Factors Affecting Learning
There are many factors affecting learning which may either enhance or hinder one’s ability to acquire knowledge and skills. A thorough understanding of factors affecting learning is important for educators and learners alike, as it allows for the development of effective strategies to optimize the learning experience.
Learning is a process that leads towards permanent change in the behaviour, skills, understanding, and values of a person due to training, practice and education. It brings some changes in behaviour and once a person has learned new things it will last forever with him.
Normally, learning is need directed. Learning is directly or indirectly related to organisational behaviour in terms of leadership ability, increasing competency, and motivation at work. Every organization needs to create new ideas, concepts, technologies, knowledge, strategies, understanding, behaviour, skill value, technologies, attitude, preferences, etc. to cope with the continuously changing environment of the organization.
List of factors affecting learning
There are various factors affecting learning some of the factors affecting learning are given as follows:
- Sensation and Perception
- Fatigue and Boredom
- Age and Maturation
- Emotional Conditions
Recognizing and understanding the factors affecting learning empowers learners to optimize their learning journey, which helps them to foster greater engagement, and achieve meaningful educational outcomes.
1) Sensation and Perception
Learning is affected by two primary psychological factors i.e., sensation & perception. Sensation is the basis of perception. Human beings have 5 sense organs i.e., ears, tongue, skin, eyes and nose. These sense organs act as the receptors of human understanding. They usually help in the understanding of stimuli received from the environment.
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The malfunctioning of any of these organs will surely have an overall effect on learning and eventually act as a barrier to the increase of a person’s knowledge. For example, there are many defects of eyesight such as hypermetropia, astigmatism, myopia, etc., which have a considerable effect on the human body and result in redness of the eyes, pain in the spinal cord, doubt and stress while studying, tension, headache, etc.
2) Fatigue and Boredom
Fatigue is a mental or physical form of tiredness, but it has its effect on the overall efficiency and competency of work, whereas, boredom is a de-motivation or deep disliking or hatred towards work. If such disliking keeps on arising in the person’s mind, the person might have a feeling of weariness or fatigue, but in reality, he may not be so tired. A person is more irritated by boredom as compared to fatigue.
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3) Age and Maturation
Age and adulthood have an exceptional impact on the process of learning. If the person is not in the right frame of mind or lacks intelligence, learning will not happen at all. Some learners can infuse information quickly into their minds while others might take time to learn the same.
Chronological age and mental age increase together, and when the person reaches the age of sixteen, it discontinues to develop further. So, intellectual adulthood is an increase in age, through which a person can apply the mind to solve difficult problems or tasks.
4) Emotional Conditions
The speed and quality of the learning process can be increased when the responsive surroundings concerning them are favourable. Satisfaction, happiness, and joy are important for any type of learning, while adverse emotional conditions work as a barrier to the process of learning.
Many types of research have been done and it is a well-established fact that psychological disorders such as emotional anxiety, exertion, pressures, hindrances, etc., are not at all suitable for pursuing any theoretical approach.
All human beings have different kinds of needs. The accomplishment of these needs results in the achievement of some purposes in life. After the ambitions are accomplished, the specific need is satisfied for a short time. Ultimately, an urge comes out from inside, and these tendencies occur again sooner or later and pave the way for further activities to get fulfilled.
There are some physiological needs in human beings such as the need for food, oxygen, air, shelter, water, etc. Some needs may be collective such as acceptance, love, recognition and self-interest, etc. The collective needs are entirely distinguishable from the physiological needs. Social needs normally come up after the fulfilment of physiological needs.
These needs normally have a complex structure and can have a far-reaching impact on the individual’s behaviour. The needs such as security, love, affection, and self-esteem, act as powerful physiological needs in the means of learning.
Interest is a person’s reason for choosing specific behaviour from among several alternatives. Activities in which the learner is interested to promote the process of learning.
The mental approach of the learner plays an important role and has a notable impact on the learning process. If the learner is enthusiastically prepared and possesses attention and interest towards the matter, which he ought to learn; the learner will certainly have a positive attitude about it.
This attitude will allow the learner to control the learning process thoroughly, with a relaxing state of mind and with a lot of efficiency.
Learning principles are as follows:
- Principle of Readiness
- Principle of Intensity
- Principles of Learning
- Principle of Association
- Principle of Reinforcement
- Principle of Recency
- Principle of Effect
1) Principle of Association
The process in which the pairing of two observations occurs (e.g., “dozen” and “twelve”) is called association. This results in the arousal of thoughts, i.e., if one thinks about one, the other comes into the mind simultaneously. Many principles leave a considerable impact on the learning of associations:
Several objects are learned together. Such objects tend to have a between them. For example, if a graphic comprises a diagram that is accompanied by text, then the text should remind the associated diagram.
ii) Law of Effect
This law illustrates that there is a tendency for repetition of action when it is followed by a delightful result. For example, a Commissioner appreciates the sub-inspector for how he handled a difficult arrest of a criminal. As a result, the inspector links the praise with the arrest method and there is a probability that he would use the same method again in the future.
The stability of the association eventually increases with the redundancy of events. For example, when an individual climbs a hill again and again; the frequency of the repetition will make an individual expert in climbing.
But there is no assurance that practice alone can contribute to the stability of the association. However, if some reward is associated with it, then the reaction arising out of practice becomes more effective and there is a tendency for its continuation in the future too.
A group of researchers, called Gestalt psychologists, came out with an alternate view of the association view of learning. Gestalt researchers stated that learning cannot be forced by applying trial-and-error methods or by a combination of information and conclusions. Instead, it happens all of a sudden, through intuition. Intuition is a response where one’s experiences are visualised mentally, thus paving the way for the generation of new ideas or the evolution of new solutions.
For example, when a person tries to solve a puzzle, he connects different blocks one by one to complete the puzzle. Each time he connects a block, he goes nearer to the solution of the puzzle.
2) Principle of Readiness
Readiness means determination and enthusiasm to acquire knowledge. Individuals who apply an enthusiastic approach to learning can learn in the best way and if they lack derive for learning, they cannot learn properly. An instructor’s prime responsibility is to make the individual ready for learning. If an individual possesses a definite aim for learning something, then sooner or later he excels in it. However, if a person is devoid of strong motivation to learn something, he may not succeed.
3) Principle of Effect: The emotional response of the learner defines the principle of effect. This principle advocates that learning is stronger when supported by positive emotions and it is weaker when supported by negative emotions. A learner feels demoralised on experiencing feelings of failure, frustration, anger, confusion or ineffectiveness.
For example, if a person joins an aeroplane training course, then initially trainer must focus on giving training about how to fly the plane. If the trainer starts teaching how to land the plane on the first day of training, then the trainee might become horrified and disturbed.
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4) Principle of Intensity
A learning exposure that is realistic, effective or pleasurable helps in the enrichment of teaching, unlike an experience that is usually routine or unexciting. According to the principle of intensity, the learner grasps more from the realistic experience rather than experiencing poor substitutions.
For example, the learner who only focuses on reading books to learn how to fly a plane will not gain much knowledge as it requires practical learning.
5) Principle of Recency
According to this principle, the things that are learned recently are more likely to be recalled by the learner. If a learner is acquiring new facts and is far away from old facts for a long time, then it is the tendency to forget those old facts if not reviewed recently.
For example, it is easier to remember what happened yesterday but it is difficult to remember what happened a month ago or a year ago.
6) Principle of Reinforcement
Reinforcement is a technique that not only helps in the stability of reaction but also has a tendency to activate the redundancy of behaviour that has happened before. However, there is a difference between positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement.