My learning experience

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Sociology ・APA ・3 Sources

Taking a driving test following a series of driving classes and a written driving test was my learning experience. The primary purpose of the event was to put my ability to drive a car on my own to the test and obtain a driver's license. I was nervous about driving on my own before taking the test. I was looking forward to putting the driving theories and rules I had learnt in the practical driving session to use. At first, I faced driving behaviors like speeding, aggressive driving, and diversions that made it difficult for me to catch up so quickly. However, after taking several rounds around the field, I managed to apply the rules learned in driving class. Also, I sometimes applied few techniques from my grandfather who happily showed me how to drive.

My instructor explained to me the dangers of at-risk driving behaviors like overspeeding, distractions, and breaking behaviors. Moreover, he monitored my actions and commented as to whether they were moderate, safe, or unsafe depending on how I responded to various stimuli. After taking the test and being given a driving license, I gained confidence when driving alone. In fact, I could manage to avoid any distractions and concentrate on the wheels. I managed to apply driving skills and avoid risky driving behaviors like over speeding and unnecessary braking while driving. I felt much more excited because I managed to pass the driving test and acquire a driving license. The acquisition of new knowledge can only be mediated by existing knowledge; the unknown can only be made sense of in terms of the known (Dennik, 2012).

Question Two

Learning Theories

Learning theories are defined as the organized set of principles that tries to explain how different people acquire, retain, and recall knowledge. Learning theories help in understanding how learning occurs (Alderman, 2013). Moreover, the theories assist in selection of strategies, techniques, and instructional tools that promote learning in individuals. The three fundamental learning theories are cognitivism, behaviorism, and constructivism.

Behaviorist Theory. Behaviorist theory of learning holds that individuals acquire new changes or behaviors through the interaction between stimuli and the responses (Veletsianos, 2010).

The argument is based on the operant conditioning concept. According to this theory, knowledge exists independently outside individuals. Individuals acquire learning through an association between stimuli and responses that lead to behavioral change (Alderman, 2013). Observable changes in behaviors constitute the learning process. Learning is viewed as the acquisition of new behaviors or as the outcome of behavioral change. According to the behaviorists, learning process begins when a learner responds to stimuli from the immediate environment. As a result, the desired behavior is reinforced on the learner causing a new behavioral pattern. Through repetition of the newly acquired behavior, it becomes automatic hence causing a permanent change in behavior that signifies that learning has occurred in an individual (Veletsianos, 2010).

Cognitivist Theory. According to this theory, humans do not just respond to the stimuli but also process the information they receive (Alderman, 2013). The observed behavioral changes in individuals are because of what goes on in their minds. New skills and knowledge are reflected in the learners' mind hence help to process the information. When learners are actively involved in seeking various ways through which they can understand and process the information they receive (Veletsianos, 2010). Cognitive theorists believe that individuals learn through processing information internally. Unlike behaviorism, this approach focuses on mental processes rather than observable behavior. Therefore, a learning process is a change in knowledge stored in memory that involves reorganization of experiences through attainment of old or new insights.

Constructivist Theory. According to the theory, learning is a process when new ideas are constructed basing on previously acquired knowledge and experiences. Individual’s sense of experience is purely based on the own mental models. According to Dennick (2012), constructivists believe that conflicting information between ideas and theoretical explanations leads to adjustments of mental models to accommodate newly acquired skills or experiences. Learning is considered unique based on individual’s set of experiences and perceptions. The constructivist theory focuses on the preparation of learners to solve problems by acquiring relevant knowledge and experiences to create and interpret ideas.

Question Three

Behaviorist, cognitivist, and constructivist approaches try to link acquisition of knowledge and skills to response to stimuli from the immediate environment. The constructivist theory argues that learning process is based on the previously acquired knowledge and experiences. In my learning experience, I started by attending driving theory classes where I was taught how to drive and what makes a good driver. In fact, the driving classes focused on rules of driving, road signs, and other aspects of road safety. Based on the previous knowledge acquired in driving classes, I managed to recall these concepts and apply them in the practical driving test. Since I was first prepared with theories before taking the real test, constructivist theory helped in interpreting ideas and performing the task (solving the problem). The cognitivist theory argues that behavioral changes are caused by what goes around in individuals’ minds. Relating to my learning experience, there was reorganization of my previous experience helped in reflecting the new concepts thereby enhancing my new learning experience. Behaviorist theory, on the other hand, holds that new knowledge is acquired through interactions between stimuli and responses. Behaviorist theory partly explains how I managed to pass the driving test. Due to changes in my previous behaviors like distractions, overspeeding, and overexcitement, I acquire new learning skills and behaviors that enable me to pass the driving test. In one way or another, all the three theories helped in achieving the learning goal that was passing the driving test.

Question Four

My learning experiences have helped to be confident about the future expectations I had concerning the driving test. In fact, I feel happier that the learning experience will improve my life. One of the important things that I gained from experience is being positive towards learning. I ensured I attended the classes and concentrated on what my instructor talked about. My instructor always noted that every time you get an opportunity to perform a task, then do it better. Through his motivation, I tried my best to learn from the past and concentrate on the newly acquired skills. Likewise, learning from the present knowledge and skills prepares me for the future. Connecting with three learning theories, cognitivist and constructivist theories put more emphasis on preparing for future improvements through the acquisition of new skills and adjusting the mind models. When faced with the challenge of learning something new, I will utilize my prior knowledge and experiences regarding the issue then analyses and interpret the current situation to solve the problem in question (Veletsianos, 2010).

Question Five

Sam has previous knowledge regarding the rules of playing basketball but lacks practical skills needed to play the game. Incorporating three learning theories, previous experience, and behavior change can help Sam acquire new skills. To help Sam gain new skills needed to play basketball, two strategies can be adopted. The strategies are metacognitive and compensatory strategies.

Compensatory Strategy. Since Sam has previous knowledge of what is expected in the pitch, the compensatory strategy can help him capitalize on his strengths so to adjust to the new skills (Alderman, 2013). This strategy will help me in keeping Sam’s record of accomplishment and progress in acquiring quality skills. I will assign him small tasks and rate his mastery of the skills. In addition, I will provide feedback on the activity overview after every day’s training. Based on his response and reactions to my compliments and comments, Sam’s behavior and mind model will change and adjust to fit the newly acquired skills. Through the continuously practice of the learned skills, Sam will master the skills and perform better in playing basketball.

Metacognitive Strategy. This approach will help in Sam in developing the relevant skills that are needed in playing basketball. Since he understands the underlying rules of the game, the metacognitive strategy will help in building his confidence while playing basketball on the pitch. In addition, his prior knowledge will foster independent learning of the required skills (Alderman, 2013). Through rehearsals, he will connect the existing knowledge to the newly learned skills thereby monitoring his progress concerning the acquisition of the new skills.


Alderman, M. K. (2013). Motivation for achievement: Possibilities for teaching and learning. New York, NY: Routledge.

Veletsianos, G. (2010). Emerging Technologies in Distance Education. Edmonton, Alberta,Canada: Athabasca University Press.

Dennick, R. (2012). Twelve tips for incorporating educational theory into teaching practices. Retrieved on March 24, 2017 from

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