What is Cognitive Learning?

Cognition is the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.

Derived from Cognition, Oxford Learning explains "Cognitive Learning" as the function based on how a person processes and reasons information. It revolves around many factors, including problem-solving skills, memory retention, thinking skills and the perception of learned material.

The Cognitive Learning Theory explains why the brain is the most incredible network of information processing and interpretation in the body as we learn things.

When we say the word “learning” it is commonly identified with “to think using the brain”. This basic concept of learning is the main viewpoint in the Cognitive Learning Theory (CLT). The theory has been used to explain mental processes as they are influenced by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors, which eventually bring about learning in an individual.

Cognitive Learning Theory implies that the different processes concerning learning can be explained by analyzing the mental processes first. It posits that with effective cognitive processes, learning is easier and new information can be stored in the memory for a long time. On the other hand, ineffective cognitive processes result to learning difficulties that can be seen anytime during the lifetime of an individual.

This theory can be divided into two specific theories: the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), and the Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT).

Social cognitive theory (SCT), used in psychology, education, and communication, holds that portions of an individual's knowledge acquisition can be directly related to observing others within the context of social interactions, experiences, and outside media influences.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychosocial intervention that is the most widely used evidence-based practice for treating mental disorders. It was originally designed to treat depression, and is now used for a number of mental health conditions. Due to positive results in clinical settings, CBIs have gained favor in school settings. When teachers use a CBI, they can help their students control their own behavior, rather than attempting to control student behavior with external reinforcement alone

Watch out the videos below to have a better understanding of the Cognitive Learning Theory.

Dr Chris Atherton - From cognitive psychology to learning design

The video outlines some key findings from cognitive psychology, and then discuss ways in which we can translate that knowledge into practical advice for learning design.

How to Get the Most Out of Studying: "Cognitive Principles for Optimizing Learning"

The video enlists the cognitive principles for optimizing learning and how this theory helps in getting the most out of studying.

Use a Learning Theory: Cognitivism

This short video explains the learning theory of cognitivism.

How to optimize students' learning? Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning

Professor Richard Mayer explains the theory of cognitive learning and how to optimize students’ learning.

Applying Social Cognitive Theory in the Classroom

A type of cognitive learning, this video focuses on application of Social Cognitive Theory in the Classroom.

Share your views on the Cognitive Learning in the comment section below.

About the Author
Author: Priyanka Gupta
Priyanka is a blogger by profession and has an increasing interest to write about the edtech space. While writing she keeps in mind the educators to come up with right resources and ideas which might be relevant for them in relation to effective use of technology in their profession and institutions/classrooms.
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