Learning Styles Workshop

Learning Styles
Meg Sargent
Adam Goldberg
Learning Styles
“Specified patterns of behavior and/or
performance according to which the
individual approaches a learning
experience; a way in which the
individual takes in new information
and develops new skills; the process
by which an individual retains new
information or skills”
(Sarasin, L.C, 2006)
The manner in which individuals
choose, or are inclined to approach,
a learning situation (Cassidy, 2004).
The way an individual perceives,
organizes, processes, and remembers
information (Beebe, Mottet, Roach,
How do we Learn?
By Seeing (visual)
By Hearing (auditory)
By touching (tactile)
Why is an Understanding of
Learning Styles Important?
Diverse learning communities
Determine what’s best for your
Mismatch between instruction
and learning styles disastrous
Purpose of this Workshop
Introduction to Learning Styles!!
Instruments for Measurement
Instructional Strategies
Resources and Assessment Tools
Steps of Teaching
Understanding Learning (both
of self and student)
Understanding Teaching
Assessing Learning
Accommodating Differences
Understanding Learning
How do your students learn best?
How do you learn best?
Understanding Teaching
Consider how you teach in terms of
how your students learn: Teaching
strategies reflect learning
Reflection Activity
Think of a recent class.
How did you present new material?
What methods did you use to help
students learn (lecture,
discussion, group work, etc)?
Assessing Learning
How do you determine whether your
students are actually learning?
Using a knowledge of different
learning styles to drive instruction
Ensuring that all students have the
opportunity to learn
Examining the 3
Learning Styles
Visual Learners: Defined
(global, affective, abstract,
random, concept-oriented):
Learn by reading and observing
Visual: Learning
• Holistic focus: need to see how pieces
fit together
• Need to visualize what they’re doing (may
stop, look into space and visualize what
they’re learning)
• Learn best in interactive format: role
play, modeling, groups, etc.
• Become impatient with extensive listening
Visual: Teaching
• Use multiple visual formats: charts
presentation software, video, notes,
worksheets, flip charts, diagrams, etc.
• Write goals/objectives of lesson on
• Open-ended creative questions
encouraging multiple interpretations and
Visual: Teaching
• Leave white space in handouts for
note taking.
• Invite questions to help them stay alert
• Emphasize key points to cue when to
takes notes.
• Webbing (mind mapping)
Visual: Assessment
• Need open-ended assessment
• Assign groups problem-solving activities
(focus on process and product)
• Individual research projects to show
mastery of material
• Objective tests should include short
• Individual oral presentations (explore,
explain and present material)
Demonstrations (applying material
in real contexts)
Auditory Learners: Defined
(concrete sequential, independent,
perceptual, field-independent,
Learn through hearing and
Auditory: Learning
• Most commonly rewarded in postsecondary classrooms
• Skill-oriented & Achievement-oriented
• Memorize well
• Clarify learning through articulation
• Learn from hearing others speak
• Prefer processing the spoken versus
written word
Precise, logical, definite
Auditory: Teaching
• Traditional lecture; independent work
• Group discussion: feedback, paraphrasing from
• Individual conference/interviews with
• Allow “thinking time” to process information
• Use the Socratic method of lecturing by
Auditory: Teaching
• Tasks calling for specific answers/solutions
• Phrasing information several different ways
• Begin new material with “what is coming”
Conclude with “what was covered”
• Auditory activities, such as brainstorming,
buzz groups, or Jeopardy
• Give time to debrief in order to make
Auditory: Assessment
• Objective, specific questions orally or
written (true-false, multiple-choice,
matching, fill-in)
• Summative evaluation requiring
individual, specific pieces of information
• Independent research projects
Tactile Learners: Defined
(random learners, behavioral, both
dependent and independent
Learn by touching and doing
Tactile: Learning
• Most neglected at post-secondary
• Needs rarely addressed outside of
laboratory-required classes
• Need opportunities for creative, handson learning; interactions with concrete
• Learning accommodated through
Tactile: Teaching
• Experiential learning activities: labs,
modules, educational games
• Simulations (interact with/apply
• Interaction via technology: audio, video,
• Demonstrations/ Role play/ Case Studies
Tactile: Teaching
• Internships/Practica/ Field trips
• Give frequent stretch breaks (brain
• Have students transfer information
from the text to another medium such
as a keyboard
Tactile: Assessment
• Respond least effectively to traditional
methods of testing, papers, etc. so need
to modify conventional assessment
• Demonstrations of learning
• Role playing
• Simulations, replicas, exhibits, models
Working in groups, how could
you revise your earlier lesson
from incorporating different
learning styles
How Do We Do It?
• Familiarize yourself with research on Learning
• Organize informal discussion or focus groups to
share understandings/gain additional perspectives
• Analysis of Student Behavior
• Develop & Implement Teaching Strategies
• On-going Assessment
• Commitment: time, resources, administration,
Workshop: A great first step!