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How do we learn? Understanding how is the key to learning more effectively. This free course, Learning, thinking and doing, looks at the three main categories of theories: the acquisitive, constructivist and experiential models of learning. There is no right way to learn but developing an active approach will ensure that you are open to new ideas.
After completing this unit you should be able to:
- assess your learning styles and capabilities, using a learning file in which to record your progress;
- describe the main definitions of learning as a process, and the role played by memorising, understanding and doing;
- explain the three main categories of theories about learning, namely the acquisitive, constructivist and experiential models of learning;
- discuss the main conceptions of managing as an activity, and how systems thinking and practice benefit from learning by experience.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Learning to learn
- 2 Learning to understand
- 3 Aquisitive learning
- 4 Introduction
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Learning, thinking and doing
This unit is from our archive and it is an adapted extract from Systems thinking: principles and practice (T205) which is no longer in presentation. If you wish to study formally at the Open University, you may wish to explore the courses we offer in this
This unit has been written because it is all too easy not to take an active approach to learning, thinking and doing, merely reading information but not actively engaging with it. The unit itself is a mixture of the theoretical and the practical, the academic and the vocational, and the readings that follow are designed to stimulate an active approach to learning, thinking and doing. There is no right way of engaging with the material covered in this unit – you have your own reasons for studying it and your own favoured styles of working.
This unit deals with the strategies for coping with the demands of learning, but does not cover the tactics required for successful learning. It does not cover specific study skills such as note taking, effective writing or preparing for assignments. If you believe that you need to learn, or brush up on, these types of skills then you are strongly advised to get a copy of The Sciences Good Study Guide by Northedge, Thomas, Lane and Peasgood, 1997, Open University, ISBN 9780749234119.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Engineering and Technology courses or view the range of currently available OU Engineering and Technology courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Friday, 22nd July 2011
Last updated on: Wednesday, 5th September 2012
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
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