Toolbox Menu > Learning and Instruction Menu > What Factors Affect Learning?

Factors That Affect Learning

The following list represents seven important factors affecting how a person learns from instruction (a particular arrangement of the environment). This isn’t THE list (I don’t think THE list exists), just seven important factors...

  • Cognitive abilities and developmental level of the learner [internal]

  • Previous experiences of the learner [internal]

  • Arrangement of the environment itself, including the level of message abstraction, motivational strategies employed, and the clarity and effectiveness of the messages [external]

  • Type and degree of interactions possible with instructional media present [external]

  • Social interaction within the learning context [external]

  • Motivational level or “state” [internal]

  • Personal learning style [internal]


As a teacher and instructional designer, which of these factors do you have any control over?  [Hint: Which factors are EXTERNAL to the learners?]


copyright © 2002 Greg Sherman