Applying Behaviorism to E-Learning

When we look at e-learning, there are a few different ways of approaching the subject.  The three main ways of designing multimedia learning are:


  1. Response Strengthening,
  2. Information Acquisition, and
  3. Knowledge Construction

In this post I’m going to concentrate on the first way – response strengthening, which can be looked at as part of behaviorist learning theory.  In this approach we are concentrating on the connection between stimulus and response.  Behaviorism is centered on the idea that learning is based on building connections between the learning situation and the response.  In this case the learner needs to make a response, and receive feedback on the response, while the instructor is to help the student by giving feedback and reinforcement, whether the response is positive or negative.

Behaviorist learning is mainly for use in “drill and practice” and shouldn’t be used when teaching concepts and strategies.  It’s best used for teaching specific skills.

Here’s an article on applying behaviorism principles to e-learning: