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Conditions of Learning

Robert M. Gagn (1916-2002)

Key: to identify the factors that account for the complex nature of human learning Before: began with an explanation of the learning process based on laboratory research & fit the conclusions to human learning Gagnes: derived from the analysis of the variety of performances and skills executed by human beings.

What is learning?
Gagn believed that an external observer could recognize learning by noting behavioral changes that remains persistent over time (Gagn, 1974) He also stated that maturation is not learning because the individual does not receive stimulation from the outside environment (Gagn, 1974). Learning has two parts, one that is external to the learner and one that is internal (Gagn, Briggs, & Wager, 1992)

Conditions of Learning
Learning is an important causal factor in development Human learning is cumulative Learning of certain skills contributes to the learning of more complex skills Human learning is both complex and diverse Learning is set of cognitive processes that transforms the stimulation from the environment into capabilities

Framework of Learning
The 5 varieties of Learning The cognitive processing phases (Internal Conditions)
The environmental supports for learning (external conditions)

Five Varieties of Learning

The five varieties of Learning

The five varieties of Learning

The five varieties of Learning

Internal Conditions

Prerequisite skills Learners Internal States Attitude that influence the new learning

Internal Conditions
Cognitive Processes

Nine Phases of Learning

1. Attending 2. Expectancy 3. Retrieval to working memory
4. Selective perception of stimulus features 5. Semantic Encoding 6. Retrieval and Responding 7. Reinforcement 8. Cueing retrieval 9. Generalizability

Nine Phases of Learning

Description Preparation of Learning Learning phrase Reception Instructional event 1. Gaining attention Giving learner a stimulus to ensure reception of coming instruction 2. Informing the learner of the objective Telling learner what they will be able to do for the instruction



3. Stimulating recall of prior learning Asking for recall of existing relevant knowledge

Nine Phases of Learning

Acquisition and performance

Learning phrase
Selective perception Semantic encoding

Instructional event 4. Presenting the stimulus Displaying the content 5. Providing learner guidance Supplying organization and relevance to enhance understanding
6. Eliciting performance Asking learners to respond, demonstrating learning 7. Providing Feedback Giving immediate feedback on learner's performance.



Educational Applications
Gagne addresses several issues of importance in the classroom: 1. Learner characteristics 2. Cognitive Processes and Instruction 3. The Social Context for Learning

Individual differences Cognitive strategies Rate of learning Entry capabilities < may be assessed at beginning points

1. Learner Characteristics

Compensating for individual differences:

Small group instruction Tutorial mode Independent learning Individualized instruction systems


1. Learner Characteristics
Lower skills in the hierarchy of intellectual skills have been acquired (essential prerequisite capabilities). The essential rules and concepts has been grasp and understood.
To design an effective instruction, we need to identify students motives and channel those motives into productive activities that lead to the accomplishment of educational objectives.
Achievements motivation (David McClellands) Incentive motivation Task motivation



Transfer of learning

2. Cognitive Processes and Instruction

Learning How-to-Learn skills

Retrieval of capabilities at the conclusion of the 9 instructional events. Application of skills by introducing new situations. Every individual has ways to manage his or her learning, remembering and thinking. Although not always easy, we should challenge students to work up to their potential. This can improve their how-to-learn skills.

2. Cognitive Processes and Instruction

Learners discovers how to combine previously learned rules to generate a solution to a problem that is new to them. Teaching problem solving requires:
Previously acquired necessary rules A problem situation that the learner has not encountered before

The result of problem solving process is the acquisition of higher-order rule.


3. The Social Context for Learning

Designing Instructional Systems Developing Models of Teaching Provide with sets of materials, learners decides the pace and management of instruction. A teacher or an individual conducts or manages the instructions

Things to consider when implementing a context for learning:

Tutoring and extension situation Small group and large group instructions Entry capabilities of learners