Learning styles Essay

Overview
1. What are learning styles?
2. Why learning styles are important?
3. What are the different learning style
classifications available?
4. What are the similarities and differences
between different learning style classifications?

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5. What is/are your learning style/s?
6. What is/are the most appropriate learning
method/s for your learning style/s?

1. What are learning styles?
? Learning style is an approach to learning
? It is not how you learn; i.e. not the method of learning

? It is, rather, how you prefer learning; i.e. what are  the broad strategies of learning that you prefer
Which of the following two statements illustrates a learning style?
I like lectures – this is not a learning style, but a preference for a method
I like to gain knowledge by listening to others – this is a learning style; preference for an approach

2. Why learning styles are important?
? Matching learning methods to learning styles
? Developing a learning organisation/network in
which students adapt change & learn
? Developing individual learning plans
? Self-development for individuals
? Assessing suitability for specific training courses
? Training the trainer

? Team building, looking at team strengths &
weaknesses
? 360 degree appraisal

3. What are the different learning style classifications available?
? There are more than half-a-dozen learning style
classifications

? This shows that there is no one-best way to learn
? Rather, based on the individual needs and the personality traits, the approach that one takes to
learning differs
? Out of the many learning style classifications, there are two that are commonly used
1. VARK classification

11. Classification based on Kolb’s cycle

I. VARK learning styles

Visual learner

Auditory learner
Reading/writing
Kinaesthetic learner

Action-oriented

Thinkers

II. Kolb’s learning styles

Reflector

Theorist

Activist

Pragmatist

4. What are the similarities and differences between different learning style classifications?
? All classifications aim at a common cause/outcome – so, to this extent, there cannot be major differences
? However, there are differences related to the orientation of learning or the angle through which learning is viewed

VARK – based on the sensory input for learning / how we capture learning Kolb’s – based on the cognition/ how we understand

VARK vs Kolb: an approximate comparison
Theorists

Reflectors

Pragmatists

Activists

5. What is/are your learning style/s?
1. Go to: http://www.varklearn.com/english/page.asp?p=questionnaire 2. Answer the questionnaire and get a score

3. Interpret the score to find out your dominant
learning styles

6. What is/are the most appropriate learning strategies for your learning style/s?
1. Form groups that have similar dominant learning
styles

2. Individually make a list (in priority order) of your preferred learning methods
3. Compare your list with the others in the group

4. Find out the three most preferred learning methods of the group (in priority order)

Summary
1. What are learning styles? Approach to learning
2. Why learning styles are important?
To know the best learning method to adopt
3. What are the different learning style classifications available? VARK / Kolb’s
4. What are the similarities and differences between different learning style classifications?
VARK – sensory input based; Kolb’s – cognition based
5. What is/are your learning style/s? Usually a combination of learning styles
6. What is/are the most appropriate learning method/s for your learning style/s?
Though broadly similar, methods may differ even within the same learning style

References
• Fleming, N. D. (2001). Teaching and learning
styles: VARK strategies. Christchurch , New
Zealand : N.D. Fleming.
• Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning:
Experience as the source of learning and
development. Englewood Cliffs , NJ : PrenticeHall.

Thank you

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