Understanding Students’ Learning Styles
to Enhance your Teaching
by
Anoop Singh Grewal
Oct 5th, 2011
Biomedical Engineering GK-12 program
1
PLEASE SHARE
- Your name.
- How do you think you learn best.
- What kind of presentations techniques really
get to you during a class room.
2
By end of this workshop, you will …
• Gain insight into your preferred learning styles
• Discover the different varieties and flavors of
learning styles
• Learn how to incorporate them in a class room
3
What is a learning style?
Learning styles are various approaches of taking
in, organizing and processing stimuli or
information.
They involve educating methods, particular to an
individual, that are presumed to allow that
individual to learn best.
4
Discover your personal learning style
• Take ~ 5 min to fill out this quiz:
– www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=questionnaire
• Key is at the end.
5
Matching learning styles
• Find people who scored the highest in the same
category as you
– Get together and discuss ways you prefer to learn
– Generate a list to answer the following:
• What kind of class activities/presentations appeal to
you?
• How do you prefer to study?
6
Overview of different styles
Fleming’s VARK model
1. Visual learners
2. Auditory learners
3. Reading/writing-preference
learners
4. Kinesthetic learners
7
Visual Learners
•
•
•
•
•
Pictures, plots, charts, diagrams
Films, demonstrations
Memorize by visualizing the information (e.g. words)
Like making illustrations in notes
Concept maps.
8
Concept Maps about Concept Maps
9
Auditory Learners
•
•
•
•
Listening to lectures, not reading books
Listening to music, etc - while studying
Reading out aloud to themselves
Oral exams
10
Read/Write Preference
•
•
•
•
Written explanations
Reading books
Written notes
Post-it everywhere
NB: Many don’t include this as a separate category
and call the rest as VAK model
11
Kinesthetic Learners
•
•
•
•
Learn by doing things
Have difficulty sitting passively through lectures
Move around while revising things
Like experiments, group activities etc.
12
Other styles [1/3]
Sequential Learners
Global Learners
Prefer a linear, step-by-step Absorb
information
almost
process (e.g: kids’ learning)
randomly without seeing the
connections, then suddenly
“get it”
13
Other styles [2/3]
Sensing Learners
(concrete)
• Like to solve facts
• Prefer to use well-established
methods
Intuitive Learners
(abstract)
• Prefer discovering possibilities
and relationships
• Like innovation and dislike
repetition
• Are patient with details and good
at memorizing facts
• Grasp abstract concepts easily
but have difficulty memorizing
• Prefer observable, concrete
facts
information
14
Other styles [3/3]
Active Learners
• Same as kinesthetic
Reflective Learners
• Think about information before
applying it
• Understand by doing
• Prefer working alone
• Prefer working in groups
• Have difficulty sitting passively
through lectures
• Have less difficulty sitting through
lectures
15
Are there other styles?
• Kolb’s Model:
Kolb, David (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of
learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
• Want to learn more about your learning style,
personality style, brain dominance…check out this
resource and try some quizzes
– http://appl003.lsu.edu/cas/learningjourney.nsf/StudentHome?
OpenForm
– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU5LoCLGMdQ
16
Mini lesson
• Make mixed
groups
• For one of the
topics listed,
generate a
lesson plan that
appeals to all of
your learning
styles
• Be prepared to
share!
How to…
 Balance a chemistry
equation
 Score a game of bowling
 Organize a research
paper
 Determine a property’s
value
 Read music
 Conserve energy in your
home
 Organize a CV or resume
 Keep your body healthy
 Say a phrase in a foreign
language
 Understand a wine bottle
label
How…
 the respiratory system
works
 Photosynthesis works
 Sound waves travel
 A computer works
 An electrical circuit works
Explain…
 The US electoral college
 Currency valuation
 The parts of a cell
 Any other concept,
process, or term!
17
17
What is this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4f4rX0XEBA&feature=related
18
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Conclusions
Please share:
– Any students with new perspective ?
about your own learning OR teaching others
19
Conclusions
Remember that everyone falls in a unique place in the
spectrum of learning styles
20
Conclusions
Varying your instructional methods will help meet your
students’ diverse learning needs.
21
Conclusions
•Don’t change everything!
• People are a mix of various styles.
•Just try one unique activity at a time and see what works
best for you and your class.
22
More resources: see handouts
•
Vark learning quiz: www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=questionnaire.
•
Learning activities:
http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/ILSdir/styles.htm.
•
LSU website for learning strategies and more:
http://appl003.lsu.edu/cas/learningjourney.nsf/StudentHome?OpenForm.
•
A great discussion on how to appeal to specific learning styles:
http://www2.gsu.edu/~dschjb/wwwmbti.html.
•
A recent article about the design of a Web-based Educational system with Learning
Style Adaptation. (available through Cornell): Popescu, E. J. of Computer Assisted
Learning, 2010, 26, 243.
•
A recent article highlight some of the skepticism about learning styles. Martin, S.
Teaching and Teacher Education, 2010, 26, 1583.
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