Behaviourism emphases on observable behaviours and looks to remove any independent activities. Behaviourism looks at rewarding students based on a reinforcement of a stimulus, be it a grade of a test or some other kind of reward be it a badge or leader board. Behaviourism does not account for mind-based activities and looks at repetitive behaviour to learn. This theory treats learners as passive and are driven by a motivated learning environment. (Funderstanding, 2011)
Connections to teaching and learning & Learning scenario
I recall when I first started teaching adult learners at TAFE (College), my ‘teacher’ course to prepare me provided no training on learning theories or learning styles. As part of the diploma course I was delivering, one of the units was on Copyright and Intellectual Property. The method of assessment was that of an online test in a Learning Management System. Students had 3 attempts at the quiz. This was very much a learned response (Keramida, 2015). I observed this in my first few months when I was shadowing another teacher.
The unit had a reputation for being incredibly boring. This can be presumed based on the previous students sharing their experiences or, as I’d witnessed, the teacher say ‘This is a boring subject, but we have to do it!’. This created no motivation for students to want to learn. In a single sentence, the teacher had provided a negative environment for learning. Students knew they just had to get through the quiz in order to pass the unit. I watched many students struggle to get through the online quiz due to the way it had been designed coupled with the demotivated environment. They only wanted to ‘pass and get it over and done with’ .
When it came to my own development of the unit, I had the class watch The Social Network (Fincher, 2010) where we then discussed the issues surrounding intellectual property and copyright in today’s world and how it applies to Web Development, the course the students were taking. Making the content relevant to what was being covered in the course, made for a more positive environment.
Funderstanding. (2011, April 14). Retrieved from Behaviorism: https://www.funderstanding.com/theory/behaviorism/
Fincher, D. (Director). (2010). The Social Network [Motion Picture].
Keramida, M. (2015, May). Behaviorism In Instructional Design For eLearning: When And How To Use. Retrieved from elearning Industry: https://elearningindustry.com/behaviorism-in-instructional-design-for-elearning-when-and-how-to-use