Various Learning Styles and their Application:
Connecting Learning Styles to Training and Development
Kennesaw State University
This paper examines three models of learning styles including Kolb Experiential Learning Model, the VARK model, and the Honey and Mumford model. While the research on these three learning style models details both strengths and weaknesses, an alternative is suggested and explored in this paper. The methods by which each model is measured are also explained in this paper; they include the Learning Styles Inventory (LSI) and the Learning Styles Questionairre (LSQ) and correlate to the Kolb model and the Honey and Mumford model. Using the information discovered concerning the research of learning styles, the relevance and use of the models is then examined in the context of the field of training and development. This paper uses Pashler’s (2008) findings to suggest that learning styles should not be the basis for training and development but rather a tool to gain awareness for organizations to better develop employees for situations that could arise. Keywords: Learning Styles Inventory, Learning Styles Questionnaire
Various Learning Styles and their Application:
Connecting Learning Styles to Training and Development Numerous studies have been conducted since the 1960’s concerning the types and relevance of learning styles. Since the use of learning styles has become common knowledge, there has
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Whether you believe learning styles are a myth or fact they still can help you learn the material for class. Just because you take this test online and it says that you are one hundred percent auditory learner doesn’t mean you can’t learn other ways. Learning styles can help you discover more creative ways for you to remember a topic or specific details. How Amy made a poster it helped her present her topic but also helped her learn and remember her topic. By writing it down and being creative you will remember the topic a lot better. I’m not a firm believer in learning styles but I do think that they can help. I am an auditory learner so listening helps me learn although it isn’t the only way I can learn. One of the ken talks we had watched
For years, there have been many theorists who have shared their views on how individuals learn. Such research has determined that individuals have different learning styles. It is important for teacher to understand the learning styles of both themselves and their students because it helps them to relay the subject knowledge to the students. The teacher is in a position where they must be able to assess the learning styles of their students. This means that the students and teachers are both in a process of learning.
David Kolb’s theory of learning styles is one of the best known and widely applied and it suggest that learning is a cyclic process which involves an individual proceeding through each of the following four stages and will eventually prefer and rely upon one style more than the others. The four styles are: Divergers, Convergers, Accommodators and Assimilators.
It is practical to assume that students will do better in tasks that reflect their particular style of learning, so knowledge of students’ learning styles, including a variety of tasks will make teaching more inclusive. A learning style questionnaire could be handed out at the start of a course which, once completed will inform the teacher about the learning styles of the students.
i. Understanding the learners learning styles can make my course to be engaging. Flemming (1987) noted three different styles of learning; visual, kinaesthetic and aural. In order to know which method(s) to use to benefit my students the first lesson on my course will centre around discussions on what they already know, the resources they are familiar with, and a learning style questionnaire which will provide me with information on preferred learning styles. Effectiveness can also be enhanced if I adapt my teaching style to give maximum benefit to learners.
Understanding learning styles can help in the development of self-learning and influence the teaching strategies that may be used in helping others understand new matter. For example, when teaching the VARK learning style having the learner complete the VARK questionnaire so that they can develop an understanding of how they learn would be great. In the real world life application, it completing a learning styles assessment is just not practical. It is the responsibility of the teacher to develop multimodal ways to deliver information. It would include something like a lecture with a handout in a possible power point format that include diagrams of how the information may be applied and complete it with a discussion to cement the information. The lecture appeals to the aural learner. The power point aids the reader along with the visual learners. How to apply the information stimulates the kinesthetic learner and the completion with an open discussion cements the information and gives the aural learner a chance to
“Just as students have different personalities, they also have different ways of learing (Slavin, 107).” Learning styles are another important factor to incorporate when implementing the best learning environment. Learning styles are defined as an individual's mode of gaining knowledge. The most common learning styles addressed are auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. Auditory leaners understand information through hearing. Visual learners need more visual aids in the learning process, such as diagrams, webs, or pictures. Kinesthetic learners learn better by using manipulatives or by being physically involved in the learning process. Learning styles is a piece of the “backbone” of differentiated learning. Both are used to individualize instruction to help students achieve the most success.
However, as through as this theory may seem, there are still some who are skeptic of the learning style notion. In the article "Let Go of 'Learning Styles' Myth,” it states “Teachers are well meaning, but buying into the "learning styles" myth has not been definitively shown to improve educational outcomes. So let it die already.” Researchers and educators alike who do not accept this theory agree that students should learn to understand material regardless of their learning style, in order to strive in the competitive world. Even though this ideology makes sense, the outcomes of using our outdated methods have unfortunately been distraught. Students deserve to be successful in their education without having tests determining how smart they
It is practical to assume that students will perform better in tasks that reflect their particular style of learning, so knowledge of students’ learning styles, including a variety of tasks will make teaching more inclusive. A learning style questionnaire could be handed out at the start of a course which, once completed will inform the teacher about the learning styles of the students.
Allinson, C., and Hayes, J. (1988), ‘The learning styles questionnaire: an alternative to Kolb’s inventory’, Journal of Management Studies, 25, (3):269-281.
Education benefits individual mentally, emotionally and physically by placing them in better place than they were previously before. Everybody would agree that learning something new would take place throughout the life. Learning style defined as "A term that describes the variations among learners in using one or more senses to understand, organize, and retain experience" (Reid, 1987, p. 89). Furthermore, Felder and Henriques (1995, p. 21) explained learning styles as "the ways in which an individual characteristically acquires, retains and retrieves information". However, different learners possess different characteristics and different preferred learning styles to perceive, process, take in and understand information.
Learning styles and barriers to learning can be by the VARK to give a profile of learning preferences of how a person takes in and gives out information or Tidwell and Rodgers Practical learning styles Questionnaire. The VARK learning styles determines if the person learns by being a theorist, reflector, activist and/or pragmatist. The practical learning styles questionnaire looks at how people learn by their orientation, whether they are a realistic or creative, by their interaction, are they a doer or a thinker, by how they represent things, either by words or pictures, and how they process information, whether they are a surface or deep processor. There are many other
Willingham, D. T., Hughes, E. M., & Dobolyi, D. G. (2015). The scientific status of learning styles theories. Teaching of Psychology, 42(3), 266-271. doi:10.1177/0098628315589505