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Learning Orientations Model
Descriptions for Four Learning Orientations

Learning Orientations

Construct 1
Conative/Affective Aspects

Construct 2
Strategic Planning and Committed Effort

Construct 3
Learning Autonomy




Focus strong passions and intentions on learning. Be an assertive, expert, highly self-motivated learner. Use holistic-thinking and exploratory learning to transform to high, personal standards.
Use holistic thinking and strategic planning skills to set and accomplish personal short- and long-term challenging goals that may not align with goals set by others; maximize effort to reach personal goals. Commit great effort to discover, elaborate, and build new knowledge and meaning. Assume learning responsibility and self-manage goals, learning, progress, and outcomes. Experience frustration if restricted or given little learning autonomy.




Focus emotions and intentions on learning selectively or situationally. Be a self-motivated, focused learner when the content appeals. Meet above-average group standards only when the benefit appeals.
Set and achieve short-term, task-oriented goals that meet average-to-high standards; situationally minimize efforts and standards to reach assigned or negotiated standards. Selectively commit measured, detailed effort to assimilate and use relevant knowledge and meaning. Will situationally assume learning responsibility in areas of interest but willingly give up control in areas of less interest. Prefer coaching and interaction for achieving goals.




Focus intentions and emotions cautiously and routinely as directed. Be a low-risk, modestly effective, extrinsically motivated learner. Use learning to conform to easily achieved group standards.
Follow and try to accomplish simple task-oriented goals assigned and guided by others, then try to please and conform; maximize efforts in supportive environments with safe standards. Commit careful, measured effort to accept and reproduce knowledge to meet external requirements. Assume little responsibility, manage learning as little as possible, be compliant, want continual guidance, and expect reinforcement for achieving short-term goals.




Focus on not cooperating. Be an actively or passively resistant learner. Avoid using learning to achieve academic goals assigned by others.
Consider lower standards, fewer academic goals, conflicting personal goals, or no goals; maximize efforts to resist assigned or expected goals either assertively or passively.  Chronically avoid learning (apathetic, frustrated, discouraged, or disobedient).
Assume responsibility for not meeting goals set by others, and set personal goals that avoid meeting formal learning requirements or expectations.

Situational Performance or Resistance: Learners may situationally improve, perform, or
resist in reaction to positive or negative learning conditions or situations.

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