Academic journal article Journal of Developmental Education

Learning Styles Can Inform Teaching and Learning

Academic journal article Journal of Developmental Education

Learning Styles Can Inform Teaching and Learning

Article excerpt

Although some at-risk students may arrive in the postsecondary classroom with an idea of what their preferred learning style may be, few have had training or experience regarding how they might apply that knowledge to improve their learning. According to Julia L. Dunn, the implementation of various approaches to teaching the same subject, taking learning style preferences into consideration, is well worth the effort in her experience.

Dunn has begun having her students complete a learning style inventory on the first day of class as part of the typical routine of welcoming students, handing out syllabi, and so forth. Although the process sometimes has to completed in a separate class session for larger sections, she uses the VARK (Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, and Kinesthetic) inventory that can be completed and graded online (www.active-learning-site.com). Then she reviews the students' scores in each of the categories to identify the mode of delivery through which each student can best acquire knowledge. "A student with high kinesthetic scores might acquire knowledge better through the use of three-dimensional models that they can touch, feel and interact with kinesthetically" (p. 3).

Dunn has also taken and scored the VARK inventory personally. Since teaching styles typically parallel learning preferences, she shares her results with students. This not only helps students better understand how she orients to the content as instructor but also encourages the exchange of results between herself and the students, which allows her to identify and really see the individual learners in her class. …

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