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Learning Styles and Study Habits


The online classroom is a new learning environment for learners and instructors alike; and while many participants in your online courses will have been very successful in the traditional training classroom, the e-learning environment offers an array of obstacles and opportunities that learnes must attend to in order to continue their success.

 

The following activity focuses on helping learners identify and develop the necessary proficiencies for online success.

 

Activity Summary

Identifying preferred learning styles can help online learners prepare for success in their courses by guiding their study habits and helping them to understand how other learners in the course benefit from online materials and activities in different ways. The Learning Styles and Study Habits activity will assist learners in identifying their preferences and discussing what variations in their study skills will be most useful in an online.

 

Goals

  • Learners will identify their preferred learning styles
  • Learners will participate in asynchronous discussions with their peers about how t vary their study habits based on their preferred learning styles
  • Learners will build online relationships with other learners in the course 

Collaborative Learning

Large groups (all learners in a course)

 

Recommended E-Learning Experience

  • Learner—Novice
  • Facilitator—Novice 

Mode

Asynchronous

 

Time Required

Three to five days (once-a-day minimum learner participation)

 

Materials

  • Facilitator and learner access to an online asynchronous discussion board
  • Facilitator and learner access to Adobe Reader

Preparation

1. Create three forums in the course’s asynchronous discussion board


2. Post a learning style preference as the topic for each discussion forum (visual, auditory, and tactile/kinesthetic). To begin the discussion in each forum, you can use questions like the following:


Subject: Primary Learning Style Is Visual   
As a learner who prefers visual elements in his or her instruction, what study skills do you believe are most useful in the online course environment? For example, drawing pictures or mind maps as you read online materials, paying special attention to the images or animated graphics, and/or envisioning the topic in your thoughts.

 

Subject: Primary Learning Is Auditory

As a learner who prefers auditory elements in his or her instruction, what study skills do you believe are most useful in the online course environment? For example, developing an internal conversation between you and the text, reading aloud, and/or discussing the topic in verbal conversation with a peer, family member, or colleague at work.

 

Subject: Primary Learning Is Tactile/Kinesthetic
As a learner who prefers tactile/kinesthetic elements in his or her instruction, what study skills do you believe are most useful in the online course environment? For example, taking careful notes while reading online material, using a pencil or highlighter to mark your notes, using an online highlighter (fir example, with PDF files or Microsoft Word documents), and/or keeping an online journal.

 

3. Email each learner in the course a copy of the Learning Styles Inventory., Include in the email instructions to participate in the asynchronous discussions related to their preferred learning style in the course’s asynchronous discussion board.

 

Process

  1. Have learners complete the Learning Styles Inventory.
  2. Have learners discuss the implications their preferred learning style has on their study habits in an online course. Learners should only participate in the discussion forum for the learning style they selected using the inventory.
  3. Participate in all three of the learning style discussions, offering tips and suggestions for becoming a more effective e-learner.

Facilitator Notes

After individual learners complete the Learning Styles Inventory, three synchronous chat rooms can be created for real-time discussions of the related variations in study skills that may be appropriate for the preferred learning style. By using synchronous chat rooms, you can reduce the time required for the Learning Styles and Study Habits activity to just one hour.

 



 

 

Learning Styles Inventory

 

Take a few minutes to complete the following questionnaire to assess your preferred learning style. Begin by reading the words in the left-hand column. Of the three responses to the right, check the one that best characterizes you, answering as honestly as possible. Count the number of checked items and write your total at the bottom of each column. The column with the highest total represents your primary preference as a processing style.

 

Concentrating

Does seeing untidiness or movement distract you? Do you notice things in your visual field that other people don’t?

Are you distracted by sounds or noises? Do you prefer to manage the amount and type of noise around you?

Are you distracted by activity around you? Do you shut out conversations and go inside yourself?

Visualizing

Do you see vivid, detailed pictures in your thoughts?

Do you think in sounds and voices?

Do the images you see in your thoughts involve movement?

Talking

Do you dislike listening for a long time? Do you often use words such as see, picture, and imagine?

Do you enjoy listening? (Or maybe you’re impatient to talk?) Do you often use words such as say, hear, tune, and think?

Do you like to gesture and use expressive movements? Do you often use words such as feel, touch and hold?

Contacting people

Do you prefer direct, face-to-face, personal meetings?

Do you prefer the telephone for intense conversations?

Do you prefer to talk while walking or participating in an activity?

Meeting someone again

Do you forget names but remember faces? Can you usually remember where you met someone?

Do you tend to remember people’s names? Can you usually remember what you talked about?

Do you tend to remember what you did together? Can you almost feel your time together?

Relaxing

Do you prefer to watch TV, see a play, or go to a movie?

Do you prefer to listen to the radio, play music, read, or talk with a friend?

Do you prefer to play sports, knit, or build something with your hands?

Reading

Do you like descriptive scenes? Do you pause to imagine the action?

Do you enjoy the dialogue the most? Can you “hear” the characters talk?

Do you prefer action stories? (Or maybe don’t even enjoy reading for pleasure?)

Spelling

Do you try to see the word in your mind? Do you imagine what it would look like on paper?

Do you use a phonetic approach to sound out the word? Do you hear it in your thoughts or say it aloud?

Do you write down the word to find out if it feels right? Maybe you run your finger over it or type it out?

Doing something new at work

Do you like to see demonstrations, diagrams, flow charts? Do you seek out pictures or diagrams?

Do you find verbal or written instructions helpful? Do you like talking it over? Do you ask a colleague?

Do you prefer to jump right in and try it? Do you keep trying? Do you try it different ways?

Putting something together

Do you look at the picture and then, maybe, read the instructions?

Do you like reading to talking with someone about it? Do you find yourself talking aloud as you work?

Do you usually ignore the directions and figure it out as you go?

Interpreting mood

Do you primarily look at facial expressions?

Do you listen to the tone of voice?

Do you watch for body language?

Teaching people

Do you prefer to show them?

Do you prefer to tell them? Write it out?

Do you demonstrate how it’s done? Ask them to try it?

 

 

 Published: October 2005

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