Describe how learning theories differ across the lifespan

Create a 6–10 slide presentation, using the software of your choice, to explain your position paper for a professional conference.

Note: The assessments in this course build upon each other, so you are strongly encouraged to complete them in sequence.


Professionals build credibility through professional presentations.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

Competency 1: Describe the current issues, parameters, and central tenets that define the specialization of educational psychology.

Explain fundamental elements of guided instruction and constructivism, using an example.

Competency 2: Evaluate information sources and research designs that are used to answer research questions in educational psychology.

Justify personal position on chosen learning theory through supported research.

Competency 3: Identify individual differences and the biological, cognitive, moral, social, and affective factors that influence learning across the lifespan.

Describe how learning theories differ across the lifespan, according to developmental differences and individual differences.

Competency 4: Describe principles of learning to create appropriate instruction and instructional material consistent with learners and the learning context.

Describe principles of learning to create appropriate instruction for learners.

Competency 6: Evaluate meaningful instruction using best practices from educational psychology theories.

Evaluate pros and cons of both guided instruction and constructivism supported by professional research.

Competency 7: Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with university expectations for graduate education, including discipline knowledge and current APA formatting standards.

Write clearly and logically, with correct use of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and mechanics, and correctly format citations using APA style.


The vision of constructivism is that the individual is active, not simply receiving stimuli as touted in the behaviorist rubric. Constructivists would agree that individuals construct their own understanding of the world, engaging, grappling, and trying to make sense of things. Knowledge develops through the tasks and experiences of the learner. Nevertheless, not all educational psychologists would agree that constructivism is the panacea for learning. Schools that advertise “learner-centered teaching and learning” embrace the constructivist theory.


Guided Instruction

Teacher-centered, scaffolded instruction to help small groups of learners understand concepts is considered guided instruction. The subjects that are often taught with guided instruction are reading and mathematics.


Use the Resources for this assessment to help you complete your research and presentation. You may wish to review the design suggestions in the multimedia pieces, Guidelines for Effective PowerPoint Presentations and Conquering Death by PowerPoint, linked in the Resources for this assessment.


Presenters for professional conferences are usually selected based upon the content of a submitted position paper, and the presentation of that paper is done in the form of a presentation. Imagine you submitted a position paper to a professional conference as part of your professional development plan. Imagine that your paper was selected, and you are scheduled to present the key points in 6–10 slide presentation at the upcoming conference.


The deliverable for this assessment is something you could use or modify for your professional work, or show as a work sample in a job interview.

Create a presentation in which you analyze different positions on guided instruction verses constructivism and presenting your own position.

Although you may use the presentation software of your choice, the basic guidelines for creating an effective presentation still apply. An effective presentation is not cutting and pasting sections of a paper into slides. Slides should not be written in APA format. Produce a final slide that lists all your APA references. Include presenter notes in which you provide the explanation for each slide, so the audience will not see that information during a presentation.

Include the following in your presentation:

Describe how learning theories differ across the lifespan, according to developmental differences and individual differences.

Describe principles of learning to create appropriate instruction for learners.

Explain fundamental elements of guided instruction and constructivism, using an example.

Evaluate pros and cons of both guided instruction and constructivism, using support from professional research.

Explain both the advantages and disadvantages to each instructional approach.

The pros and cons you describe must be supported by evidence in the research or professional literature.

Analyze how developmental and individual differences in the intended audience might impact these learning theories.

Present your own stance on the issue and explain how you came to that conclusion.

Additional Requirements

Presenter Notes: Write presenter notes for each slide. This is the narrative that explains the content of the slide.

Presentation length: 6–10 slides, including the title slide and the final slide should be an APA reference slide.

References: APA references should be the final slide in your presentation.

Communication: Write clearly and succinctly, with no grammatical errors.

Font size: Title slide font: 36 to 44 point. Text font: 28 to 32 point. Presenter note font: 12 to 14 point.

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