The IDEAL: Cognitive Strategy

Icon of section IDEAL (Instructional Designer's Evolution through Analytical Learning)- Creative Agni ezine.


Cognitive Strategy

Robert Gagne classified the outcomes of all learning processes into 5 types.

We’ve already discussed Intellectual Skills. Gagne included Cognitive Strategy into his list of the five types of competencies that may be learned, and hence into his five types of learning outcomes; thus, drawing our attention to the methods that people employ when they learn, and underlining the importance of such methods in the overall scope of learning.

I’ll let Ms. Coffeebeans demonstrate.

Instructional Design Humor - Cartoon Pup Coffeebeans demonstrates the use of Mnemonics - a Cognitive Strategy for remembering - Ref: Gagne's 5 kinds of learning outcomes.

What is a Cognitive Strategy?

Simply speaking, a cognitive strategy is a specific capability that directs an individual to recall, think, and learn in a certain (effective) way.
Some cognitive strategies are:

  • The use of mnemonics
  • The use of pictures in learning another language
  • Recital
  • Diagramming/flowcharting

It is important to remember that people usually don’t apply a cognitive strategy as-is, they customize it according to their own personalities and environments. It is also important to understand that not all cognitive strategies work for all types of content. What may work well for learning new languages could fall flat when applied to learning mathematics.

Reflection Activity

1.    Recall the different learning strategies that you use and list them. Try to connect them to the type of content that you learned through their use.