learning theory cognitivism

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Learning Theory in Cognitivism : 

Learning Theory in Cognitivism

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Cognitive psychology is a sub-discipline of psychology exploring internal mental processes. It is the study of how people perceive, remember, think, speak, and solve problems. Cognitive psychology is radically different from previous psychological approaches in two key ways. It accepts the use of the scientific method as a valid method of investigation, It explicitly acknowledges the existence of internal mental states (such as belief, desire and motivation) unlike behaviorist psychology. The field of cognitive neuroscience has provided evidence of physiological brain states which directly correlate with mental states. The school of thought arising from this approach is known as cognitivism.

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Ulric Neisser coined the term "cognitive psychology" in his book Cognitive Psychology, published in 1965. The cognitive approach was brought to prominence by Donald Broadbent's book Perception and Communication in 1958. Cognitive psychology is one of the more recent additions to psychological research, having only developed as a separate area within the discipline since the late 1950s and early 1960s following the "cognitive revolution" initiated by Noam Chomsky's 1959 critique. The cognitivist revolution replaced behaviorism in 1960s as the dominant paradigm. Cognitivism focuses on the inner mental activities – opening the “black box” of the human mind is valuable and necessary for understanding how people learn. Mental processes such as thinking, memory, knowing, and problem-solving need to be explored. Knowledge can be seen as schema or symbolic mental constructions. Learning is defined as change in a learner’s schemata.

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Major research areas in cognitive psychology Perception / General perception /Psychophysics / Attention and Filter theories (the ability to focus mental effort on specific stimuli whilst excluding other stimuli from consideration) / Pattern recognition (the ability to correctly interpret ambiguous sensory information) /Object recognition / Time sensation (awareness and estimation of the passage of time) Categorization: Category induction and acquisition /Categorical judgement and classification / Category representation and structure / Similarity (psychology) Memory: Aging and memory /Autobiographical memory / /Constructive memory / Emotion and memory /Episodic memory /Eyewitness memory / False memories / Firelight memory / Flashbulb memory /List of memory biases /Long-term memory /Semantic memory /Short-term memory /Spaced repetition /Source monitoring /Working memory Knowledge representation: Mental imagery / Propositional encoding/ Imagery versus proposition debate /Dual-coding theories / Media psychology Numerical cognition Language : Grammar and linguistics /Phonetics and phonology /Language acquisition Thinking /Choice (see also: Choice theory) /Concept formation /Decision making /Judgment and decision making /Logic, formal and natural reasoning / Problem solving

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CRITICISMS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL COGNITIVISM- Cognitivism has been criticized in a number of ways. Philosophers have criticized the positivist approach of cognitivism for reducing individual meaning to what they perceive as measurements stripped of all significance. They Phenomenologistargue that by representing experiences and mental functions as measurements, cognitivism is ignoring the context and, therefore, the meaning of these measurements. They believe that it is this personal meaning of experience gained from the phenomenon as it is experienced by a person (what Heidegger called being in the world) which is the fundamental aspect of our psychology that needs to be understood: therefore they argue that a context free psychology is a contradiction in terms. They also argue in favour of holism: that positivist methods cannot be meaningfully used on something which is inherently irreducible to component parts. Hubert Dreyfus has been the most notable critic of cognitivism from this point of view. Humanistic psychology draws heavily on this philosophy, and practitioners have been among the most critical of cognitivism. In the 1990s, various new theories emerged that challenged cognitivism and the idea that thought was best described as computation. Some of these new approaches, often influenced by phenomenological and post-modernist philosophy, include situated cognition, distributed cognition, dynamicism, embodied cognition, ecological psychology and critical psychology. Some thinkers working in the field of artificial life (for example Rodney Brooks) have also produced non-cognitivist models of cognition. The idea that mental functions can be described as information processing models has been criticised by philosopher John Searle and mathematician Roger Penrose. Taking findings from algorithmic information theory they have argued that mental function can never be fully described by information processing theories because computation has some inherent shortcomings which may not capture the breadth of mental processes which exist in biological creatures. They particularly point to Gödel's incompleteness theorem (which states that there are mathematical truths which can never be proven in a sufficiently strong mathematical system; any sufficiently strong system of axioms will also be incomplete) and Turing's halting problem (which states that there are some things which are inherently non-computable) as evidence for their position. Finally it is not clear to what extent cognitivists can respond to the problems of Ryle's Regress or the homunculus fallacy.

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Our Focus is to know about various aspects Related to Education especially Technical Education In field of LEARNING and INSTRUCTIONS

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Attribution Model Component Display Theory Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning Source: http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/index.htm

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Concept Work done in the field Theory / Findings Critics View Why is it important in Technical Education

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Originators and important contributors: Merrill -Component Display Theory (CDT), Reigeluth (Elaboration Theory), Gagne, Briggs, Wager, Bruner (moving toward cognitive constructivism), Schank (scripts), Scandura (structural learning) http://my-ecoach.com/modules/custombuilder/popup_printable.php?id=12152

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Gestalt Psychologists: Gestalt is the German word for configuration / patterns. Gestalt in psychology term which means "unified whole". It refers to theories of visual perception developed by German psychologists in the 1920s. There is emphasis on Totality or whole and not individual parts Main concern is Perceptual Phenomenon WORK DONE IN THE FIELD OF COGNITIVISM WITH FOCUS ON LEARNING THEORIES

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Gestalt Psychologists: Max Wertheimer (1880-1943) Phi Phenomenon Wolfgang Kohler(1887-1967) Explanation of Transportation, Mentality of Apes Kurt Koffka(1886-1941) Law of Pragnanz (Essence), Memory process and memory Trace Bluma Zeigarnik – Zeigarnik Effect (tendency to remember uncompleted tasks better the completed ones) Kurt Lewin(1890-1947) Field Theory and Life Space Topological Psychology

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Kurt Lewin contributed to Gestalt psychology by expanding on gestalt theories and applying them to human behavior. He was also one of the first psychologists to systematically test human behavior, influencing experimental psychology, social psychology, and personality psychology. He was a prolific writer, publishing more than 80 articles and eight books on various psychology topics. Lewin is known as the father of modern social psychology because of his pioneering work that utilized scientific methods and experimentation to look as social behavior. Lewin was a seminal theorist whose enduring impact on psychology makes him one of the preeminent psychologists of the 20th-century. These theories attempt to describe how people tend to organize visual elements into groups or unified wholes when certain principles are applied (SIMILARITY /CONTINUATION / CLOSURE / PROXIMITY / FIGURE & GROUND

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Tulving (1985) suggested the useful distinction between three components of LTM: Semantic memory stores concepts and ideas  Episodic (sometimes referred to as “autobiographical” or “narrative”) memory contains memories of events. Procedural memory concerns skills and “know-how” rather than “know-that” knowledge.

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Gestalt (Plural „Gestalten”) is German for “pattern”, “figure”, “shape”, or “form” Gestalt psychology or gestaltism (German: Gestalt - "essence or shape of an entity's complete form") of the Berlin School is a theory of mind and brain positing that the operational principle of the brain is holistic, parallel, and analog, with self-organizing tendencies. The Gestalt effect refers to the form-forming capability of our senses, particularly with respect to the visual recognition of figures and whole forms instead of just a collection of simple lines and curves. The phrase "The whole is greater than the sum of the parts" is often used when explaining Gestalt theory ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Gestalt acknowledges the “knack” element. It thus underpins all the cognitivist theories. A "knack" is a psychomotor equivalent of cognitive "insight": the best example is probably learning to ride a bicycle. The learning "curve" (where x=time and y=skill) is more like a single step. The learning happens in a few moments, and is permanent—although it may have taken a long time to get to that step with little seeming progress. Criticism:  Gestalt theories of perception are criticized for being descriptive rather than explanatory in nature. For this reason, they are viewed by some as redundant or uninformative.

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PAIGET's Theory of Cognitive Development Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was a biologist who originally studied molluscs but moved into the study of the development of children's understanding, through observing them and talking and listening to them while they worked on exercises he set. "Piaget's work on children's intellectual development owed much to his early studies of water snails" He developed a four-stage model of how the mind processes new information encountered. He posited that children progress through 4 stages and that they all do so in the same order. He did lot of research on his three children.These four stages are:    * Sensorimotor stage (Birth to 2 years old). The infant builds an understanding of himself or herself and reality (and how things work) through interactions with the environment. It is able to differentiate between itself and other objects. Learning takes place via assimilation (the organization of information and absorbing it into existing schema) and accommodation (when an object cannot be assimilated and the schemata have to be modified to include the object.    * Preoperational stage (ages 2 to 4). The child is not yet able to conceptualize abstractly and needs concrete physical situations. Objects are classified in simple ways, especially by important features.    * Concrete operations (ages 7 to 11). As physical experience accumulates, accommodation is increased. The child begins to think abstractly and conceptualize, creating logical structures that explain his or her physical experiences.    * Formal operations (beginning at ages 11 to 15). Cognition reaches its final form. By this stage, the person no longer requires concrete objects to make rational judgments. He or she is capable of deductive and hypothetical reasoning. His or her ability for abstract thinking is very similar to an adult. Criticism: Much of the criticism of Piaget's work is in regards to his research methods. A major source of inspiration for the theory was Piaget's observations of his own three children. In addition to this, the other children in Piaget's small research sample were all from well-educated professionals of high socio-economic status. Because of this unrepresentative sample, it is difficult to generalize his findings to a larger population.

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Jean Paiget (1896-1980) Genetic Epistemology for defining Intelligence ( an integral part of any living organism because all living organisms seek conditions conducive to their survival. Schema the potential to do particular things were labeled as Schemata. The number of schemata available to an organism constitutes cognitive structure Assimilation is the process of responding to the environment in accordance to one's cognitive structure. and accommodation is the process by which the cognitive structure is modified

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Stages of Cognitive Development. Piaget identified four stages of cognitive development Sensorimotor stage (Infancy). In this period (which has 6 stages), intelligence is demonstrated through motor activity without the use of symbols. Knowledge of the world is limited (but developing) because its based on physical interactions / experiences. Children acquire object permanence at about 7 months of age (memory). Physical development (mobility) allows the child to begin developing new intellectual abilities. Some symbollic (language) abilities are developed at the end of this stage. Pre-operational stage (Toddler and Early Childhood). In this period (which has two substages), intelligence is demonstrated through the use of symbols, language use matures, and memory and imagination are developed, but thinking is done in a nonlogical, nonreversable manner. Egocentric thinking predominates Concrete operational stage (Elementary and early adolescence). In this stage (characterized by 7 types of conservation: number, length, liquid, mass, weight, area, volume), intelligence is demonstarted through logical and systematic manipulation of symbols related to concrete objects. Operational thinking develops (mental actions that are reversible). Egocentric thought diminishes. Formal operational stage (Adolescence and adulthood). In this stage, intelligence is demonstrated through the logical use of symbols related to abstract concepts. Early in the period there is a return to egocentric thought. Only 35% of high school graduates in industrialized countries obtain formal operations; many people do not think formally during adulthood.

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Edward Chance Tolman (1886-1959) Tolman also introduced “intervening variables” into the nomenclature of learning psychology. (This was very influential to Hull, who adopted the concept and terminology). In Tolman's system there were three classes of variables. 1. Dependent (behaviors or responses being observed and measured) 2. Independent (2 types were Environmental and Individual variation) 3. Intervening – these are hypothetical constructs rather than physical parameters. They are definable and measurable but not observable. They have functional relationships with both independent and dependent variables. They are internal cognitive processes.

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Cognitive Map - a complex internal representation or “image” of the external environment. Expectancy Theory -- the theory that animals (and humans) develop expectancy or anticipation of rewards for completing behaviors they have learned, and this expectancy functions as an internal incentive or motivation. Latent Learning – learning which is not apparent in the learner's behavior at the time of learning, but which manifests later when a suitable motivation and circumstances appear.

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Biases Hypotheses Motor Skill Differentiation Appetite Demand Intervening Variable S M Independent Variables G R ΣOBO P f 2 H.A.T.E H.A.T.E H.A.T.E H.A.T.E H.A.T.E H.A.T.E B L B L + B R f 3 Variable

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Biases Hypotheses Motor Skill Differentiation Appetite Demand Intervening Variable S M Independent Variables G R ΣOBO P f 2 H.A.T.E H.A.T.E H.A.T.E H.A.T.E H.A.T.E H.A.T.E B L B L + B R f 3 Variable

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The Kolb Model and Subject Disciplines Kolb and his colleagues have undertaken extensive empirical work using the Learning Styles Inventory . Broadly speaking, he suggests: Practitioners of creative disciplines, such as the arts, are found in the Divergent quadrant.   Pure scientists and mathematicians are in the Assimilative quadrant   Applied scientists and lawyers are in the Convergent quadrant   Professionals who have to operate more intuitively, such as teachers, are in the Accommodative quadrant  There are also differences in the location of specialists within the more general disciplines

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Cognitive Dissonance Theory Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon which refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretation. It therefore occurs when there is a need to accommodate new ideas, and it may be necessary for it to develop so that we become "open" to them. Neighbour (1992) makes the generation of appropriate dissonance into a major feature of tutorial (and other) teaching: he shows how to drive this kind of intellectual wedge between learners' current beliefs and "reality". Beyond this benign if uncomfortable aspect, however, dissonance can go "over the top", leading to two interesting side-effects for learning: if someone is called upon to learn something which contradicts what they already think they know — particularly if they are committed to that prior knowledge — they are likely to resist the new learning. Even Carl Rogers recognised this. Accommodation is more difficult than Assimilation, in Piaget's terms.              and—counter-intuitively, perhaps—if learning something has been difficult, uncomfortable, or even humiliating enough, people are less likely to concede that the content of what has been learned is useless, pointless or valueless. Criticism: Chapanis (1964) found methodological ambiguities with the original experiments carried out.

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Convergent and Divergent Thinking Styles Hudson (1967) studied English schoolboys, and found that conventional measures of intelligence did not always do justice to their abilities. The tests gave credit for problem-solving which produced the "right" answer, but under-estimated creativity and unconventional approaches to problems. He concluded that there were two different forms of thinking or ability in play here: One he called "convergent" thinking, in which the person is good at bringing material from a variety of sources to bear on a problem, in such a way as to produce the "correct" answer. The other he termed "divergent" thinking. Here the student's skill is in broadly creative elaboration of ideas prompted by a stimulus, and is more suited to artistic pursuits and study in the humanities.

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“Cognitive Constructivism" Constructivism is the label given to a set of theories about learning which fall somewhere between cognitive and humanistic views. If behaviorism treats the organism as a black box, cognitive theory recognizes the importance of the mind in making sense of the material with which it is presented. Constructivism — particularly in its "social" forms — suggests that the learner is much more actively involved in a joint enterprise with the teacher of creating ("constructing") new meanings. We can distinguish between "cognitive constructivism" which is about how the individual learner understands things, in terms of developmental stages and learning styles, and "social constructivism", which emphasises how meanings and understandings grow out of social encounters

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Personal Construct Theory A person's processes are psychologically channelized by the ways in which he anticipates events (Kelly, 1955)   This language will be very confusing on first encounter, but that reflects the innovative nature of the model. It is psychological: i.e. it’s not about the brain, or culture, but the mind: it is quite clear about its level of analysis and its “range of convenience” “Channelized”: other psychological theories see the person (or organism, indeed), as a static entity, requiring some other agency to prod it into action. They postulate “needs”, or “drives” for this purpose. Personal Construct Theory rejects this: a person is seen as a process, always making efforts to understand and always acting on and in the world. Personal Construct Theory is future-oriented. The person is only a product of memory and learning insofar as she makes use of these in her construct system. She is a scientist in formulating hypotheses (her constructs) about the world she perceives, and testing them by acting on them. Criticism: Although Kelly is a very good writer, he chose to reinvent psychology from the ground up, introducing a new set of terms and a new set of metaphors and images. And he went out of his way to avoid being associated with other approaches to the field. This inevitably alienated him from the mainstream.

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Intelligence: The idea Intelligence is meant to be a generalised measure of overall ability, or potential ability: its proponents claim that it is getting at an underlying feature which is independent of specific skill development or learning achievement.   History Francis Galton (1884) — convinced that there must be biological factors underpinning achievement in society—measured head size, reaction time etc., but found no correlations Alfred Binet (1905 on) devised tests to determine ineducability (to meet the requirements of a new French law prescribing schooling for all educable children) and formulated the idea of "Mental Age" from which developed the idea of the "Intelligence Quotient" (see below) Lewis Terman (at Stanford University) adapted and standardised the Binet tests for American children (1916, and routinely revised since) known as the "Stanford-Binet" tests. David Wechsler developed the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale in 1939: hitherto tests had been confined to children.

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The “Bell Curve” The Bell curve referred to in Herrnstein and Murray's (1995) famous book is simply the normal distribution curve which IQ tests were set up to plot. 68% of the population come within one standard deviation of the mean, and 95% within two standard deviations: that is simply an artefact of the definition of a statistical "standard deviation". Criticism: A central criticism of intelligence tests is that psychologists and educators use these tests to distribute the limited resources of our society. These test results are used to provide rewards such as special classes for gifted students, admission to college, and employment. Those who do not qualify for these resources based on intelligence test scores may feel angry and as if the tests are denying them opportunities for success. Unfortunately, intelligence test scores have not only become associated with a person's ability to perform certain tasks, but with self-worth.

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Attribution Theory (Bernard Weiner (1935- ) Attribution Theory attempts to explain the world and to determine the cause of an event or behavior (e.g. why people do what they do).einer developed a theoretical framework that has become very influential in social psychology today. Attribution theory assumes that people try to determine why people do what they do, that is, interpret causes to an event or behavior. Attribution is a three stage process: (1) behavior is observed, (2) behavior is determined to be deliberate, and (3) behavior is attributed to internal or external causes 2. Achievement can be attributed to (1) effort, (2) ability, (3) level of task difficulty, or (4) luck. 3. Causal dimensions of behavior are (1) locus of control, (2) stability, and (3) controllability. Criticism: While no research could be found disputing the fact that attribution theory exists, research did exist as to how teachers should best use attribution theory to instruct their students. All research seemed to agree that teachers should be aware of its existence, and that if students see the reason for their failure as something they can control, they are more likely to succeed in the future

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Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (Richard Mayer) Mayer’s cognitive theory of multimedia learning presents the idea that the brain does not interpret a multimedia presentation of words, pictures, and auditory information in a mutually exclusive fashion; rather, these elements are selected and organized dynamically to produce logical mental constructs. A cognitive theory of multimedia learning based on three main assumptions: there are two separate channels (auditory and visual) for processing information; there is limited channel capacity; and that learning is an active process of filtering, selecting, organizing, and integrating information.The principle known as the “multimedia principle” states that “people learn more deeply from words and pictures than from words alone”   However, simply adding words to pictures is not an effective way to achieve multimedia learning.  The goal is to  instructional media in the light of how human mind works.  This is the basis for Mayer’s cognitive theory of multimedia learning.  This theory proposes three main assumptions when it comes to learning with multimedia:There are two separate channels (auditory and visual) for processing information (sometimes referred to as Dual-Coding theory) Each channel has a limited (finite) capacity (similar to Sweller’s notion of Cognitive Load) Learning is an active process of filtering, selecting, organizing, and integrating information based upon prior knowledge. Mayer also discusses the role of three memory stores: Sensory (which receives stimuli and stores it for a very short time), Working (where we actively process information to create mental constructs (or ‘schema’), and Long-term (the repository of all things learned).  Criticism: Not all research has found that the principles of multimedia learning apply generally outside of laboratory conditions. For example, Muller, Lee, and Sharma found that the principle did not transfer to an authentic learning environment. In their study, adding approximately 50% additional extraneous but interesting material did not result in any significant difference in learner performance. These authors suggest that additional interesting information may help maintain the learner's interest in authentic learning environments.

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Component Display Theory (M.D. Merrill) Component Display Theory (CDT) classifies learning along two dimensions: content (facts, concepts, procedures, and principles) and performance (remembering, using, generalities). The theory specifies four primary presentation forms: rules (expository presentation of a generality), examples (expository presentation of instances), recall (inquisitory generality) and practice (inquisitory instance). Secondary presentation forms include: prerequisites, objectives, helps, mnemonics, and feedback.The theory specifies that instruction is more effective to the extent that it contains all necessary primary and secondary forms. Thus, a complete lesson would consist of objective followed by some combination of rules, examples, recall, practice, feedback, helps and mnemonics appropriate to the subject matter and learning task In recent years, Merrill has presented a new version of CDT called Component Design Theory (Merrill, 1994). This new version has a more macro focus than the original theory with the emphasis on course structures (instead of lessons) and instructional transactions rather than presentation forms. In addition, advisor strategies have taken the place of learner control strategies. Development of the new CDT theory has been closely related to work on expert systems and authoring tools for instructional design Criticism: Learning conditions were elaborated only for facts, concepts rules, principles Which are all cognitive in nature and contained within three of the five categories Of learning outcomes of Gagne.

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Elaboration Theory (Reigeluth) The paradigm shift from teacher-centric instruction to learner-centered instruction has caused “new needs for ways to sequence instruction” (Reigeluth, 1999). According to Reigeluth (1999), Elaboration Theory has the following values:    * It values a sequence of instruction that is as holistic as possible, to foster meaning-making and motivation    * It allows learners to make many scope and sequence decisions on their own during the learning process    * It is an approach that facilitates rapid prototyping in the instructional development process    * It integrates viable approaches to scope and sequence into a coherent design theory There are three major approaches: (1) Conceptual Elaboration Sequence (used when there are many related concepts to be learned), (2) Theoretical Elaboration Sequence (used when there are many related principles to be learned), (3) Simplifying Conditions Sequence (used when a task of at least moderate complexity is to be learned).Criticism: There is no prescription for providing “authentic” or “situated” learning. Also, the use of three primary structures (i.e. conceptual, procedural, and theoretical) is a design constraint.

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Attribution Model Component Display Theory Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning Revisiting where we started….

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