Gagne Hierarchy of Learning

The Gagne Hierarchy of Learning is an instructional design theory. According to the Gagne Hierarchy of Learning one can plan instruction without first identifying a measurable learning outcome and constructing a learning hierarchy for that outcome. Robert Gagne stated that conditions of learning are a means through which individuals and groups mostly acquire relevant skills to be accepted in society.

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He also stated in regards to the Gagne Hierarchy of Learning that – Learning is a direct result of human behaviour that is largely influenced by the environment and the individual thinking process of learners. In the Gagne Hierarchy of Learning, there are five major categories, namely – verbal information, intellectual skills, cognitive strategies, motor skills, and attitudes. The primary significance of the Gagne Hierarchy of Learning is to identify prerequisites that should be completed to facilitate learning at each level. Gagne defined learning as a change in human disposition or capacity, which can be retained and which is not simply due to the process of growth. Gagne’s Hierarchy of Learning has 8 types, namely – Signal Learning (Classical Conditioning), Stimulus Response Learning (Operant Conditioning), Chain Learning, Verbal Association, Discrimination Learning, Concept Learning, Rule Learning, Problem Solving. The implications of the theory were that the teaching-learning activities should be arranged in accordance with the mental abilities of the learner at each level of the learning hierarchy. In Robert Gagne’s view of learning of a new capability requires the prior learning of the subordinate capacities that are involved in the new capability. 

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