ALV (a Learners’ View) for Learners: A Guide to Learning More, Easier, and Faster

ALV (a Learners’ View) for Learners: Guide to Learning More, Easier, and Faster

A Learners’ View (ALV) Is Of Choices On The Shortest And Fastest Path To Learning, The Oxygen Of Social Life.

Learning a lesson in school is like using a shopping list of things to buy in a store. (ALV T-Shirt Wisdom)

Main Page: SECTION ONE Using a Learners’ View (ALV)

Abstract: Let over a century of results from scientific research of learning guide you to more, easier, and faster learning. Learning from this, a learners’ view (ALV), consists of you making increasingly accurate and precise choices of vocabulary to increase your chances of solving difficult problems. Lessons instruct you in choices of vocabulary to make. Learning lessons occurs when you pay attention to certain ingredients in lessons that draw your attention to that vocabulary and their relationships.


THIS GUIDE DESCRIBES practical suggestions, useful tools, and a cohesive, efficient, and flexible approach to learning.


FROM A LEARNERS’ VIEW (ALV), learning a lesson in school is like using a shopping list of things to buy in a store. Both require choosing what matches your list from among competing colors, shapes, sounds, and other physical sensations as well as other interests and costs. Both learning and shopping in a store will cost you time, effort, and other resources

Do you have a list of choices that will likely result in you learning lessons? Experimental behavioral and social scientists have been reporting choices that you and other learners likely use as you learn.

This guide offers you a list of bare minimum choices these scientists say you’ll probably make when you learn something. Choices on the list are like the genes of learning. When used, learning serves as the oxygen of social life for you and others.

“I DON’T GET IT,” Logan shouted during a lesson in class. (True story. Fictitious names.) Ms. Stone, his teacher, replied, “Then start by reading the book.” The class laughed … Read More

As you read, you will use the list of choices Logan  used (without realizing it existed) while learning lessons. As a result, he made a comfortable life for himself and his family. So may you as a learner.

Choose to Learn

Choose to Take these Steps

These are choices you make that likely result in how much you learn, how easy that learning was for you, and how fast you learned lessons. The first option at each point of choice (some call it a choice-point) increases the likelihood that you will learn more, easier, and faster.

1. Give Yourself Permission to Learn: Yes, Really!

The first choice learners make while learning something is to give themselves permission to learn. Experimental scientists refer to it as attention to the task of the lesson.

Each lesson presents a problem for you to solve. Until you choose to select that problem, you probably will not learn to solve any problem beyond what you already have solved. Read More

2. Choose a Problem to Solve.

The next choice learners make while learning is to select one of the five generic problems to solve. In this way, you identify what you will learn to do. Read More

3. Choose How to Solve the Problem.

Will you choose to read the book, listen to the instructor, guess, copy what others do, or something else to solve the problem of the lesson? Learners choose to follow instructions of their teachers. However, to do so, you must recognize and manage the vocabulary used in that instruction.

4. Choose How to Know You Solved the Problem.

Now, choose if you solved the problem, because you did it the way the instructor showed you how to solve it, or some other way.

5. Choose How to Show Others You Solved the Problem.

Choose which evidence will you use to show others that you solved the problem before you. Will you complete all problems on the exam without any errors, put the basketball through the hoop more consistently, or bake a cherry pie?

6. Choose the Value You Give to Solving the Problem.

Choose whether you value your performance enough to use it again or you just solved it for this one time (such as cramming for a test without linking that study to additional, later uses of what you learned).

List of Choices while Learning

Learners have shown scientists in experimental studies in and out of schools that you likely make at least five choices from among 15 options to learn something. We call this a learners’ view (ALV) of teaching and learning (TAL). ALV rests on the assumption that teachers must match a finite set of choices learners will likely make in order for learning to occur. ALV gives priority to your choices as you will likely make them while learning a lesson. ALV is different from other views of TAL. Others assume that learners must match what teachers do in order for you to learn lessons. They assume that teachers as well as other people or conditions influence, if not control, your learning. By teachers attending first to choices of learners while learning, learners learn more lessons than from lessons based on other assumptions.

Questions of Learners

As learners, people try to answer three fundamental questions with their choices in and out of schools. General answers follow each question from ALV. 1. What do I (have to) do to learn it? Choose actions that solve the problem that you will learn to solve. 2. What will it cost me to do that to learn it? Learning it will cost you time, effort, and other personal resources. 3. What do I get for learning it? You will likely benefit according to the accuracy, efficiency, and precision of your choices. Learners, educators, and their observers have refined these from three fundamental questions to five about making choices while learning lessons. 1. What will I learn? Choices of patterns of social action that solve problems. 2. How will I learn it? By choosing those patterns that solve the problem in each lesson. 3. How do I know when I have learned it? When your choices solved the problem in the lesson in a way your teacher or another authority accept. 4.  How do I show others that I learned it? When your choices solve the problem in a way that other people accept. 5. What implications does learning this have for me? In other words, what will it cost me to do it and so what if I learn it, who cares?

Five Kinds of Choices

Learners make five kinds of choices while learning. Experimental studies of learning have been reported these across a century of research. Making those choices is an observable and measurable way of saying you are learning. This list describes those choices as a sequence. In practice, you  might make them, at least at first, in a different order. For example, you may start by choosing that this lesson shows you to choose that it answers the What is it? question. Then the instructor clarifies that this lesson asks you to find What is not like it?, so you choose to watch and listen to how to find a difference between your two choices. You and observers may monitor your learning by the patterns of choices you make, even when you do not say them aloud. (1) in one step (you solve to problem for the lesson in one step; all other choices are trial-and errors) (2) resulting from two options (correct or incorrect choices, or trial-and-errors to choose the correct problem to solve) (3) in three sections (beginning, middle, and ending of learning, that is of making choices that solve the problem in the lesson) (4) at four levels (physical sensations; problem solving; matching what the most accomplished people do; and valuing what you learned to do, or answering the question: So what?) that answer one or more (5) of  five questions, that is, that solve one or more of five problems (What is it? What is it not? What is like it? What comes next? And What is missing?). As simple as these choices sound, they form the minimum number and kinds of choices learners make while learning a lesson. Data from experimental studies have validated this. Also, these studies do not show that cultural influences or personal development alter these five kinds of choices people make while learning. Novel writers and other artists have described them in various ways for ages. So do business people, such as Walt Disney and Warren Buffett, who use them implicitly.


Use the Disney Way. Approach learning/problem solving with curiosity, confidence, courage and constancy (Disney’s 4 Cs), as did Walt Disney and as the Imagineers of the Walt Disney Corporation continue to practice. Notice that accomplished people use them.


1. Write the five fundamental choices in your notebook, in your smartphone, or another place where you can refer to them when you practice using them and when you face lessons you do not learn. 2. Practice using these five choices as filters along with Disney’s 4 Cs for identifying and then anticipating (scientists call this predicting, other say forecasting) what comes next. 3. Practice when you  are not in school, such as when you go to Disneyland, watch a TV program, and play a video game. They use these questions to create situations (lessons, from a learners’ view) that entertain you. So do your parents, store merchants, advertisers, and the police.


1. Listen to stories of friends, relatives, and others who have solved problems. Identify which of the five What…? problems they solved and how they did so. In these ways, you can hear how, which, and why of the five fundamental choices they made to accomplish whatever they did. 2. Read biographies, graphic novels, etc. to identify how the hero changed the odds in order to accomplish something a publisher offered, so you could learn something from it.

Active Ingredients of Learning

Active ingredients of learning (AILs) are symbols of something important to solving the problem of the lesson. They are physical sensations that attract your attention more than other sensations around you. You see, hear, feel the touch of them, smell them, or in some other way identify them. For example, your teacher may write something, then draw a circle around it. The circle is an AIL when you see it.

Vocabulary of ALV

Changes in use of vocabulary reside at the core of learning and of showing others that you learned something. People decide whether someone learns something and their potential for learning more by their increasingly accurate and precise use of vocabulary. Vocabulary of a learners’ view (ALV) of learning describes how people learn as distinct from what people learn to do.

Technical Vocabulary of Learning

The word vocabulary refers to your choices of actions others can observe, such as your word choices, physical movements on the dance floor, and use of time it takes you to answer a question on a test. Accuracy and precision matter. Scientists have been using accuracy and precision in use of vocabulary to build tests of intelligence and achievement for over 100 years. Implicitly, lessons teachers offer show learners how to use vocabulary more accurately, precisely, and efficiently. The word learning is one of the most used words by educators without educators agreeing on an accurate and precise definition for it. Experimental scientists have used the word to refer to the process of solving a problem in ways you will use when you face that problem again. Stated simply, learning is the process of connecting two dots with a line the same way that you select and fit two pieces of a picture puzzle together. People use trial-and-errors to identify and connect the dots. Educators check your learning by asking you to solve problems (answer questions) in quizzes and exams. To date, problem solving with vocabulary is the only known way people have of identifying when and how learning occurs. You will probably not find instructions on quizzes or in test items that include, for example, “You know what I mean, that’s awesome, whatever, absolutely, kind of.” You will rarely find words such as belief, cognition, faith, knowledge, mind, opinion, think, and truth used by these scientists except as a reference to something they test experimentally. People learn to use patterns of social interaction (sometimes named behavior or social patterns) that other people recognize as important. These patterns form categories of similarities, such as atoms bond to form molecules. Learning consists of adopting, adapting, and expanding uses of patterns of vocabulary in ways that solve problems in ways the most accomplished people in society recognize. The word probably is also an important word. Scientists use probability to refer to the chances, the likelihood, the odds of you making these choices while you learn (while you solve a problem). The word probably has ancient roots in gambling, so in a sense, scientists use that word to indicate that you take a gamble, a chance, while you learn. They say that you use trial-and-errors to find and make choices that solve the problem. Saying you will likely learn more etc. means you have a better than average chance of expanding or refining your vocabulary to solve a problem when you make certain choices while learning. When you read this guide, you will read descriptions of choices people likely make while learning. Scientists have been refining these descriptions since the late 19th Century. When you learn a lesson (solve a problem), probably you make these choices. When you do not learn a lesson, you probably did not make one or more of the necessary choices to learn that lesson. As far as scientists can say with confidence, learning requires your choices.

Earn Your Learning

Based on this research, you earn your learning by paying for it with your time, energy, and other resources. For example, …

List of Choices

The list of choices to make while learning consists of physical sensations to which learners respond. Learners select them from the sights, sounds, touches, etc. common to their and your surroundings. Learners select some sensations before others in and out of schools. These sensations make up the list.

 Implications of ALV Choices for You

1. Learning Occurs through Your Senses.

Stop, look, and listen to identify which choices to make at which times during lessons. Teachers may refer to this as attention, but for learners it means the lesson contains the visual, auditory, or other sensations that lead you to solving the problem of the lesson.

2. Identify whether the Lesson Contains Single or Strings of Problems.

Typical 50 minute or so classroom lessons consist of strings of simple problems (things for you to do) in order for you to learn that lesson….

3. Filter out distractions in lessons.

Use ALV as a filter to screen out distractions from learning the lesson promptly. As you saw in the video, Marc filtered out distractions by organizing the lesson, so it included only the sequence of parts needed to assemble the brake (the most efficient display to solve the What comes next? problem) and added a prompt (redundant cue) to the side of the part that faced Eugene on the tray and in his hands. This planning for the lesson eliminated anticipated trial-and-errors and thus unnecessary movements for Eugene to produce a completed brake.

4. Choose Your Social Position in Life.

Use of a learners’ view (ALV) enters you into the social life and position of your choice…


Not Yet, but…

Do you get it? Do you have a list of choices to select that will likely lead to you learning lessons? If you answer the get-it question with “Not yet, but I’m trying to-get-it, to figure out how to learn more, easier, and faster,” then this guide is for you. It offers an outline of descriptions of a learners’ view (ALV) of choices learners make while learning. Experimental scientists who have studied learning would say that whatever you do, you learned to do, and you likely made these choices while learning to do it. As far as these scientsts have reported, learners use a relatively small set of choices to learn, irrespective of names and activities educators and others use to refer to curricula, lessons, programs, and subjects. If you choose to use what you read in this guide to help you get-it, then you will likely learn more, learn it easier, and learn it faster. This guide describes choices learners make while learning. You likely have made these choices hundreds if not thousands, or millions of times in your life when you learned something. You may have made these choices without realizing you made them. You can and may choose to use on purpose the choices scientists describe that people use while learning. In this way, you have a better chance to learn more, to learn easier, and to learn faster. If you still wonder if this guide can help you, watch this video of Eugene learning how to assemble a bicycle coaster break. Until this lesson, people had said most of his life that Eugene could not learn people in the general community. Eugene and his teacher Marc demonstrate choices Eugene makes to learn the complex task in this lesson. His teacher applied descriptions of choices experimental scientists reported to organize and instruct the lesson. Watch Video This guide describes choices Eugene and you both make while you learn lessons in the wilderness or in lessons that school teachers instruct. It also shows how Eugene’s teacher arranged the task in a series of steps for Eugene to learn to assemble the brake. That lesson consisted of a minimum of 24 manipulations of 15 parts. Some brakes his teacher used consisted of a minimum of 27 manipulations of 17 parts. Some teachers offer lessons this clear, so all learners learn those lessons. If you face a lesson unclear to you, use this video as a model to figure out what the teacher is trying to show you to do. Together, this guide and the video can serve as a reminder of choices while learning that will likely lead you to learning math, science, literature, grammar and other subjects in and out of schools and universities.


  1. ALV as a Social Process
  2. Cascade of Questions of Ima Learner
  3. Disney, W. (ND). Curiosity, courage,  and consistency. B. Scollon, Walt Disney: Drawn from Imagination. Los Angeles: Disney Press. On back cover.
  4. Disney,W. (No date) The way to get started … Video
  5. Learning as Problem Solving
  6. What Learners Do While Learning
  7. Assessment
  8. Quizzes
  9. Tests
  10. Class Discussions
  11. Class Projects
  12. Questions to Ask and When

Related Reading

  1. Abstract of ALV (a Learners’ View) of Learning
  2. Meet Ima Learner

Related Resources

  1. ALV (A Learners’ View) of Learning in One Lesson
  2. ALV for Teachers: A Guide to Choices for 1.0 Teaching

Last Edited: May 3, 2015