Types of learning curve


Q. Types of learning curve

We get different types of learning curves depending upon –.

(a) The nature of the learner.

(b) The nature of the task/learning material.

(c) Time available.

(d) Conditions under which the learning takes place.

It is difficult to classify these learning curves. However three common types of curves are there,.

(i) Negatively accelerated or the convex curve.

(ii) Positively accelerated learning curve or the concave curve.

(iii) Combination of convex-concave curve.

Convex curve

It depicts rapid initial improvement in learning that slows down with time. When the task is simple and the learner has previous practice on a similar task we get this type of learning curve.

Concave curve

There is slow initial improvement and learning increases with time. When the task is difficult we get such type of learning curve.

Combination of convex concave curve.

It looks like the capital letter ‘S’. The curve takes concave or convex shape in the beginning depending upon the nature of the task.

In actual practical situations such smooth curves are rarely found. Usually there are ups and downs (fluctuation).

Educational importance of learning curve.

  1. In acquiring the basic skills in various subjects, the learner at times appears to show no progress. At such moments the teacher can diagnose the reasons for the lack of progress.
  2. A student’s progress may be arrested because the work is too complex for him. The teacher can observe the student’s work and detect the part that gives him trouble. The teacher should see if the student has developed any faulty study habits, which impede his progress.
  3. The plateau may be due to the lack of motivation. The teacher should provide encouragement in order to maintain motivation at a high level.
  4. The learning curves give a graphic evidence of one’s progress, which is an effective motivational device for the learner.
  5. Occurrence of plateaus can be minimized by using superior teaching methods.

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