Process Of Learning- The Learning Curve

Q. Process Of Learning- The Learning Curve

Learning curve is a graphic representation of how learning takes place in a particular situation. In all type of learning situations, the course of learning can be depicted and described graphically by drawing learning curves against x and y axis.

The above figure shows a typical learning curve of many types of learning. The curve consists of a number of irregularities, as the progress is not constant.

For the convenience the curve is divided into 5 stages – a, b, c, d and e.

(a) Period of slow progress

Generally when a person has to start a learning of a given activity from a scratch, his early progress will be slow.

e.g. An infant’s progress in learning to walk is very negligible in the beginning.

(b) Period of rapid progress

In this stage the learner’s output raises rapidly.

e.g. In typing once the learner has developed co ordination of the movement of fingers he shows rapid progress.

(c) Period of no apparent progress

Learning curves frequently display a period of no apparent progress. It is also known as plateau. A period of no visible learning progress, preceded and followed by improvement is called as plateaus.

Eg: In typing, a person may after having made rather consistent progress for some time, reach a point where perhaps for weeks no further progress is made.

Causes of plateau.

(i) The learner may be reorganizing the previous learning into a new pattern before further progress is possible.

(ii) The learner may have hit upon bad habits.

(iii) Lack of progress may be due to decrease in motivation.

(iv) The task may not be of uniform difficulty.

(v) Loss of interest.

(vi) The onset of fatigue is also one of the causes of a plateau.

(d) Period of sudden rise

At the end of a plateau there is generally a spurt in achievement. While on the plateau the learner acquires better techniques, which help him later on to show rapid progress.

(e) Levelling

All learning will finally slow down to such an extent that it will ultimately reach a period of no improvement. No one can continue to improve indefinitely in any given situation. The learning curve will eventually reach a limit, where no further improvement is possible. This limit is known as physiological limit.

Important characteristics of Learning Curve

(i) Slow initial progress.

(ii) Spurt-like learning after some time.

(iii) Declination in the rate of learning.

(iv) Plateaus of learning.

(v) Sudden increase in learning.

(vi) Gradual leveling at the end.

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