Instructional theory aims to describe how to help people learn and develop, create conditions that boost the chance of learning and improve instruction. There are three kinds: behaviorist, cognitive and constructivist. Behaviorist theories state how behaviors change in response to various stimuli. Cognitive theories focus on a psychological approach to learning that may rely on rehearsal or mnemonics, for example. Constructivist theories depend on students shaping their own learning experience while drawing upon previous knowledge.
For an instructional theory to be successful, it should:
– Provide suggestions on how to achieve a larger goal
– Adapt suggestions to each situation, they should be situational and not universal
– Include component methods, including the criteria that the method should meet
– Increase the chance of the anticipated learning outcome