Accomodating multiple learning styles

19-May-2014 11:49

The later - experiential learning theories - will be discussed in this chapter.

Experiential learning theory (ELT) is one of the most famous approaches especially in the higher education. Kolb's model of learning cycle describes the process of acquiring and capturing experiences with modifying of behaviour as a result of the learning from the experience. The learning process might start from any stage of the learning cycle.

The following is an example for applying the learning style model to group teaching. The learning objective is how to perform the examination of 5 muscle tendon reflexes (MTR).

It is assumed that every learning style is represented in the group.

By using learning cells and applying the “sandwich principle” the teacher should try to get students involved.

Each learning style has its strong and weak points.

Learning styles are discussed here to make teachers realize that students – and teachers - have different approaches to learning and that adapting the way of presenting and dealing with content may facilitate the acquisition of knowledge on the cognitive and practical level. This model could be used for planning exams at the crucial points during a class, which might ensure the opportunity to realize how students studied during the term and to modify their performances. They compared a group of high abstract/high concrete (AC-CE) student pairs with a group of abstract pairs (AC-AC) and a group of concrete pairs (CE-CE). It’s structure may vary depending on the number of students and different situations.

The Model of David Kolb of experienced learning is discussed as an example to apply a learning style theory to planning and performing teaching. Knowing importance of experience, the effective teacher builds his or her lectures on exploration of what students already know and believe. The four groups of homogeneous teams had similar performance results. The abstract/concrete (AC-CE) pairs performed significantly better on a simulated clinical case than the abstract pairs and slightly better than the concrete pairs (CE-CE), indicating the value of integrating the abstract and concrete dialectics of the learning cycle. If a teacher has only one student he/she can prefer the student’s preferred learning style during the teaching unit.

The Kolb Model can even be applied in large groups, for example in a group of 100 students.These methods could be combined to include all types of learners.Small group discussions and team projects could be also used.In an idealized learning cycle or spiral, the team and its members “touch all the bases” - experiencing, reflecting, thinking, and acting - in a recursive process that is responsive to the learning situation. For example, the student will create a list of what to say to relatives, and how she plans to do so.

Team development is thus a process in which a team creates itself by learning from its experience (Adams, A. Still staying a the more “theoretical hemisphere” (the lower half) of the learning cycle (Figure 1) she then proceeds to assimilating by gathering all relevant information about communication models and skills (see Figure 2).

The 3rd step proceeds to the “theoretical hemisphere” of the learning cycle.

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