Voice
859-623-6893 FAX
rhopkins1@earthlink.net

Visit the Fire and Safety Engineering Technology Program website: www.fireandsafety.eku.edu