Learning and Instructional Design One of the key areas where behaviorism impacts instructional design is in the development of instructional objectives. Computer-assisted instruction was very much drill-and-practice - controlled by the program developer rather than the learner. Little branching of instruction was implemented.
But when the teacher would stand him up in front of the class to read a report out loud, he floundered. His classmates, he noticed, also had their inconsistencies. Some relished oral presentations but took forever to read a passage on their own; others had a hard time following lectures.
He founded a company, LearningRx, on the premise that these styles make a difference in how students learn. The idea that learning styles vary among students has taken off in recent years. Many teachers, parents and students are adamant that they learn best visually or by hearing a lesson or by reading, and so forth.
And some educators have advocated teaching methods that take advantage of differences in the way students learn. But some psychologists take issue with the idea that learning style makes any significant difference in the classroom. There is no shortage of ideas in the professional literature.
David Kolb of Case Western Reserve University posits that personality divides learners into categories based on how actively or observationally they learn and whether they thrive on abstract concepts or concrete ones.
Another conjecture holds that sequential learners understand information best when it is presented one step at a time whereas holistic learners benefit more from seeing the big picture. Psychologists have published at least 71 different hypotheseson learning styles.
Frank Coffield, professor of education at the University of London, set out to find commonalities among the many disparate ideas about learning style using a sample comprising 13 models.
The findings, published infound that only three tests for learning styles met their criteria for both validity and reliability, meaning that the tests both measured what they intended to measure and yielded consistent results.
Among the many competing ideas, Coffield and his colleagues found no sign pointing to an overarching model of learning styles. In Gibson, after a brief career as a pediatric optometrist, started LearningRx, a nontraditional tutoring organization, based on the idea that different people rely on particular cognitive skills that are strongest.
For instance, visual learners understand lessons best when they are presented via images or a slide show; auditory learners benefit more from lectures; kinesthetic learners prefer something concrete, such as building a diorama.
Such exercises might involve a trainer asking a student to quickly answer a series of math problems in his head.
Daniel Willingham, a professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Virginia and outspoken skeptic of learning styles, argues that Gibson and other cognitive psychologists are mistaken to equate cognitive strengths with learning styles.
The two, Willingham says, are different: One is very conservative whereas the other is a real risk-taker and likes to take crazy shots and so forth, but they might be equivalent in ability.
The more interesting question is whether learning styles, as opposed to abilities, make a difference in the classroom. The premise should be testable, Willingham says. Harold Pashler of the University of California, San Diego, and his colleagues searched the research literature for exactly this kind of empirical evidence.
On average, participants performed better on the free-recall test when they were shown images, regardless of their preferences. Some studies claimed to have demonstrated the effectiveness of teaching to learning styles, although they had small sample sizes, selectively reported data or were methodologically flawed.
Those that were methodologically sound found no relationship between learning styles and performance on assessments. Willingham and Pashler believe that learning styles is a myth perpetuated merely by sloppy research and confirmation bias.
Despite the lack of empirical evidence for learning styles, Gibson continues to think of ability and preference as being one and the same.
The term “learning styles” speaks to the understanding that every student learns differently. Technically, an individual’s learning style refers to the preferential way in which the student absorbs, processes, comprehends and retains information. Learning to learn is therefore a crucial skill (Bridgestock, ; Barr and Tagg, ) alongside accepting responsibility for one’s own learning and development. This applies whilst at university or college but also in the world of work. Individual tasks are broken down and learning objectives are developed. Evaluation consists of determining whether the criterion for the objectives has been met. In this approach the designer decides what is important for the learner to know and attempts to transfer that knowledge to the learner.
Trainers at LearningRx ask their clients to describe their weaknesses, then measure their cognitive abilities using the Woodcock—Johnson Test.Examples of learning styles Learning strategies and styles are described in a range of ways.
In the literature, whilst there are variations in the different learning style “models”, there are also many similarities. Following are two examples of ways to categorise different learning strategies and styles.
It helps you weight individual decision criteria, and consider subjective features - like team fit and the likelihood of team buy-in - as well as objective, tangible factors like cost and return on investment.
Choose the Best Way Forward. The term “learning styles” speaks to the understanding that every student learns differently. Technically, an individual’s learning style refers to the preferential way in which the student absorbs, processes, comprehends and retains information.
Learning to learn is therefore a crucial skill (Bridgestock, ; Barr and Tagg, ) alongside accepting responsibility for one’s own learning and development. This applies whilst at university or college but also in the world of work.
A learning style is practically the way an individual manages to learn effectively. The learning styles are diverse and their applications are also diverse. Each individual is known to have his own learning style (Howard, ). For me, I believe my learning style is based on visual intelligence.
Adapting Your Management Approach for Different Learning Styles There are several different styles of management, and each manager will .