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The Importance of Learning Theories in Online Education

The current theories of behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism are important in online education. It is a developmental process and does not end when adulthood is researched but rather continues to process in a variety of ways. Adult development theories have a produced influence on thinking about adult learning because adults’ learning behavior arise considerably due to developmental influences. What is not clear is exactly how it changes, large; because adult development theory is still mostly an array of untested models (Knowles, Holton, Swanson, 2011).
 
Researchers understand that adults do not become adults in an instant. Adult education theorists have tended to build design models into which aspects of all these approaches can be fitted. The three most recent are by Knowles, Though and Houle (in order of publication). Major points are stated clearly; are supported by specific details, examples, or analysis; and are organized logically.
 
These adult theories are Andragogy, Experimental, Transformational, Chaos Learning Theory and Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. There are many learning theories but these concepts of learning can support how programs in the 1970’s when compared to today employs the concept of learning project consisting of a series of related episodes as basic framework for program design. The current theories of behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism are important in online education.
 
Behaviorism focuses on the objectively observable aspects of learning. Cognitive theories look beyond behavior to explain brain-based learning. Constructivism theories look at learning through experiences. These approaches each have benefits and challenges when used in an adult education setting. In the past, a program would consist of a number of simultaneous individuals and group learning projects; each project having been collaboratively planned by learners and selected helpers and carried on at the learners’ initiative. The learners could use the whole gamut of human resources (experts, teachers, colleagues, fellow students, people in the community) and material resources (literature, programmed instruction deices and software, audiovisual media) almost without regard for the theoretical orientation understanding them even the most didactic teacher or linear teaching machine will be used proactively rather than reactively by a self-directed learner. I remember being brought up to think of a teacher as one who is responsible for what students should learn, how, when and if they have learned. Teachers are supposed to transmit prescribed content, control the ways students receive and use it and test if they have received it (Tweedell n.d.).
 
Today tools and theories that endured the test of time includes synchronous and asynchronous tools enable communication and collaboration over a period of time through a “different time-different place” mode. These tools allow people to connect together at each person’s own convenience and own schedule. Asynchronous tools are useful for sustaining dialogue and collaboration over a period of time and providing people with resources and information that are instantly accessible, day or night. Asynchronous tools possess the advantage of being able to involve people from multiple time zones.
 
In addition, asynchronous tools are helpful in capturing the history of the interactions of a group, allowing for collective knowledge to be more easily shared and distributed.Today adult learning specialists are committed to helping adults learning by making things happen by releasing the energy of others. The model of adult education utilized by many of today’s programs is not a new invention. It is the synthesis of nearly a century of work in the areas of experiential philosophy, developmental psychology, and critical sociology. Adult education programs have been an important part of the growth and development of the contemporary society. As these programs have become attached to universities, the programs
 
 Today adult learning specialists are committed to helping adults learning by making things happen by releasing the energy of others. The model of adult education utilized by many of today’s programs is not a new invention. It is the synthesis of nearly a century of work in the areas of experiential philosophy, developmental psychology, and critical sociology. Adult education programs have been an important part of the growth and development of the contemporary society. As these programs have become attached to universities, the programs
 
 
References
Business-software.com. 2013. Advantages and disadvantages of online synchronouslearning. Retrieved from http://www.business-software.com/article/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-online-synchronous-learning/
Knowles, M. S., Holton, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (2011). The adult learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development (7th ed.).New York, NY, Taylor & Francis. (p1)
Principles of Pedagogy and Andragogy, University of Phoenix Material. Retrieved October 2, 2012from https://mycampus.phoenix.edu/secure/resource/resource.asp
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MLA Citation
Wash, Cheryl Katherine. “Learning Theories -The Current Theories of Behaviorism, Cognitivism and Constructivism Are Important in Online Education.” Highest Good Institute. Highest Good Publications, 9 Mar. 2015. Web. 9 Mar. 2015. <http://highestgoodinstitute.org/?page_id=122>.

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