Learning Theory can be defined as the analysis of how individuals learn. Instructional Design Theory can be defined as the analysis of effectively designing instruction to assure learning ensues. Learning theory is the basis from which instructional design theory is drawn.
Learning theories attempt to explain or predict learning. Instructional designers must do more than just provide sources for adult learning. They must be aware of the theories that have paved the way for adult education, reflect upon these theories, and cultivate a learning experience that encourages learners’ perspectives and moves the learner into considerable self-reflection. Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism, provide a theoretical basis for instructional design procedures.
The goal of instructional design is to promote the cognitive and behavioral processes that lead to learning. In order to successfully achieve this goal, instructional designers must consider learning theories when designing and developing instruction. Understanding the strengths and weakness of each learning theory helps the instructional designer optimize their use in an instructional design strategy that appropriately addresses the needs and learning styles of the learners.