Clare has just been talking to you about the theory of learning styles, which is great,but as a strong pragmatist, the first thing I want to know is how can I use these theories in my work?!! So I thought it would be useful to spend a few minutes showing you a case study of how I modified a workshop to accommodate different learning styles.
In the case study, I am going to begin by Giving you some back ground on Cranfield University studentsWhy the workshop is requiredAn overview of the workshopThe contentHow it was originally deliveredThen explain how I modified the class for each of the learning stylesAnd finish off by sharing with you some of the student feedback for the new workshop
In the school of management,there are 850 students: mbas, masters and phdsAnd I lead the support for the masters students
The thesis is a major project for our studentsIt is 40 % of the final markIt is a long project that can take 4-6 monthsWe found many students were unsure how to get started once they had chosen their topicStudents had difficulty managing their thesis, no lectures, no project management skills Students were not taking full advantage of the help and resources available to them
The workshop was divided into 2 areasPractical supportShowing students how to find other student thesis from Cranfield, the UK, Europe and North AmericaMaking sure they took advantage of inter library loan servicesGoing through the thesis guidelines, key milestones and sharing our insights of common problemsGiving students a chance to get started with help immediately available – students bought along their topics RefreshersStudent driven, review of library training already provided
-Activist like to do things so I modified the class so thatStudents could search and read theses online at Cranfield or EthosStudents could ask questions and share opinionsHowever, as I do not have a preference for an activist learning style I had to prepare and think through these activities more carefully and develop my facilitation skills for leading discussions
Reflectors need time to think about information and review itI found these activities easy to devise as I have a more reflective learning style
Theorists like context and structure
Pragmatists tend to be practical , down to earth and realistic
So I would not enjoy an off the cuff role play but I have recently learnt that I can do a role play if I have time to prepare for it!
In summary then, today, we have learnt about the different Honey and Mumford learning styles
Learning style workshop
Suzanne GriffithsClare HumphriesMeeting Student Needs:Accommodating Learning StylePreferences in Your TrainingCDG EOE23 March 2012
Workshop outline • Introduction to Learning Styles • Case study • Group activity • Report back and discussion • Summing up and what next
Learning Styles • Proposed by Peter Honey and Alan Mumford in 1970s and 80s • A description of the attitudes and behaviours which determine an individual‟s preferred way of learning • Explains why a group of learners, exposed to the same learning opportunity, may react in very different ways Honey, P. and Mumford, A. (1992) The Manual of Learning Styles, 3rd ed, Maidenhead: Peter Honey
What is my LearningStyle?• The Learning Styles Questionnaire • An 80 item or 40 item questionnaire • On the CLA‟s list of Excluded Works • Available at http://www.peterhoney.com/• Mini quiz: „I learn best when…..‟ • Have a go! • Tick the statements which apply to you
What is my LearningStyle? • A = Activist • R = Reflector • T = Theorist • P = Pragmatist
Learning styles:Activist • Open minded – try anything once! • Act first, consider outcome later • Thrive on new challenges, open to change • Risk takers • Easily bored • They are „The Doers‟
Learning styles:Activist • Learns best from sessions where: • There is excitement/drama with a range of activities to tackle • They can have a go • Learns least from sessions where: • Learning involves a passive role or solitary work • They are required to interpret data
Learning styles:Reflector • Prefer to stand back and observe situations from different angles • Good listeners – seek others‟ opinions before making up their own mind • Thorough and methodical • Cautious – not risk takers, not very assertive • They are „The Reviewers‟
Learning styles:Reflector • Learns best from sessions where: • They have the opportunity to review what has happened • They are allowed to watch/think about activities • Learns least from sessions where: • They are „forced into the limelight‟ • They are involved in situations which require action without planning
Learning styles:Theorist • Solve problems in a logical, step-by-step approach • Perfectionists • Prefer rational and objective solutions rather than ambiguous or subjective solutions • Dislike disorder and uncertainty • They are „The Concluders‟
Learning styles:Theorist • Learns best from sessions where: • They are in structured situations with a clear purpose • They can listen to or read about ideas and concepts • Learns least from sessions where: • They are involved in unstructured activities • They have to participate in situations emphasizing emotions
Learning styles:Pragmatist • Like to test new ideas to see if they work in practice • Practical, down-to-earth problem solvers • See problems and opportunities as a challenge • Impatient • Task orientated not people orientated • They are „The Testers‟
Learning styles:Pragmatist • Learns best from sessions where: • There is an obvious link between subject matter and an aspect of their job • They have an immediate opportunity to implement what they have learned • Learns least from sessions where: • They cannot see an immediate relevance or practical benefit • The learning seems distant from reality
Your learning style may vary depending on the circumstances…….And it can be changed!Your students are likely to have different learning stylepreferences to you.
Learning StylesCase Study:Getting Started with Your Thesis:a workshop for Masters Students
Case Study • Thesis Support Workshop • Background • Cranfield University students • Why the workshop is required • An overview of workshop • Modification of workshop for learning Styles • New workshop feedback
Background • Cranfield University • Postgraduate education only • Schools in Management, Health, Applied Sciences, Engineering and Defence • 3,800 students from 100 countries • School of Management • 850 students per annum • 150 Executive Delegates per week
Thesis SupportWorkshop • Why was workshop required? • Thesis 40% of final mark • Four to six month project • Students were not sure how to get started • Unstructured time – no lectures • Students were not taking full advantage of the library resources and support available
Workshop Content– 1.5 hours • Practical Support • Refreshers (Student led) • How to find theses • Key subject database • How to use Inter Library • Getting to the full text Loan services • Citing, plagiarism and • Review thesis guidelines Refworks • Provide tips on common • Writing a literature thesis problems review • Encourage one to one follow up appointment with • Accessing materials off information specialist campus • Anything else students have difficulties with
Thesis WorkshopActivities • Original content delivery • Lecture • Demonstration of resources/techniques • Library publications • i.e. writing a literature review • My training on learning styles led me to redevelop the workshop
Learning StyleTasks• Modifications for Activists • Ensured students have diverse range of activities to engage in • Students set hands on activities with computers • Question and Answer section • Discussions about resources with fellow students
Learning StyleTasks• Modifications for Reflector • Promoted workshop before and summarized after • Detailed outline of workshop emailed to students one week before. • Follow up email sent day after class with summary of content and links. • Students have hand-outs or list of online resources to review or revisit • Students given opportunity to make follow up appointments after workshop.
Learning StyleTasks • Modifications for Theorists • Thesis workshop has clear structure and clear purpose. (Improved the design - involved course directors and colleagues in content and structure) • Students have step by step guides • Students have chance to ask questions on methodology of writing and researching a thesis.
Learning StyleTasks • Modifications for Pragmatists • Obvious link in workshop between activities and need to write a thesis • i.e. changed title of workshop from “Library refresher” to “Getting Started with Your Thesis” • Changed timing; within 3 weeks of proposal deadline • Techniques learnt save time, increase quality • Students self assess gaps in research skills
How did the WorkshopGo? • Second Year Results • Very successful; • High attendance by students - relevant • Valued by Course Directors, booking for next year • Many students followed up with one to one appointments or emails • Feedback comments from students • The workshop came at the right time. • Looking forward to all the help I can get with my thesis!
Group Activity • Split into groups – each to consider a different learning style • In your group, reflect on your own or your institution‟s IL teaching • Does the session accommodate this learning style? • Please record examples of good practice • Could the learning style be better supported in the session?
Moving Forward… • Can you identify one thing you will be able to incorporate in your training?
Learning Style Bias • Be aware of your own learning style bias • My personal preference for the Activist learning style is low • How does this affect my teaching? • I am likely to avoid designing activities that require • Role Play
Summary • Honey and Mumford identified 4 learning styles • Activist, Reflector, Theorist and Pragmatist • It is important to consider that students may have different learning styles and to try to accommodate them in our teaching
What next? • What next...... • Fill in the contact form if you want us to email you the group comments • Review the list of resources in your delegate pack • Take the test and find your learning style! • Please email us if you have any comments or questions • firstname.lastname@example.org • email@example.com
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