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EducationA Learners' View (ALV)Trial-and-Error Learning

Trial-and-Error Learning


Trial-and-Error Learning

EduClassics.com of Classic Education describes how learners adopt, adapt, and manage behavior patterns they use to learn, including a classic education in the 21st century.This page defines Trial-and-Error Learning from a learners’ view.

TRIAL-AND-ERROR LEARNING: (ER) a. Unsuccessful attempts until a learner repeatedly uses the relevant variable to solve a problem. b. A way to distinguish the experimental analysis of learning from other definitions of learning and their related practices.

Synonyms: TRIAL-AND-ERROR LEARNING features operational ways to measure attempts by a learner to solve a problem. FAILURE-TO-LEARN refers to a learner not identifying the relevant variable required to solve a problem; problem is unclear or instruction was not specific enough for the learner to identify the relevant variable to solve the problem.

Antonyms: TRIAL-AND-ERROR LEARNING indicates when adjustments in instruction may decrease a learners’ rate-of-errors to solve a problem. DISABILITY places responsibility for unsuccessful attempts to solve a problem on the learner, not the instruction.


TRIAL-AND-ERROR LEARNING refers to a set of operations that measure a learner’s attempts to solve a problem. These operations convert principles of learning into ways for observers and instructors to monitor learning during a lesson. These principles and operations are based on experimental analysis of behavior.

Related Resources

  1. Trial-and-Error Learning Lecture Notes

Related Reading

Robert Heiny
Robert Heinyhttp://www.robertheiny.com
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.

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