Practical Approaches to Using Learning Styles in Higher Education

By Rita Dunn; Shirley A. Griggs | Go to book overview

Chapter 2
Practical Approaches to Using Learning Styles in Higher Education: The How-to Steps

Rita Dunn and Shirley A. Griggs

Knowledge about learning styles and brain behavior is a fundamental new tool at the service of teachers . . . It clearly is not the latest educational fad. It provides a deeper and more profound view of the learner than previously. ( Keefe, 1982: v)

Individuals have such unique patterns for learning new and difficult information that it is hard to judge accurately how to teach anything academically challenging without first identifying how each student learns. Once learning styles have been identified, instructors can estimate the processing approach(es), method(s), and sequence(s) of perceptual exposures to resources that are likely to make learning relatively comfortable for each person. Contrary to traditional practice, however, teachers are neither expected nor required to teach directly to the entire class. All students may elect to attend each lesson but, as indicated in Chapter 1, some progress more rapidly when learning alone than in a class presentation and others learn better with peers. It becomes the students' responsibility to follow their own computer- generated prescriptions for mastering the course content itemized in the course module.


TEACHING TO STUDENTS' LEARNING STYLES

Step One: Course Modules

For independent students to learn independently and for peer-oriented students to learn in pairs or in small groups, both types need to be made aware of the objectives that must be mastered for each course. Clearly stated

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