This week the topic of discussion in my Instructional Design course was learning theories including how the brain processes information that is received and how the information is stored using three modes of memory: sensory, short-term (working) or long-term. Ormrod, Schunk, and Gredler state learners “select and attend to features of the environment, transform and rehearse information, relate new information to previously acquired knowledge, and organize knowledge to make it meaningful.” (Ormrod, Schunk, & Gredler, 2009, p. 50).

This article focuses on the concepts of learning and memory. Sensory memory is stored for approximately a few seconds, short-term memory is comprised of short bits of information that is either transferred to long-term memory or discarded, while long-term memory is defined as permanent storage. The article also expands on Miller’s Magic Number theory and the Information Processing model to further describe the brain’s function in learning. The concepts provided in this article helped me to grasp the role memory plays in our learning. Clark discusses how information is transferred from short-term to long-term memory and as instructional designers, “we must find ways to make learning relevant and meaningful enough for the learner to make the important transfer of information to long-term memory” (Clark, 2010). This resource provides detailed descriptions of concepts as well as graphics and examples to further increase knowledge of the topic.


This resource discusses how understanding the learning process allows for instructional designers to effectively plan and prepare materials for successful interpretation. I especially found informative the Nine Events of Instruction which describes the “tactics of instruction that can be applied to most instructional methods or learning activities.”

Nine Events of Instruction

Gagne, R., Briggs, L. & Wager, W. Principles of Instructional Design (4th Ed., 1992)

The article further details various researchers, theories, and references to greater detail the importance of learning processes. I enjoyed this article and found there to be several insightful references also included for further reading of concepts and application.


Cognitive design principles. (2003). Retrieved May 13, 2012, from Cognitive design solutions:

Clark, D. (2010, November 6). Learning and memory. Retrieved May 13, 2012, from Big dog & little dog’s performance juxtaposition:

Gagne, R., Briggs, L., & Wager, W. (1992). Principles of instructional design (4th ed.).

Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York: Pearson.


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