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Thorndike’s Laws of Learning and Their Significance to E-learning

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Thorndike's Laws of Learning and Their Significance to E-learning

No matter whether you are a novice or an experienced eLearning professional,there are certain rules to be followed in order tostand out among eLearning professionals. Many educational psychologists have acknowledged many principles of learning (also known as rules of learning). The same rules,when followed in eLearning, enable you to teach your learners more efficiently. Let’s see them.

Law of readiness

The first law speaks about learners’ enthusiasm. It is an accepted truth that learning happens only when there is a will to learn. Generally, an individual learns more efficiently and with more indulgence only when he is ready to learn. So, as an eLearning professional, it is your job to develop a course that creates enthusiasm to learn. In order to create readiness about your online courses, as a designer,you should create a course that is captivating and engaging and creates an intrigue in learners. The online course should also tell what the learner will be able to achieve after completion. 

Law of exercise

The second law is about repetition. We all know that practice makes a man perfect. It means doing something regularly makes one perfect. In the eLearning context, when the learner comes across the same content at different instances, he is able to reinforce his learning better. So, as an eLearning professional, you need to give multiple opportunities for your learners to revise their learning. Learner reinforcement can be done by providing them with the activities, knowledge checks, hand-outs, quizzes, summaries etc.,

Law of effect

The third law is about learners’ encouragement. It is undeniable that learning happens only when the learner feels satisfied and is rewarded for his knowledge.You,as a developer, must create positive emotions in order to encourage the learners. For this, you need to add a few elements to your course such as confidence, credibility, trust and interest.Provide rewards and feedback on the learners’ performance which in turn keep up their motivation levels.

Law of primacy

The fourth law is the ‘law of primacy’ which speaks about the opinions of the learner.It is a well-known fact that the first impression is the best impression. Generally, when a person learns something, it becomes problematic to persuade him for something different. In order to teach information that is contradictory or different to learners’ imagination, you as an eLearning professional must make sure that you teach the right information. When your intention is to change the behavior of the learner, you need to address both the old knowledge and new information, and then explain why the new information should be considered.

Law of recency

As per this law,people often remember the most recent things they have learnt.So, eLearning designers must include unit reviews in order to build on the previous knowledge of learners. This enables the learners to revise their materials before answering the knowledge checks. Also, provide them with a summary which contains the old as well as the new information, which in turn reinforces their learning.

Law of intensity

This law states that you have to develop innovative online courses in order to dive into the learners’ concentration. To make the learner stay tuned with same zeal and attentiveness throughout the course, you as a designer should develop the online course that is both engaging and captivating. As a designer, you have to come up with creative and innovative ideas depending on the nature of the content. For example, if you want the learner to relate himself with the information, choose the scenario-based approach. This increases the learners’ level of concentration. 

Remember these laws and apply them while designing your online courses. It will surely yield the best results to the learner. Please share your opinions on the same.

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