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					LEARNING STYLES

Susan Groh, Chemistry & Biochemistry Harry Shipman, Physics & Astronomy

Session Outline
• • • • • Why worry about learning styles? Learning style models What’s your style? Experience it yourself: teaching task Examples: teaching to all types

What is a Learning Style?
The “characteristic strengths and preferences in the ways that [learners]take in and process information”
- R. Felder

Why Worry About Learning Styles?
STUDENT

INSTRUCTOR

CURRICULUM

Why is There a Gap?
One view of the education system is that it is a giant sorting system that selects out individuals who tend to: • learn in certain ways • teach in the ways that they’ve been taught • select out individuals who learn in the same way that their professors did

Goals: Using Learning Styles
• To be aware of differences in how our students take in and process information • To balance instruction so that all learning styles are addressed at least some of the time

Three Learning Style Models
• Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) • Kolb Model • Felder-Silverman Model

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
Based on Jung’s psychological types: predictable patterns of behavior stemming from differences among people in • Perception: taking in information • Judging: organizing/evaluating information • Preferred domain: external or internal

Opposite Preferences in …..
Pe rc e tion Sensing (S) p Judgement Thinking ( T) Domain A ttitude Intuition (N ) Feeling (F)

Extr aversion ( E) Introve r sion (I) Judging (J) Per ce iving (P)

Is the person interested mostly in …..
The external world of action, people, and materials? • EXTRAVERSION The internal world of ideas and thoughts?

• INTRAVERSION

after G. Lawrence, “People Types and Tiger Stripes”, 1982

Does the person tend to perceive….
Actual, concrete, and tangible data, facts, and details from observation and experience?
• SENSING

Concepts , “big-picture” connections, and possibilities through insight and imagination?
• INTUITION

after G. Lawrence, “People Types and Tiger Stripes”, 1982

Does the person tend to make judgments….
Impersonally, based on logic, analysis and objectivity? • THINKING Subjectively, based on values and potential impact on others? • FEELING

after G. Lawrence, “People Types and Tiger Stripes”, 1982

Is the person’s approach to life…
Organized and managed according to preconceived plans? • JUDGMENT Spontaneous, flexible, and open to new possibilities? • PERCEPTION

after G. Lawrence, “People Types and Tiger Stripes”, 1982

Myers-Briggs Types
• Type is determined by the preferred mode for each of these four areas • 16 possible combinations:
– – – – Thinking Types: ESTJ, ENTJ, ISTP, INTP Intuitive Types: ENTP, ENFP, INFJ, INTJ Feeling Types: ESFJ, ENFJ, ISFP, INFP Sensory Types: ESTP, ESFP, ISJ, ISTJ

Keirsey Temperaments
Four broader type groups sharing many common characteristics (temperament) • SP: Artisan -observing, adaptable, tolerant • SJ: Guardian -observing, ordered, detailed • NF: Idealist -sympathetic, insightful • NT: Rational -rational, theoretical, abstract

Kolb Learning Style Inventory
• Based on 4-stage learning cycle
Concrete Experience (CE)

Active Experimentation (AE)

Reflective Observation (RO)

Abstract Conceptualization (AC)

Stages in the Learning Cycle
• Concrete Experience (CE): learning from feeling and personal involvement • Reflective Observation (RO): learning by watching and listening • Abstract Conceptualization (AC): learning by thinking • Active Experimentation (AE): learning by doing

Learner Types and Strengths
• Converger (AC+AE)
• Diverger (CE+RO) • Assimilator (AC+RO) • Accommodator (CE+AE)

• Practical application of ideas • Imagination and innovation • Creation of theoretical models • Action, carrying out plans

Felder-Silverman Model
Five Learning Dimensions: • Sensing vs. intuitive perception • Visual vs. verbal input • Inductive vs. deductive organization • Active vs. reflective processing • Sequential vs. global understanding

Learning Style Dilemma
You and a friend (with an opposite learning style) buy identical build-it-yourself computer desks at Lowe’s. You get yours assembled that afternoon, just before your friend calls to report that his/her box had no instructions. Knowing your friend’s learning style, what advice would you give him or her?

Teaching to Learning Styles: M-B
• Extraverted students • Groups, think-pair-share • Introverted students • Time for reflection • Connect material • Sensing students • Structure, organization • Hands-on activities • Intuitive students • Discovery methods • Concept maps

Teaching to Learning Styles: M-B
• Thinking students • Feeling students
• Judging students • Perceptive students

• • • •

Clear objectives, fairness Collaborative groups Supportive instructor Advice on reviewing work, exam answers • Subassignments for large project • Feedback

Teaching to Learning Styles: Kolb
• Converger
• Diverger • Assimilator • Accommodator

• Decision-making, problemsolving, hands-on work • Cooperative groups, brainstorming • Model/theory creation • Design projects/experiments • Discovery learning • Activities, projects

Teaching to Learning Styles: Felder
• Active learners • • • Reflective learners • • Sensing learners • • • Intuitive learners • • Discussion, debate Group work Time for reflection, journals Real-world applications Hands-on activities Connections: concept maps Open-ended, speculative assignments

Teaching to Learning Styles: Felder
• Visual learners • • • Verbal learners • • • Sequential learners •
• Global learners

Diagrams, charts, movies Demonstrations Discussions, oral reports Writing projects Outlines, stepwise presentations • Topic overviews • Connections to other material