Meaning of Learning
Learning refers to bringing about change in human behaviour through experiences and skills. It is an endless process. Which starts from the birth of a person and he keeps learning something or the other throughout his life till death. A person can learn anything from anyone, anywhere, anytime, as per the need or situation.
Learning is one of the important psychological processes, through which human behaviour is determined. It is an everlasting and never-ending procedure. Therefore, It can be defined as the summation of behavioural changes which are the result of knowledge achieved during the training. An individual attains knowledge and practicality from the training process which acts as feedback to the individual and a reference for future responses.
Learning acts as a dominant encouraging factor for several employees to remain connected with organisations. It influences the abilities, various roles in life and motivation level of the individuals. Besides influencing individual behaviour, It also plays a vital role in the management of knowledge. Through knowledge management, an organisation’s acquisition and sharing capacity gets boosted. As a result, knowledge can be utilised properly to make improvements in the continuity and prosperity of the organisation.
Definition of Learning
According to Martyn Sloman, “Learning is the process by which a person develops his skills, experience, knowledge, abilities and capacities.
According to W. McGehee, “Learning is the acquisition of new behaviour, strengthening or weakening of old behaviour as the result of experience, feelings, actions”.
According to Sanford, “Learning is relatively a permanent behavioural change as a result of experience, reinforcing practice”.
According to E. R. Hilgard, “Learning is a constant behavioural change before experience, It is the process of acquiring new knowledge and new responses”.
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Nature of Learning
The nature of learning is as follows:
1) It involves Constant Growth and Development
Learning is a continuous process that helps a person to understand the environment. This leads to the growth and improvement of personage.
2) It is an Adjustment
Learning makes a person adjustable and adaptable. The person should adapt and mould himself according to the developmental changes taking place in and around him.
3) It is a Systematised Experience
It includes the repetition of experiences, which results in improving learners’ attitudes, knowledge, principles, abilities and habits continuously.
4) It involves the attainment of Knowledge and Skills
Learning provides the most effective method through which a person can improve his talent, abilities and skills which are necessary for completing tasks effectively.
5) It is a Conditioning Process
Conditioning and understanding are often used interchangeably. Specifically, conditioning refers to the process of acquisition of a specific kind of attitude.
6) It involves Change
The learning process brings important changes in the behaviour of a person using regular training, education, experience and practice.
7) It is a continuous process
Understanding is an ongoing process. It affects all kinds of behaviour and continues life.
8) It is a Transferable Process
9) It is universal
Learning is universal as it can be taken from anywhere, in any situation, or circumstances in the world. Children learn from their parents, teachers, nature, environment, media etc.
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The learning process involves various phases shown in the figure:
Phase 1: Attention –
Where attention is absent, learning terminates. Attention is necessary for bringing information into active memory and keeping it alive. So, in the first place, the learning process helps the learner to target his attention on the actions of learning. However, this should not be limited to the first phase only, as attention must be sustained effectively in the entire process of learning.
Phase 2: Expectancy –
In this phase, due to the planned learning process, the learner looks forward to something good happening. This results in the origination of various inspirational ideas to devote oneself to the consequential phases of learning.
Phase 3: Retrieval of Relevant Information to a Working Memory –
Through this phase, the learner carries the structures from the long-term memory, which is very necessary for gaining new information or getting answers to the problems faced.
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Phase 4: Selective Perception –
In this phase, the learner usually focuses his attention on the main instructions that are highlighted in the presentation. The teachers can’t analyse the attention of students by mere inspection, which ultimately results in the learner’s inability to learn due to their incorrect attention. Selective perception fails either due to the insufficiency on the part of a presentation to draw attention, the learner’s failure to apply attention or, due to both of these factors.
Phase 5: Encoding – Entry of Information into Long-Term Storage –
In this phase, the learner usually covers the facts on which he has already applied attention, i.e., there is a transfer of facts into lasting memory where the individual establishes an association with the already stored facts.
Phase 6: Response –
In this phase, the learner recalls the facts and events that have been collected in his enduring memory and he precisely uses them in his tasks. The learner’s proper execution of work shows that his learning process is correct.
Phase 7: Feedback –
In this phase, the learner primarily figures out the range of work satisfaction through the achievement of knowledge during the previous phase. When the outcome of the feedback indicates positivity in the performance, it serves as an encouragement to the learner. When this feedback points out flaws in the learner’s performance, he again returns to the earlier phase of learning to rectify them for future actions.
For example, the learner can go back and retrospect and attain the mandatory knowledge or apply this more efficiently during selective observation and then augment with new zeal and enthusiasm. The learner proceeds again for the future course of action in the consequent phases. The learner cannot proceed towards the step, unless and until the information has been acquired to his satisfaction.
Phase 8: Cueing Retrieval –
In this phase, the learner usually recalls or applies the facts which he has to learn initial stages. Then, he focuses on the preservation of the points or simply the application of knowledge.