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Laws of learning

Edward L. Thorndike in the early 1900ís postulated several "Laws of Learning," that seemed generally applicable to the learning process. Since that time, other educational psychologists have found that the learning process is indeed more complex than the "laws" identified. However, the "laws" do provide the educator with insight into the learning process that will assist in providing a rewarding experience to the learner.

As with anything else relative to the instruction and learning process, nothing that we do is a singular item a combination of activities occur at the same time to make the experience complete.

As an instructor using traditional, as well as online instruction, we should understand the importance of each of the "laws" and relate them to the total learning process. And, while they were written long before we had contemporary once they again reviewed, it will be understood how well the basic principles fit into online instruction.

1. Law of Readiness

The Law of Readiness means a person can learn when physically and mentally adjusted (ready) to receive stimuli.

2. Law of Exercise

The Law of Exercise stresses the idea that repetition is basic to the development of adequate responses.

Remember that practice makes permanent, not perfect unless the task is taught correctly.

3. Law of Effect

Learning will always be much more effective when a feeling of satisfaction, pleasantness, or reward accompanies or is a result of the learning process.

4. Law of Association

When the mind compares a new idea with something already known, it is said to be using association.

5. Law of Recency

Review, warm-ups, and similar activities are all based on the principle that the more recent the exercise, the more effective the performance. Practicing a skill or new concept just before using it will ensure a more effective performance.

6. Law of Intensity

The principle of intensity states that if the stimulus (experience) is real, the more likely there is to be a change in behavior (learning)


This page was developed using Microsoft FrontPage 2000 and utilizes two tables and text and graphics inserted into each of the rows.

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Once the table is in place you can edit the table properties by placing the curser on the table and right clicking. You will then see a pop-up menu that looks like this.

Click on the "Table Properties" link and a dialog box will be visible.

To remove the table borders, reduce the size to "0". To remove the space that is present around the table, reduce cell padding to "0". Cell spacing refers to the distance or space that is kept around text or graphics, in this table the spacing was increased to "5" to provide sufficient margins around the text.

Colors and Graphics. In order to provide good contrast between the images and the remaining items in the table, the cell color was changed to white. This blended the image background with the cell color, this gives the appearance that the image fills the entire cell. The image background color could have been changed or been made transparent, but that would have caused some problems with the black and white graphic that was used in the first table.

Just a matter of preference which is a key component of developing your instructional pages.


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