How Do We Learn?

According to the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (also known as the knowledge-construction view of learning),

People are not passive recipients of information, but rather are active sense makers.  They engage in active cognitive processing during learning, including attending to relevant information, mentally organizing it into a coherent structure, and integrating it with what they already know. (Clark, ??, Chapter 2, Three Metaphors of Learning, para. 5).   


Three Key Cognitive Processes for Learning


The first step is to pay attention to relevant words and images in the presented material.


The second step is to mentally organize the selected material in coherent verbal and pictorial representations.


The final step is to integrate incoming verbal and pictorial representations with each other and with existing knowledge

Scenario-Based eLearning

Scenario-Based eLearning

Story, by its very nature, immediately supports two of the key cognitive processes essential for real learning-- selecting and integrating.  

Engagement and Selection as Partners

To begin with, stories are engaging-- and engagement is the first step in the process of:

engagement→ retention→ retrieval

During Supporting Students With Learning Disabilities for Success, three different students will draw you into their story.  You will meet Jade, Jamal, and Cara-- students who are bursting with personality and enthusiasm.  You'll care about the problems faced by these individuals who have so much to offer in their school, home, and community.  Moreover, as Clark (2009) points out, "The scenario creates a 'moment of need' for the knowledge and skills to resolve it" (Does SBL Work? para. 4).  This emotional response will increase retention and move you to action.

Stories also support real learning by activating relevant prior knowledge. Learning occurs when learners actively integrate new knowledge from the training environment into existing cognitive structures activated from long-term memory into working memory in a way that it can be readily accessed when needed on the job.