Cyberntic Learning Theory

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Understanding of Human Mind Leands to Better Memory

The most common definition of education is the process of bringing together cognitive, emotional and environmental influences in the process of acquiring knowledge.

Explanations of how this happens are referred to as learning theories. Learning theories fall under three broad categories.

  • Behaviourism
  • Cognitivism
  • Constructivism

An Introduction to Cybernetic Learning Theory

The end of World War II, with its emphasis on reliable communications and missile technology, led to experiments with self-regulating control systems and the development of a field called Cybernetics. Such systems rely on error detection and correction. A simple example of such a system is the autopilot on an airplane. Sensors in the body, wings and engines provide the autopilot with a constant flow of data. The autopilot then makes automatic corrections to the airplane’s course, speed, and altitude based on the data given to it by the sensors distributed throughout the airplane.

Cybernetic Learning Theory seeks to combine elements of behaviourism and cognitivism within a technology based metaphor.

Components of Cybernetic Learning Theory

Behaviourism

Behaviourism, also known as the learning perspective, is a school of psychology based on the belief that all living organisms have predictable behavioural patterns. Behavioural psychologists maintain that human behaviour can be studied scientifically without the need to resort to hypothetical constructs such as the human mind. Behavioural psychologists also claim that there is no difference between observable actions such as walking and talking and unobservable actions such as thinking and feeling.

Cognitive psychology seeks a theoretical understanding of the human mind using quantitative scientific methods. Cognitive psychology seeks to describe the inner workings of the human mind in terms of information processing models. For this reason, techniques used by cognitive psychologists are sometimes applied to cybernetic learning theory.

Cognitivism

Cognitivism has two major components, methodology and theory. The methodological perspective posits that the inner workings of the human mind can be explained through the application of the scientific method. On a theoretical level cognitive psychologists believe that the functioning of the human mind is governed by internal rules or algorithms.

In the same way that the autopilot on an airplane can be made to fly on a particular course and speed through its response to external stimuli, proponents of Cybernetic Learning Theory claim that a person can learn more effectively and with a better rate of recall than through other learning techniques.

Cybernetic learning theory seeks to combine the unobservable processes of behaviourism with the algorithmic understanding of cognition and the way the human brain processes information.

Goals of Cybernetic Learning Theory

The goals of Cybernetic Learning Theory can be described simply in the following way.

  • View of the Learning Process: Systemic and defined by memory capacity, throughput and feedback loops, the learner is “wired” into the environment.
  • Locus of Learning: Feedback and self-regulating systems in a complex environment
  • Role of the Designer: Design systems that accept student input and provide meaningful feedback.

Through this understanding of human behaviour and how understand of how the human brain process information it is believed that proper application of cybernetic learning theory can beneficial in everyday life.

Works CitedLearning Theorie and Instructional Design

Skinner, B.F. (16 Apr 1984). “The operational analysis of psychological terms”. Behavioral and brain sciences(Print) 7 (4): 547–581. Retrieved on Apr.27/09.

Baum, William M. (1994). Understanding behaviorism: science, behavior, and culhe founder of behaviordsmture. New York, NY: HarperCollins College Publishers.

Fraley, LF (2001). “Strategic interdisciplinary relations between a natural science community and a psychology community” (pdf). The Behavior Analyst Today 2 (4): 209–324. Retrieved on Apr.27/09

Searle, J. R. Is the brain a digital computer APA Presidential Address. Retrieved on Apr. 27/09 

The most common definition of education is the process of bringing together cognitive, emotional and environmental influences in the process of acquiring knowledge.

Explanations of how this happens are referred to as learning theories. Learning theories fall under three broad categories.

  • Behaviourism
  • Cognitivism
  • Constructivism

An Introduction to Cybernetic Learning Theory

The end of World War II, with its emphasis on reliable communications and missile technology, led to experiments with self-regulating control systems and the development of a field called Cybernetics. Such systems rely on error detection and correction. A simple example of such a system is the autopilot on an airplane. Sensors in the body, wings and engines provide the autopilot with a constant flow of data. The autopilot then makes automatic corrections to the airplane’s course, speed, and altitude based on the data given to it by the sensors distributed throughout the airplane.

Cybernetic Learning Theory seeks to combine elements of behaviourism and cognitivism within a technology based metaphor.

Components of Cybernetic Learning Theory

Behaviourism

Behaviourism, also known as the learning perspective, is a school of psychology based on the belief that all living organisms have predictable behavioural patterns. Behavioural psychologists maintain that human behaviour can be studied scientifically without the need to resort to hypothetical constructs such as the human mind. Behavioural psychologists also claim that there is no difference between observable actions such as walking and talking and unobservable actions such as thinking and feeling.

Cognitive psychology seeks a theoretical understanding of the human mind using quantitative scientific methods. Cognitive psychology seeks to describe the inner workings of the human mind in terms of information processing models. For this reason, techniques used by cognitive psychologists are sometimes applied to cybernetic learning theory.

Cognitivism

Cognitivism has two major components, methodology and theory. The methodological perspective posits that the inner workings of the human mind can be explained through the application of the scientific method. On a theoretical level cognitive psychologists believe that the functioning of the human mind is governed by internal rules or algorithms.

In the same way that the autopilot on an airplane can be made to fly on a particular course and speed through its response to external stimuli, proponents of Cybernetic Learning Theory claim that a person can learn more effectively and with a better rate of recall than through other learning techniques.

Cybernetic learning theory seeks to combine the unobservable processes of behaviourism with the algorithmic understanding of cognition and the way the human brain processes information.

Goals of Cybernetic Learning Theory

The goals of Cybernetic Learning Theory can be described simply in the following way.

  • View of the Learning Process: Systemic and defined by memory capacity, throughput and feedback loops, the learner is “wired” into the environment.
  • Locus of Learning: Feedback and self-regulating systems in a complex environment
  • Role of the Designer: Design systems that accept student input and provide meaningful feedback.

Through this understanding of human behaviour and how understand of how the human brain process information it is believed that proper application of cybernetic learning theory can beneficial in everyday life.

Works Cited

Learning Theorie and Instructional Design

Skinner, B.F. (16 Apr 1984). “The operational analysis of psychological terms”. Behavioral and brain sciences(Print) 7 (4): 547–581. Retrieved on Apr.27/09.

Baum, William M. (1994). Understanding behaviorism: science, behavior, and culhe founder of behaviordsmture. New York, NY: HarperCollins College Publishers.

Fraley, LF (2001). “Strategic interdisciplinary relations between a natural science community and a psychology community” (pdf). The Behavior Analyst Today 2 (4): 209–324. Retrieved on Apr.27/09

Searle, J. R. Is the brain a digital computer APA Presidential Address. Retrieved on Apr. 27/09

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