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How Learners Learn - Learning Style Models

UC Berkeley Extension provides a brief overview of some models of how learners learn.

Robin Sease

on 23 June 2011

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Transcript of How Learners Learn - Learning Style Models

Learning Style Models VAK
kinesthetic) Kolb's
Inventory Gardner's
Multiple Intelligences
Theory Most of us learn using a variety of input modalities (visual, auditory, kinesthetic), multiple types of intelligences, and multiple forms of cognitive styles. Together these form natural preferences or strengths that are very individualized. Various researchers have developed models that explain how individuals learn.
We will introduce three of them here: VAK (Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic), Kolb's Learning Styles Inventory, and Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Theory. As an instructor, understanding individual learning preferences is important because it will encourage you to: Provide multiple ways for your learners to access your content Know your learners through more sensitive observation Make adjustments to your presentation style Make suggestions to a learner who might be having difficulties Define the components of the key models Explain how the parts of the models interact Compare the similarities between
the learning models Find the edges where there are differences
between the models After you learn about the different models of the learning process, you should be able to: Remember all learning models are guides, not rules Defining learning styles through sensory modalities is visual auditory but probably oversimplifies things most adult learners use all modalities to some degree or another As an instructor make sure your presentations, assignments and discussions are well-balanced Other subjects, however, can benefit from visual thinking Think metaphorically Use images that motiviate Put a face on abstract subjects Some subjects are naturally visual Create stories, case studies, or characters to illustrate points. Presenting using PowerPoint with audio recording by itself does not guarantee that you are stimulating visual or auditory learning But... if well designed... it can speak to all three modalities Some things you can do to speak to the auditory learner Create a picture in the learner's mind with descriptive language Add dimension by using visual or kinesthetic language Use background music to set a mood, change pace, or provide some levity Use variation in tone and inflection Do something different. Anything. Any change of movement that is deliberate without being distracting can add kinesthetic value to a presentation Get students out of the "classroom" create assignments that involve field trips, interviews, research Physically draw something or do something in a video Assign students "to do something" take notes stretch try something for themselves during your lecture easy Four Learning Styles David Kolb's four learning styles can be displayed in a quadrant
to show how people perceive and process information. Another aspect of the model is the necessary tension between certain modes of processing and perception. watching Combining these learning modes and dialectics, Kolb identifies . . . Diverger Assimilator Converger Accommodator Abstract Conceptualization / Reflective Observation Concrete experience / Active experimentation hands on action-oriented team work intuitive risk taker logical Howard Gardner argues that there are other "intelligences" we should consider when presenting and testing material. Traditional education emphasizes linguistic and learning. linguistic logical-mathematical spatial musical kinesthetic interpersonal intrapersonal naturalistic number smart, results driven music smart, "sounds right" body smart, "feels right" word smart, "meaning in the mind" nature smart, how content interacts with the natural world self smart, ability to know oneself social smart, able to read people picture smart, "looks right" Content Strategies Online Strategies pattern recognition questioning exploration tangible inquiry timelines problem solving online quizzes homework problems research and manipulate data charts and graphs use calculator Content Strategies Online Strategies Content Strategies Online Strategies Content Strategies Online Strategies Content Strategies Content Strategies Online Strategies Content Strategies Online Strategies Content Strategies Online Strategies mneumonic and "jingle" study group projects relating music topic, i.e. lyrics to poetry, musical patterns to math multimedia lectures music in context of the subject music in the background pattern recognition exercises listening assignments explanations descriptions term definitions readings text lectures slide design for multimedia lectures: highlight key words written assignments discussion assignments group work leadership chat and discussion interviewing subject matter experts discussion and response assignments peer editing creative activities design projects portfolio multimedia lectures use of a white board camera, video or recording assignments drag and drop visual elements puzzles individual work self-reflection tasks opinion pieces original discussion posts blogging independent research projects self-paced activities cataloguing classification collections field trips body movements athletic activities building projects interactions field trips & reports drag and drop activities video taped presentations Think about including a variety of learning opportunities that appeal to not only a broad spectrum of students, but a broad spectrum of needs within any one single learner. For more information about these and other learning styles, visit these and other resources:

learningfromexperience.com feeling vs. thinking It's hard to do and watch at the same time. It's hard to feel and think simultaneously. doing Online Strategies drag and drop matching scrap books research projects feeling thinking doing watching Active
Experimentation Learning from observation before making a judgment, viewing things from different perspectives, and looking for the meaning of things. Learning from logical analysis of ideas,
systematic planning, acting on an intellectual understanding Learning by using an ability to get things done, risk taking, and influencing people and events through action. Learning from specific experiences,
relating to people, and
having sensitivity to feelings and people watching thinking Reflective
Observation Abstract
Conceptualization doing Concrete
Experience feeling Perception Processing Kolb elaborates upon these basic stages
and proposes a . . . Concrete Experience / Reflective Observation information gathering brainstorming group work open mindedness imagination ideas multiple perspectives broad interests concise logical lectures readings theoretical abstract concepts Abstract Conceptualization / Active Experimentation solving problems technical tasks experimentation simulations practical applications narrow interests Perception Processing kinesthetic drawing by Cory Buckley
corysportfolio.wordpress.com Four Stage
Learning Cycle
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