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e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning by Richard E. Mayer, Ruth C. Clark

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2.1. How Do People Learn?

Let's begin our review of what works in e-learning with a summary of how learning happens in any instructional setting.

2.1.1. Three Metaphors for Learning

Place a check mark next to your favorite description of how learning works:

  • Learning involves strengthening correct responses and weakening incorrect responses.

  • Learning involves adding new information to your memory.

  • Learning involves making sense of the presented material by attending to relevant information, mentally reorganizing it, and connecting it with what you already know.

Each of these answers reflects one of the three major metaphors of learning that learning psychologists have developed during the past one hundred years, as summarized in Table 2.1 (Mayer, ...

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