Find out how to facilitate people's learning

To gain a better insight into learning strategies it is necessary to understand how information is processed - from auditory or written information to memory. Having a sound insight into what motivates people to learn and how to address the needs of different types of learners is also paramount.   

This course will help parents, teachers, training officers or others who would like to understand the psychological processes that affect and assist learning. It applies theory and research findings from the field  of psychology to make learning more enjoyable and more likely to succeed.

Understand how people learn, and how to apply that understanding to bring about changes in people of all ages. This course will benefit a wide range of people from parents (understanding of how their children develop) to teachers/trainers and welfare workers or leisure professionals (e.g. youth leaders).

The role of educational psychology

Educational psychology includes the study of learners, learning and teaching. For those who wish to adopt the principles of educational psychology in an educational setting, this definition can be expanded to include the knowledge, wisdom and everyday theory that every teacher requires in order to resolve the dilemmas that occur teaching on a daily basis.


Understand how people of all ages can become better educated

Take this course to:

  • Learn about learning; in children and adults
  • Understand why some things are retained, and others are not
  • Use this knowledge to be a better teacher, trainer or manager
  • Improve your career opportunities and performance at work



The following outline depicts some (not all) of the topics covered:

1. Introduction -Development & Learning Theory

Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development; Schemes; Assimilation and Accommodation; Equilibration; Piaget's Stages of Development.

2. Behavioural Learning

The Evolution of Behavioural Theories of Learning; Thorndike's Theory of the Law of Effect; Skinner's Theory of Operant Conditioning; Principles of Behavioural Learning; Reinforcers; Positive and Negative Reinforcement; The Premack Principle

3. Information Processing

Information Processing Theory; A Model of Information Processing; Perception; Gestalt Psychology; Attention; Short-Term Memory; Long-Term Memory; Division of Long-Term Memory

4. Memory Retention & Loss

Remembering and Forgetting; Interference; Inhibition and Facilitation ; Primacy and Recency; Learning Strategies

5. Individual Needs

Effective Instruction;The QAIT Model; Quality of Instruction; Appropriate Levels of Instruction; Incentive;Time; Between-Class Ability Grouping; Within Class Ability Grouping; Effective Use of Ability Groups; Mastery Learning; Outcomes-Based Education; Individualised Instruction

6. Constructivist Learning

What is the Constructivist View; Top Down or Bottom Up Processing; Generative Learning; Discovery Learning; Reception Learning; Activating Prior Knowledge

7. Motivation

Intrinsic Motivation; Extrinsic Motivation; Factors Affecting Motivation , Motivation Theories (Behavioural Learning Theory; Human Needs Theory; Dissonance Theory; Cognitive Dissonance Theory; Personality Theory; Attribution Theory; Expectancy Theory); Improving Motivation (Nurturing Interest/Curiosity; Providing Incentive to Learn)

Course Duration
- 100 hours



  • Discuss theories of development and learning.
  • Explain behavioural theories of learning
  • Describe how Information Processing Model Works
  • Describe processes involved in memory loss and retention
  • Describe different methods of effective instruction to cater for individual needs.
  • Explain the relevance of constructivist learning in education
  • Differentiate definitions of motivation and the application of motivation to learning



How Long Do You Remember Things?

Children can learn things at school, well enough to pass a test or exam; but then forget what they learnt, shortly after.

Throughout life some things may be learnt and retained for only a short time; while others have value if retained for a much longer time.
Our biological make up has two types of memory -long term, and short term. The educator needs to understand the distinction between the two if they are to teach people effectively.

Short-Term Memory

When information passes through the sensory register it enters into short-term memory where it stays for several seconds.  This is the information that is presently being processed or thought about.  They are conscious thoughts.

Information in short-term memory may also enter via another component; long-term memory. Often the information in short-term memory enters via both routes at the same time.

Information can be stored in short-term memory for longer periods of time by ‘rehearsal’.  This is the process of repeating the information over and over again, and is important because the longer the information is stored in short-term memory the greater the chance that it will enter long-term memory.

Due to the fact that short-term memory has a limited capacity, information is easily lost, e.g. when someone is interrupted.
It can therefore be seen that in an educational setting transferal of information to long term memory can be improved by:

Due to the limited capacity of short-term memory (between 5 & 9 units), information needs to be organised into logical sequences. It is possible to teach strategies to enhance an individual’s short-term memory capacity. When presenting long lists of information, it is better to break the information down into more familiar patterns.  

A short-term memory technique that can enhance your short-term memory is called “chunking”. This process involves grouping large amounts of information into meaningful units.
e.g. It is difficult to remember the number 552910482965 as a stream of twelve individual numbers. If you chunk the numbers into four meaningful units eg. 552 910 482 965 it may be easier to remember. Another example is a random list of countries could be grouped into shorter lists according to which continent they belong to.  These lists could then be broken down further depending whether the countries are in the northern or southern hemisphere and so on.

It is also important to bear in mind the fact that individuals differ in their capacity to store information in short-term memory.  As well as prior knowledge an individuals ability to organise information into components that can be readily absorbed by short term memory will also play an important role in short term memory capacity.
It can be seen that in an educational setting it is important not to present too many new ideas at once (unless of course the student already has enough related information in long term memory to connect with this information and thus aid its accommodation).

There are strategies that people can use to enhance their short term memory capacity. It would be valid in an educational setting to provide students with training on some ways that they can enhance their short term memory.


Long-term memory

By comparison, long-term memory has a huge capacity, and the information is considered to remain here for a long time. Long-term memory is divided into at least three components;

Episodic Memory
Here, images of our personal experiences in terms of what we might have seen or heard, is stored. Information is stored in the form of images on the basis of where and when events happened.

Semantic Memory
Here, information with regard to facts, knowledge, strategies, rules and their use etc. is stored. Most information attained in a classroom would be stored here. Information is organised in the form of networks of ideas called ‘schemata’.  These schemata help people to understand and assimilate new information.  When using semantic memory to access information, different pathways are used.  The more pathways there are to the information, and the more established those pathways are, the more efficient will be our retrieval of that information.  It follows that information stored in semantic memory may never be lost but that our access to that information may be lost.

Procedural Memory
Information on how to do things is stored here, e.g. how to ride a motorbike, how to play the guitar. Information here is stored as a series of stimulus-response pairings.
If you got behind the steering wheel of a car after not having driven for some time, as you build up speed (stimulus), you would know to depress the break pedal (response), in order to remain within the speed limit.



Who Should Do this Course?

This course will benefit anyone who finds themselves in the position of helping someone else to learn. It is relevant to all ages and all situations; from parents helping children, to a workplace supervisor training a new member of staff. Understanding educational psychology is important to both formal (e.g. in school) and informal learning. Playleaders, sports coaches, fitness instructors and business coaches; among others, are people with a very significant interest in helping others to learn. This course can very readily find purpose in all of these situations: and more.


How This Course Could Help You

Understanding the mechanisms of memory and learning, and different approaches to information processing can be helpful to people in a wide range of fields, including:

  • Coaching
  • Teaching
  • Training
  • Counselling
  • Management
  • Demonstrators


Get started today and make a difference.

Simply click on the ENROL NOW icon at the top of this page

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