Definition of Learning: Characteristics, Types, and Purpose

Definition of learning – Every human being must have the desire to be a smart person. To become a smart person will definitely require a continuous learning process. The process of becoming a smart person is then by doing learning activities. On this occasion, we will review the meaning, characteristics, types and objectives of learning in more detail. Check this out !

Definition of Learning

What is meant by learning? Learning is a process or effort made by each individual to get changes in behavior, both in the form of knowledge, skills, as well as attitudes and positive values ​​as an experience from various materials that have been studied.

In addition, the definition of learning can also be interpreted as all psychological activities that are then carried out by each individual, so that his behavior is different between before and after learning. This change in behavior can occur due to new experiences, having intelligence or knowledge after learning, and practicing activities.

The meaning of self-study is a process of changing one’s personality where this change occurs in the form of improving the quality of behavior, such as increasing knowledge, skills, thinking, understanding, attitudes, and in various other abilities.

In the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), learning is trying to gain intelligence or knowledge. In addition, according to KBBI, learning is changing behavior or responses caused by experience.

Definition of Learning According to Experts

Some experts also express the notion of learning, namely:

M. Sobry Sutikno

According to M. Sobry Sutikno, the notion of learning is a business process carried out by a person in obtaining a change which is then only as a result of his own experience in interaction with his environment. In this case, change is something that is done consciously (intentionally) and aims to get something better than before.

Thursan Hakim

According to Thursan Hakim, the definition of learning is a process of change in human personality which is shown in the form of increasing the quality and quantity of behavior such as increasing skills, knowledge, attitudes, habits, understanding, skills, thinking power, and various other abilities.


According to Skinner, the notion of learning is a process of adaptation or adjustment of behavior that applies progressively.

CT Morgan

According to CT Morgan, the notion of learning is a relatively later change in determining behavior as a result or as a result of past experiences.

Hilgard & Bower

According to Hilgard & Bower, the notion of learning is a change in a person’s behavior towards a certain situation which is then caused by repeated experiences in that situation.

Characteristics of Learning Styles | On Our Way To English Pty

Learning Characteristics

After discussing the meaning of learning, in order to understand more about learning, we need to know the characteristics of learning. Below will explain some of the characteristics of learning that you need to know.

1. Duration or Time

The characteristics of the first learning is the duration or time in learning activities. The time for learning itself is arguably not short. In other words, requires a process in order to know the results of learning.

2.Contains Social Interaction

With the learning process, it will create social interaction. This is not without reason, because when learning someone certainly does not do it alone.

3. There is a change in behavior

The next learning characteristics are changes in a person’s behavior. The changes in behavior can be like psychomotor, affective, cognitive, and so on. Changes in behavior itself are permanent and some are temporary.

Types of Learning

Teaching Different Learning Styles | Tejeda's Tots

In the teaching and learning process, it is also known that there are various activities which then have a different pattern from one to another, both in terms of material and methods as well as in aspects of goals and changes in expected behavior. The diversity of this type of learning itself appears in the world of education in line with the needs of human life which are also very diverse. Types of learning include:

1. Learning Abstract

Abstract learning is a learning process that uses abstract ways of thinking. The goal is to gain understanding and solve non-existent problems. In studying these abstract matters, then the role of a strong mind is needed in addition to mastery over principles, concepts, and generalizations. Examples of learning that fall under this type include studying mathematics, chemistry, cosmography, astronomy and some material in the field of religious studies such as monotheism.

2. Learning Skills

Learning skills is learning by using motor movements, namely those related to the nerves and muscles (neuromuscular). The goal is to acquire and master certain physical skills.

In learning this type of intensive and regular exercises are needed. This type of learning includes, for example, learning sports, learning music, learning to dance, learning to paint, repairing electronic objects, as well as some religious subject matter such as prayer and pilgrimage.

3. Social Learning

Social learning is basically learning to understand problems and techniques for solving these problems. The purpose of social learning is to master understanding and skills in solving social problems such as family problems, friendship problems, groups, and various other social problems.

In addition, social learning also aims to regulate personal impulses for the common good and provide opportunities for other people or other groups to meet their needs in a balanced and proportionate manner. Fields of study included in social studies materials include religious studies and moral education.

4. Rational Learning

Rational learning is learning by using the ability to think logically and rationally (according to common sense). The aim of this type of learning is to acquire a variety of skills using principles and concepts. In addition, this type of learning is also very closely related to learning problem solving.

By learning rationally, students are then expected to have rational problem solving skills, namely the ability to solve problems using common sense, logical, systematic considerations and strategies.

Fields of study that can then be used as rational learning tools are the same as fields of study for learning a problem solving. The difference is that rational learning does not put special pressure and uses exact fields of study. In other words, non-exact fields of study can give the same effect as exact fields of study in the rational learning process.

5. Learn Habits

Learning habits is a process of forming new habits or improving existing habits. Learning habits, in addition to using orders, role models, and special experiences, also uses punishment and rewards.

The purpose of this type of learning is for students to acquire new attitudes and habits that are more appropriate and positive in the sense that they are aligned with the needs of space and time (contextual). In this case, the precise and harmonious meaning can be linked to the prevailing norms and moral values, both religious, traditional and cultural.

6. Learn Appreciation

Appreciation learning is the process of learning to consider (judgment) the importance or value of an object. The goal is for students to acquire and develop affective skills, namely the ability to appreciate accurately the value of a particular object, for example in appreciation of literature, music, and so on.

Fields of study that can support the achievement of self-appreciation learning goals include language and literature, crafts, and the arts. Apart from that, in the field of religion, you can also use this type of learning appreciation, for example memorizing holy books.

7. Learning Knowledge

Learning knowledge (study) is a learning process by conducting in-depth investigation of a particular object of knowledge. This study can also be interpreted as a planned learning program to be able to master the subject matter by involving investigative and experimental activities.

Learning Objectives

Learning Objective Tip Sheet | Center for Excellence in Teaching and  Learning

As mentioned in the definition of learning above, the main purpose of learning activities is to acquire and improve human behavior in the form of knowledge, skills, positive attitudes, and various other abilities. According to Sardiman (2011: 26-28), in general there are three learning objectives, including:

1. To Acquire Knowledge

The results of this learning activity can be characterized by an increase in one’s thinking ability. So, besides you have new knowledge, the learning process will also make your thinking skills better.

In this case, knowledge will also improve one’s thinking ability, and vice versa this thinking ability will develop through the knowledge that has been learned. In other words, knowledge and thinking skills are inseparable.

2. Instill Concepts and Skills

Instill the skills possessed by each individual through the learning process. Planting this concept really requires skills, both physical and spiritual skills. In this case, physical skill is an individual ability in observable appearance and movement. This skill itself is related to technical matters or repetition.

Meanwhile, spiritual skills tend to be even more complex because they are more abstract in nature. This skill is related to appreciation, way of thinking, and creativity in solving problems or creating a concept.

3. Shaping Attitudes

Learning activities can also shape a person’s attitude. In this case, the formation of the mental attitude of students will be closely related to the inculcation of values ​​so as to foster awareness within a person. In the process of cultivating a student’s mental attitude, behavior, and personality, a teacher must take a wise and careful approach. Teachers must be able to be an example for students and have skills in providing motivation and directing thinking.

Thus the discussion about the notion of learning to learning objectives. After reading this article to the end, I hope it is useful and can add to your insight. If you want to find books about learning, then you can get them at