Being aware of different learning styles can help you be a more effective teacher

by Linda Riedemann
Master’s student, University of Florida

4 Types of Learners (Using VARK Scale):

  1. Visual
  2. Aural
  3. Read/Write
  4. Kinesthetic

Tips on Teaching VARK Learning Styles:

1.     Visual

  • Use visual tools (models, graphics, charts, photographs, drawings, 3-D modeling, video, television, multimedia, texts with pictures/charts/graphs)
  • Highlight/color code books and notes
  • Flashcards
  • Write important material on the board

2.     Aural

  • Use discussion groups
  • Have students do presentations in front of the class
  • Q & A sessions
  • Lecture
  • Engage in conversations with students

3.     Read/Write

  • Use a textbook
  • Have writing assignments
  • Include essay questions in exams
  • Allow for independent study/reading time
  • Provide handouts
  • Use PPT and/or write on board

4.     Kinesthetic

  • Take short but frequent breaks
  • Allow students to move around the room
  • Use role play
  • Include hands-on learning
  • Incorporate field trips
  • Encourage internships

Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences:          

1.     Logical
2.     Visual
3.     Musical
4.     Intra-Personal
5.     Inter-Personal
6.     Kinesthetic
7.     Naturalistic
8.     Linguistic

A few other theories (not covered in class):

·      Richard Felder and Barbara Soloman’s Four Dimension of Learning: http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/ILSdir/ILS.pdf

·      Bernice McCarthy’s 4MAT System: http://www.aboutlearning.com/

·      Malcolm Knowles’s Adult Learning Theory: http://www.qotfc.edu.au/resource/?page=65375

Link to Prezi Presentation: http://prezi.com/2rfqzx3q_f4e/teaching-different-learning-styles/?kw=view-2rfqzx3q_f4e&rc=ref-21263855

TEXT RESOURCES:

  • Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple intelligences: the theory in practice. New York, NY: Basic Books.
  • Sarasin, L. C. (1999). Learning style perspectives: impact in the classroom. Madison, WI: Atwood Publishing.
  • Sims, R. (1995). The importance of learning styles: Understanding the implications for learning, course design, and education. West Port, CT: Greenwood Press.

ONLINE RESOURCES:

·      http://digilib.bc.edu/reserves/ps369/winn/ps36983.pdf

·      http://sunburst.usd.edu/~bwjames/tut/learning-style/

·      http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Teaching_Tips/

·      http://www.ndt-ed.org/TeachingResources/ClassroomTips/Learning_Styles.htm

·      http://www.tecweb.org/styles/gardner.html

·      http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/mi/index.html

·      http://www.umassd.edu/dss/resources/facultystaff/howtoteachandaccommodate/howtoaccommodatedifferentlearningstyles/

·      http://www.vark-learn.com/english/index.asp

·      http://www.yale.edu/graduateschool/teaching/forms/papers/learning_styles_assessing.pdf

·      http://www.yale.edu/graduateschool/teaching/forms/papers/learning_styles_strategies.pdf

Linda Reidemann is a student in Mass Communication Teaching (MMC 6930).

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