Week 2 Blog Assignment – Learning Processing and how the brain works

Week 2 Blog  Assignment 

The article, “Information Processing and the Brain”, by Dr. Jeanne Ormond, discusses the theories of how the brain works and processes information.  Information processing (IP) is a cognitive theory that seeks to explain how the mind functions.  Historically, cognitivism was a popular theory in the 60’s and 70’s that developed a computer metaphor to explain how humans processed information as it relates to storage and retrieval.  Later it was discovered that humans do not think like way computers do, as we tend to branch out in a lot of different directions all at once simultaneously, while computer information processing is more “linear”, information goes in or information is retrieved.

When learning is studied from the perspective or information processing, information is easily retrieved based on how it was obtained.  Dr. Ormond gives an example of learning material through rehearsal/repetition opposed to relating information to things or situations you have already experienced.  When the information is required later on down the line, it will be easier to retrieve the information when relating it because when you think of what you related it to, you will automatically be able to retrieve the newly gained information.

In addition, humans have a great capacity of remembering what they see (visual leaner), as visual imagery is a highly effective method of remembering things (Ormond, n.d.).  This can be enhanced by the individual also hearing during the same time they visually acquire information.

For humans, there is not one clear way of teaching that would ensure successful learning.  During this time the study of learning strategies became popular in trying to understand why some people learned regardless of the methods used to teach them (Orey, 2001).  Three main strategies were used to understand this question.

  • Metacognitive Strategy – planning for learning, thinking about the learning process, montitoring, and evaluating learning.
  • Cognitive Strategy – task specific and refer to direct manipulation of the learning material itself. These strategies include note taking, repetition, guessing meaning from context, or using mnemonic devices.
  • Socioaffective Strategy – uses association with input from teachers or peers.

These strategies can be taught to learners, facilitating one of the most important goals of learning, learning autonomy (Orey, 2001).

Why are the resources sited important to Instructional Design?  The information provided in the resources gives Instructional Designer foundational information on theories and strategies that are imperative in a learning environment.  Knowing and understanding this information can assist Instructional designers with developing courses that are engaging, and more importantly, provide the student with a solid learning experience.  From reading these two articles and understanding how individuals learn, I know that incorporating various components, such as visual, auditory, and hands on exercises into a course will help students learn the information and retain it until it needs to be applied to various scenarios.


Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Information processing and the brain [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Orey, M. (2001). Information Processing. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved <03/14/2015>, from http://epltt.coe.uga.edu/


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