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Learning Styles


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Presented at Fayetteville's Chesnutt Library Fellows Information Literacy Program on December 16, 2009 by Courtney Mack, MLS

Presented at Fayetteville's Chesnutt Library Fellows Information Literacy Program on December 16, 2009 by Courtney Mack, MLS

Published in: Education

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  • 1. Learning Styles Presented by: Courtney Mack, MLS Instructional Services Librarian Methodist University
  • 2. Learning Styles
    • Definition - Preferred ways in which people learn based on ability to comprehend and retain information.
    • Colleges and Universities must adapt to the various learning styles of its diverse student populations.
  • 3.
    VAK/VARK LEARNING MODEL (Fleming & Mills)
  • 4.
    • Learn through Seeing
    • Thinks in pictures and learn best from visual displays
    • Take detailed notes to absorb the information
    • Needs to see the professor’s body language and facial expression to fully understand the content of a lesson.
    Visual Learners
  • 5. Visual Learners (Recommendations)
    • Faculty
    • Incorporate charts, diagrams, pictures, and graphs into assignments & tests.
    • Place graphics/videos to demonstrate a concept or skill.
    • Be specific in written instructions, highlight ( BOLD ) important concepts.
    • Librarian
    • Library tour / virtual
    • Create online tutorials
    • Demonstrate Internet and database searching
    • Use images and snapshots of library materials on handouts
  • 6.
    • Learn through Listening
    • Verbal lectures, discussions, talking things through and listening to what others have to say.
    • Interpret the underlying meanings of speech through listening to tone of voice, pitch & speed and other nuances.
    • Benefit from reading text aloud and/or using a tape recorder
    Auditory Learners
  • 7. Auditory Learners (Recommendations)
    • Faculty
    • Podcasting / Audio-Visual Materials
    • Assignments that utilizes audio resources like NPR
    • Classroom discussion and debates
    • Reading text out loud
    • Librarian
    • Library Audio Tour
      • (CD or MP3 file)
    • Library Jargon/ Terminology
      • Reduce or clearly explain
    • Familiarize students with audio books and other materials available
    • Encourage discussion in library instruction
  • 8.
    • Learn through Moving, Doing, and Touching
    • Hands-on approach
    • Most explore the physical world around them
    Kinesthetic Learners
  • 9. Kinesthetic Learners (Recommendations)
    • Faculty
    • Incorporate field research, projects, trial-and-error, and role-playing into lesson plans.
    • Include links to related external web sites, surveys, and interactive Flash slide show in your discussion area.
    • Weave questions and instructions throughout the lecture to ensure note taking.
    • Librarian
      • Incorporate hands-on activities within library instruction.
      • Have students search OPAC, find the library item and check it out.
      • Request a journal article using Inter Library-Loan
      • Library scavenger hunt
  • 10. Incorporate & Respect ALL Learning Styles
        • EXAMPLE
    • A history professor can use graphic organizers and charts before presenting a lecture on the dates, and then involve students in a simulation or the use of artifacts.
    • Promote active learning
    • Clickers in the classroom
  • 11. Index of Learning (NCSU – Felder & Soloman)
    • On-line instrument used to assess learning preferences .
    • Dimensions
      • Active and Reflective Learners
      • Sensing and Intuitive Learners
      • Visual and Verbal Learners
      • Sequential and Global Learners
  • 12. Results of NCSU Index of Learning
    • If your score on a scale is 1-3, you are fairly well balanced on the two dimensions of that scale.
    • If your score on a scale is 5-7, you have a moderate preference for one dimension of the scale and will learn more easily in a teaching environment which favors that dimension.
    • If your score on a scale is 9-11, you have a very strong preference for one dimension of the scale. You may have real difficulty learning in an environment which does not support that preference.
    • 3-day conference held on April 8-10, 2010 in Raleigh, NC
      • Sponsored by Guildford Technical Community College & University of North Carolina at Greensboro
    • Keynote Speaker – Ann Hermann (CEO of Hermann International)
      • Present on brain-based thinking and learning styles
      • Educators will learn to design and deliver curriculum that appeals to the widest range of learners.
    • Registration Deadline – March 24, 2010
  • 14. Sources
    • VARK Model – A Guide to Learning Styles
      • Website:
    • Academy of Art University – Faculty Resources/Teaching Tips.
      • Website:
    • Cornell University – Center for Learning and Teaching, The VAK/VARK Model. Website:
    • North Carolina State University Index of Learning Style.
      • Website :
    • Sarasin, Lynne Celli. ‘ Learning Style Perspectives: Impact in the Classroom’. Atwood Publishing, 1998.