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How people learn

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Learning is one of the most fundamental actions a person—or any living thing—takes. Yet for something so basic, modern psychology hasn’t come to a consensus on how it works. Are we products of our experiences or our environments? Or do we just learn through raw mental power? Or is it something like a combination of all these things?

During the twentieth century, four major learning theories emerged, and each has lessons that online educators can learn from to design better courses. Let’s look at what they are.

1. Behaviorism: Learning is a product of stimulus and reinforcement.

2. Cognitivism: Learning is a process of acquiring and structuring knowledge.

3. Constructivism: Learning is passed down socially and through experiences.

4. Humanism: Learning depends on motivation and self-fulfillment.

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