to Biology 1114 Scenario Index
Your Learning Style
is a Learning Style?
So how can this help you?
How can you help us?
What's your Learning Style?
What is a Learning Style?
Have you ever thought about the way you prefer to learn? Do you like to read? Listen to a lecture? Take things apart? Try it Yourself? Talk it over with friends? See it as a picture? Do you remember the words to songs well? Work at a neatly arranged desk? Solve puzzles? Well everyone has a preference.
Learning styles refer broadly to the way in which people prefer to learn. There are a several models used to describe learning styles. These models are based on personality, sensory modes used to acquire information, ability to work in abstraction, how people make decision, the way in which people organize things, and several other dimensions.
Many education researchers have suggested that one of the reasons that students perform poorly (or well) in science classes is that classes are not constructed to accommodate the differences in students learning styles. While each of the many Learning Style Models describes "types" differently, generally speaking, they classify us academic scientists as "abstract reflective" learners - introspective thinkers who value ideas, theories and depth of understanding. We learn by reading and imagining and are comfortable with symbols and abstract logic. Don't be surprised if that does not sound like you - It doesn't fit more than 25% of the population!! That doesn't mean you are better or worse - just different. Don't be surprised if this is new to you - it is too most faculty too, as Charles Schroeder (New Students- New Learning Styles) or Susan Montgomery and Linda Groat (Students Learning Styles and Their Implications for Teaching) explain to faculty how and why they should accommodate students' learning styles in their classes. We constructed BIOL 1114 to address to do this.
So how can this help you?
Below are some links to materials that let you identify your learning style. They also provide suggestions on how you can study, work better in lecture and work better in lab. We haven't tested all these ideas out, so we can't recommend yet which to follow. We can say that when things are not making sense to you or if you seem overwhelmed, then you need to work with your instructor on another way of trying to learn. We can also say that just following what your friend does may NOT be best for you. (on the flip side - be tolerant of how others are trying to learn - not everyone learns like you do). These sites go a long way in helping diagnose your style and pointing you in a direction that might help you succeed.
How can you help us?
Well we would like to know which of the links here you find helpful. We also would like to know which of the resources that we provide on the Web or elsewhere or the activites we do in lecture, lab or LRC that you find helpful. Just send an e-mail that explains what you found useful and your learning style (and how you figured that out - the measures described below name their styles differently). As time goes on, and with your help, we will see which of the Learning Styles Inventories work best and we we will learn what learning resources to recommend to students with different learning styles.
final point: You should not over-interpret what you might learn
about your learning style. Your learning
style profile provides some predictions about your strengths, tendencies, or
habits that might help you succeed in class. It does not reflect your suitability
or unsuitability for a particular subject, discipline, or profession. Thinking
that it does is potentially harmful, and it would be a real mistake to use it
as the reason to change courses, majors or career goals.
What's your Learning Style?
DVC Learning Style Survey for College
This online guide is designed to help you become a more successful student. It includes a Learning Style Survey that will help you identify your learning style. It also includes learning strategies that will help you study in a productive manner, one that matches your unique learning style.
Learning Style Inventory
To better understand how you prefer to learn and process information, print out this page and place a check in the appropriate space after each statement below, then use the scoring link at the bottom of the page to evaluate your responses. Use what you learn from your scores to better develop learning strategies that are best suited to your particular learning style.
Index of Learning Styles (ILS)
The Index of Learning Styles is an instrument used to assess preferences on four dimensions (active/reflective, sensing/intuitive, visual/verbal, and sequential/global) of a learning style model formulated by Richard M. Felder and Linda K. Silverman. The instrument was developed by Richard M. Felder and Barbara A. Soloman of North Carolina State University. Both an on-line version and a pencil-and-paper version of the instrument may be accessed from this page The on-line article "LEARNING STYLES AND STRATEGIES" summarizes the styles and usefulness
Study Smarter Workshops
Developed at Lousiana State University, this site provides shorter diagnostic tests for "Brain Dominance", "Personality", and Domainance" than other sites all on one place. It is followed by "Workshops" to help you develop skills realted to your preferences.
How we learn . . . and why we don't!
This is an extensive site, but the table below hits the highlights. Unfotunrately take the Learning Styles test would cost you money, but you can look through some of the other sites listed here then return here for some suggestions, or look at the descriptions here and see what fits you. Remember, like every other systme on this page, you don't have the characteristics of one category only.
Characteristics of the Types
Suggested Study Ideas
based on "An Investigation of Learning Styles in General Chemistry Students." L. B. Krause, Clemson University, 1996.
VARK Copyright Version 4.1 (2002) held by Neil D. Fleming, Christchurch, New Zealand and Charles C. Bonwell, Green Mountain Falls, Colorado 80819 U.S.A.
Provides a means of identifying the way (mode) in which you prefer to take in information - Verbal-Auditory-Reading-Kinesthetic. The site provides a great deal of usful information and an easy to use questionaire that provides an interpretation and suggestions
Learning Styles Table Form
While this will not provide the accurracy of the VARK(nor is it necessarily validated), you can quickly gage what MODE you use as your primary means of acquiring information by reviewing this chart and answering the questions.
Learning Styles and Hemispheric Dominance
You may have heard that some people are 'right brained' and some 'left brained', which refers to theories concerning what parts of the brain are used to process different types of information and how people have tendencies to use one or the other part of theirbrains predominantly. While this has been challenged by many, it still provides an empirical model that helps predict what study strategies work best for people with certain tendencies. This site provides a test and practical study advice.
Student Learning and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Do you just want to know the facts? Do you like to ponder irrelevant questions? Are you always late with your assignments? Does you lab partner want to keep planning and you just want to get in and get it done? This site provides a nice discussion of personality/working types, a comparison of teachers and students, and a suggested list of class activities that benefit each type. Although it is built for business majors, you can look here to see if we are doing things that are right for you.