One way you can work out what your learning style is to work your way the VARK questionnaire which will tell you if you are a visual, read/write, aural or kinetic learner. When I first learned about VARK 10 years ago as a new educator my score showed that I was strongly a read/write learner. 10 year on, my score shows that I am equally a read/write and aural learner.
Does our learning style change over time?
So one of my questions is: does our learning style change as we get older? Is our learning style influenced by our life experience? Is our learning style influenced by our learning? The reason I ask the last questions is because I think my learning style has been influenced by what I have learned about the Internet over the years. In other words, 10 years ago I learned by going to journals and books. Now I go to YouTube, Twitter, Slideshare etc. What comes first...learning style or learning resource/delivery?
Learning styles and eLearning
I have become and lot more conscious of learning styles since I started designing and teaching online courses. It is very tempting to make an online course text-based. I am sure many of us have seen courses like this...courses that are made up of Word documents and PowerPoint presentations put into BlackBoard or other such learning management systems, and called an online course. That's all well and good for people who are read/write learners, but what about everyone else?
eLearning Australia has made the following suggestions of online activities to sit the different learning styles.
Trainer speaks narrates workbook with extra explanations where necessary.
Textbooks and completed workbooks available for students to read through audibly.
Forums available for students to discuss their ideas.
Diagrams throughout slideshows and workbooks.
Photographic representations of the topic in slideshows.
Workbooks include sections for notes, and encourage students to ‘fill in the blanks’ in the material.
Practical tasks and assignments for students to participate in.
Practical examples that students can replicate in their own workplaces (under supervision).
eLearning is set up that students can take breaks when it suits them, and use external objects like stress balls to stay motivated without dis
Is learning styles a load of old rubbish?
I have heard it said that learning styles is rubbish...that there is no such thing. Atherton (2008) argues that catering to individual learning styles is a luxury educators cannot afford, whilst Jarche (2007) believes that all you have to do is present content in multiple modes to maintain student interest and motivation...it's as simple as that.
What do you think? How do you addresses issue of learning styles in your teaching? As a student, what style of content delivery do you prefer?
Atherton, J. (2008) Doceo; Learning styles don't matter. Retrieved var mydate=new Date() var year=mydate.getYear() if (year < day="mydate.getDay()" month="mydate.getMonth()" montharray="new" daym="mydate.getDate()">12 September, 2009, from http://www.doceo.co.uk/heterodoxy/styles.htm
eLearning Australia. (2009). Catering for all Learning Styles in eLearning. Retrieved 11 September, 2009, from http://elearningaustralia.net.au/2009/07/30/catering-for-all-learning-styles-in-elearning/
Jarche, H. Designing Learning for Any Style. Retrieved 12 September, 2009, from http://www.jarche.com/2007/06/designing-learning-for-any-style/
Willems, J. (2007). Does style matter? Considering the impact of learning styles in e-learning.
In ICT: Providing choices for learners and learning. Proceedings ascilite Singapore 2007.