Last modified 24/08/07 12:17:18

Students: Learning Styles

In recent years there has been much research into how students differ in their approach to learning. This includes the different formats in which they prefer to gather, organise and/or communicate their knowledge (e.g. visualiser vs. verbaliser, serial vs. holist). Considerations of learning styles now underpin planning and teaching in a number of colleges, and teachers provide materials, set tasks and accept assessment outcomes in both visual and verbal formats.

  • If you already take learning styles into account in your planning, note down what you need to consider for this particular session.
  • If you aren't familiar with the different models of learning styles, then you might find the following sites helpful in deciding how to accommodate differences among the students (Note: clicking any of these links will take you away from this page):
    • Resources for both learners and teachers from  Support4Learning (note the copyright statement on that site)
    • Resources specifically relating to e-learning from Learning Light’s  e-Learning Centre

Remember, however, that students' learning styles are not necessarily fixed. Some researchers have suggested that people use a mixture of styles: i.e. combinations of written and graphical information (Cox, 1999). Also, when you decide how to present information, think about the nature of that information and the activities that you want students to do. For example, a physics teacher will use natural language for describing phenomena, but mathematical symbols and formulae for stating laws and deriving predictions, diagrams for plotting data for analysis, and computational models for simulating the behaviour of phenomena (Cheng, 1996).

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