Learning Analysis Lecture Notes


Learning Analysis Lecture Notes

Definition of Learning Analysis To desolve learning into its observable parts; to describe observable ways people use behavior patterns to learn; a graph or other form reporting the frequencies and probabilities that observable behavior patterns used by a learner resolve a problem or contribute to reaching another criterion for a lesson.

1. a. Separation of learning into elemental behavior patterns as objects of the senses; clarification of how people learn; as, through empirical experimental behavioral science research of learning. b. Identifying behavior patterns of learning; the use and lack of use of components of learning in an assessment of a person’s behavior patterns to solve a problem or to meet another learning criterion. c. An examination of learning in order to describe and monitor its observable component parts and their relationships to the whole process; as, an analysis of learning described by results of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale. d. Identifying the use of a behavior pattern to resolve a problem; as, in the first line of The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by Longfellow: Listen my children and you shall hear.

2. a. A form of description, such as a graphic of the Stimulus-Response model by Skinner; the process of ascertaining the stage of learning or its place in a system of classification, such as a graphic of a Learning Efficiency Analysis Paradigm (aLEAP), illustrating generic relationships among observable parts of behavior patterns people use to learn. b. The determination of elements of learning in a lesson; frequency of learner’s use of these elements to respond; probabilities of these responses reaching criterion. Determination of the nature of elements is qualitative analysis of learning; of their frequency and probabilities of meeting criterion, quantitative analysis.

Analysis of learning has occurred throughout recorded history. People distinguish between the learning and accomplishments of each other according to rules they devise for their own purposes. These rules result in saying that some people are “smarter” than others, some “less smart” than most, and some having skills more important than other skills. Some scholars argue that these distinctions share the common social use of identifying people most likely to survive common problems and perhaps to help others do the same.

Contemporary formal analysis of learning began with the development of the Simon-Binet intelligence scale at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. The French government commissioned them to create a tool to identify children most likely to learn to read. Simon and Binet published their assessment tool in 1902.

Since then, uncounted thousands of variations of this scale have emerged. The body of literature, including reports of their use, continues to grow. Previously unknown professions have claimed authority over the technical use of some of the most powerful of these instruments, e.g., psychometrists and the American Psychological Association had control for decades over the distribution and use of the Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale.

These variations use a wide range of theories about learning, of ways to measure learning, and of the relevance of variations in the importance of learning to social life. Two types of scales have evolved most prominently.

One type gives priority to assessing “intelligence.” The Army General Classification Test, the Stanford Intelligence Scale, and the Wescheler Intelligence Scale continue to serve as major references against which other test developers compare their instruments. Intelligence tests consist of increasingly more difficult logic to use with familiar vocabulary to solve problems successfully.

The second type of test assess the “achievement” of learners. The Stanford Achievement Tests in a range of names and content continue to serve as references against which test developers compare their instruments. These tests consist of increasingly more difficult vocabulary to use with familiar logic to solve problems successfully.

Starting in the 1960s, Criterion Referenced Tests have evolved more rapidly than previously. For example, State minimum academic standards describe what students in each school grade should learn. Each state conducts a test keyed to these standards to determine the extent to which learners met these minimum criteria. These tests do not systematically distinguish between levels of logic and vocabulary in the same way as in intelligence and achievement assessments.


Army General Classification Test.

Terman, L. and Merrill, M. (1960). The Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale.

Weschler, D. (1958). The Measurement and Appraisal of Adult Inteiilgence. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins.

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Robert Heiny
Robert W. Heiny, Ph.D. is a retired professor, social scientist, and business partner with previous academic appointments as a public school classroom teacher, senior faculty, or senior research member, and administrator. Appointments included at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Peabody College and the Kennedy Center now of Vanderbilt University; and Brandeis University. Dr. Heiny also served as Director of the Montana Center on Disabilities. His peer reviewed contributions to education include publication in The Encyclopedia of Education (1971), and in professional journals and conferences. He served s an expert reviewer of proposals to USOE, and on a team that wrote plans for 12 state-wide and multistate special education and preschools programs. He currently writes user guides for educators and learners as well as columns for TuxReports.com.