.../Theoretical Concepts/Theories and Models

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Orientations to Learning

Much has been written about how adults learn and how to teach adults. There is a broad range of adult learning theories, and these theories can influence the way you design a resource, an activity or a course. They include:

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The following link to IBSA workbook contains a table on page 13 which highlights the key elements of the different learning theories. Note the relevance of the different theories to teaching and learning.
  • For a comparison of instructional design approaches, see: 
University of Washington eproject, 2003, Instructional design approaches, University of Washington, viewed August 2012
  • Identify the practical applications these learning theories could have in relation to the approach you would take in designing activities for your learners.

Use the discussion board on 'Moodle' to share your ideas with others and seek differing perspectives on what you are learning.

Now Explore

NB: the signposts offered here for exploration will expand over the next two weeks and will be influenced by your input on the discussion board.

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Tip: Useful reminder: If you right click (or control click for Mac users) on the coloured words and open the links in a new tab it can be easier to move between the pages.

Deep and Surface Learning

Taking you back to a link from module one, where deep learning considers the connections and meaning in the learning where as surface learning focuses more on recalling specific data.


This page includes definitions of constructivism, and provides some background information and links.

Kolb’s Learning Cycle

Kolb’s Learning Cycle reflects an experiential way of learning identifying 4 main aspects of learning

Honey and Mumford’s Learning Cycle

Honey and Mumford’s Learning Cycle builds on Kolb's cycle and identifies 4 learning preferences or styles