Employee motivation and engagement is a critical component of employee relations in any organization today. When you add training requirements to everyday work tasks, it can be perceived as extra work that needs more time and energy than a person already spends at the workplace. It becomes imperative that employees feel propelled by something more than just managerial directives to take on and complete training. Additionally, L&D invests a lot in developing, procuring, and tailoring content for organizational training initiatives.

Click below to see how Adobe Captivate Prime can help you make training fun at work, and keep learners / employees engaged and motivated.

Make Training Fun – A 2021 customer guide

Please do get in touch with your Customer Success Manager for more information. For support issues, please contact For feedback regarding this document please email

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3 Traditional Learning Theories and How They Can Be Used in eLearning

Learning Theories are frameworks that are extensively used by Instructional Designers to meet the requirements of the target audience and the situation.

To do justice to this mandate, an Instructional Designer must first understand the Learning Theories in order to apply them. Once they understand the strengths and weaknesses of each Learning Theory, they can optimise their use.

In this blog, I provide an introduction to three traditional Learning Theories, namely:

  1. Behaviourism
  2. Cognitivism
  3. Constructivism

Furthermore, I show examples that illustrate how they can be used in designing eLearning courses.

Before I outline how Learning Theories can be used in designing eLearning courses, let me highlight a couple of foundational aspects on:

  • Why we need Learning Theories
  • How Learning Theories influence learning.

Why do you need Learning Theories?

Learning Theories are conceptual frameworks that describe the manner in which the information is absorbed, processed and retained during learning. Often, the same content can be presented in different ways. Learning Theories provide a framework for such learning solutions.

What factors influence learning and how do Learning Theories help influence it?

The factors that influence learning are:

  1. Cognitive
  2. Emotional
  3. Environmental
  4. Prior experiences

Learning Theories impact learning practices by:

  • Prescribing the right methodology and formats of learning
  • Making it effective, meaningful and engaging for all types of learners

What are the key traditional Learning Theories?

From the range of options that you can pick from, I will focus on three key traditional Learning Theories, namely:

  1. Behaviourism
  2. Cognitivism
  3. Constructivism


  • Behaviourism is based on observable changes in behavioural patterns.
  • It focuses on a new behavioural pattern being repeated until it becomes automatic.
  • The learner depends on an instructor for acquisition of knowledge.

Example: In an online learning course that required learners to memorise the capital cities of states:

  • Learning outcomes tested how effectively learners imbibed the information.
  • Practice opportunities were provided to the learner using a simple game-based approach.
  • Appropriate feedback was provided.


  • Cognitivism is based on the change in behaviour through sequential development of an individual’s cognitive abilities.
  • It indicates the thought process inside the learner’s mind.

Example: In an online learning course that involved two sets of audiences with varied knowledge levels taking the same application training:

  • A pre-test was used to define the appropriate learning path for each learner profile.
  • A visual organiser was designed, which allowed the learners to explore the topics relevant to their knowledge levels.
  • The cognitive flow was determined as per the existing skill-sets and the content was accordingly chunked into relevant topics/lessons.


  • Constructivism explains the manner in which knowledge is constructed.
  • It focuses on construction of knowledge when the information obtained comes in contact with the knowledge acquired by experiences.

Example: In an online learning course for Instructional Designers on how to write effective storyboards:

  • A real-life perspective was provided through the use of a character who is an ID.
  • A “story” was created, and the character was placed in real-life situations where she had to understand and tackle different aspects of storyboarding.
  • Practical tips and guidelines were provided to help learners apply their learning in actual work-environments.


Typically, one Learning Theory may not be adequate as a stand-alone framework and often strategies promoted by different theories would inevitably overlap.

You can pick from a wide range of options to test the learner’s knowledge and decide on the most appropriate strategies and solutions to meet a variety of learning situations.

I hope this blog provides a glimpse of traditional Learning Theories and more significantly, how they can be used in designing eLearning courses. If you have any queries, do contact me.

Need More?

Want more insights on Learning Theories? Schedule a call with our Solutions Architecting Team.


What Do You Do With Your Evaluation data?

Donald Kirkpatrick created the four-level model for training evaluation, which most organisations claim to cherish. For those unfamiliar, the four levels are as follows.

  1. Reaction – this answers the question what did the learners think about the training. We measure reaction through surveys conducted towards the end of training (sometimes called smile sheets)
  2. Learning – this answers the question what did the learners learn during or immediately following the instruction. We measure learning most often through a quiz or a skills demonstration
  3. Behaviour – this answers the question did the learners implement their new knowledge or skills back on the job
  4. Results – this answers the question what impact did the training have on the organisation. We measure results most often with financial reports. However, results can also be things like customer satisfaction.

In my last full-time job (before I became a freelance designer/developer), the facilitator or designer/developer would review his or her level 1 evaluations and retain this data for their semi-annual review. Occasionally the team manager would look at them, but more often than not, the team administrator would stuff them in a file cabinet, never to be seen again.

As a designer, I would look at the odd results from our level 2 evaluation reports. Unfortunately, our LMS wasn’t sophisticated enough to tell me which questions were proving to be difficult for my students. Had I known those types of results, I would have looked more closely at first the course content that would affect those problem questions and secondly I would review the question itself. I would ask myself was it written in such a way that could make it difficult for students to answer correctly?

I’m afraid to say that in my previous organisation we didn’t perform any level 3 or level 4 evaluations at all. There just was no demand for this information and very little time to conduct the research needed to get these results. Instead, our executive was more concerned about completion reports.

When I started working alongside Adobe, they granted me a complimentary license for Adobe Captivate Prime for a period. I was impressed with the simple yet effective level 3 evaluation tools built into the LMS. Each time an employee completes online training from Adobe Captivate Prime, the employee’s manager will receive a notification at a later time asking them to evaluate the on the job performance. Level 1 and 2 evaluations are great but what matters are behaviour and results. If you can combine the level 3 results provided from this LMS along with your company’s financial reports, you could say without too much uncertainty if your company’s learning strategy is effective.

Shortly after I trialled Adobe Captivate Prime I created the following video. It’s a couple years old now, but I think it’s still an accurate assessment of Adobe’s LMS product and how effective your learning can be.