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With regards to the to the questionnaire answered by the myself, section one is a visual learning approach, section two is an auditory learning approach, and finally section three is a kinesthetic learning approach. With the scores I obtained, my learning style is the kinesthetic approach of learning. Always I learn better when I do experiment and involve physically in the classroom experiences. Kinesthetic learners remember information well when they actively participate in activities. I always like to do an experiment in a laboratory, touch and work with materials and I remember information easily by taking a note or instruction and do physical involvement in class. As a kinesthetic learning, I sometimes get bored when I sit for a long period of time listening to a lecture or watching demonstrations.
According to Kolb, Boyatzis, & Mainemelis (1994, p 4), learning style is the preferred method of learning that incorporates context and current environment awareness. In some patterns and in a defined way, these learning strategies are used. Reid (1995) also indicates, in line with this, that learning style is normal, habitual, and favored ways in which people consume, process and retain new information. In view to this students have their own way of dealing with specific conditions and new information. Some students learn by seeing or reading the information, listening the explanation of new information, giving respond to the new information, or even they like to remember the information, and physical involvement in learning activities.
Concentrating on kinesthetic learners, there are several ways in which the students learn, the following points below are some study tips or approaches which helps the students to understand the mathematical concepts been learnt;
- Actively participate in any mathematical discussions.
- Use direct involvement, physical manipulation, imagery, and "hands on" activities to improve the learning process.
- Organize information into the steps that were used to physically complete a task.
- Use case studies, applications, and examples to help with principles and abstract concepts.
- Allow for physical action in solving problems.
- Teach the concept you have learnt to someone else.
- Use plenty of examples when writing study notes.
- Use practice, play acting, and modeling to prepare for mathematical tests.
- Solve problems through a more trial-and-error approach.
- Allow for physical movement and periodic breaks during tests, while reading, or while in class.
People are thought to be unique in processing information, so teachers should understand the different learning styles of their students. Everyone has a prevailing learning style depending on the situation, and instructors need to realize what the preferred patterns of their students are in order to make it easier for the students to understand the learning process. Understanding the learning styles of students will help students find the right way to learn and assess their strengths and weaknesses (Gilakjani & Ahmadi 2011). In the same way, identifying the learning styles of the students will help the teacher to impact his or her lessons to suit all learning styles in the classroom. You will therefore have a clearer picture of the teaching and learning process and a greater awareness of the learning process. The table below shows the data concerning various learning styles collected from a senior high school in the central region.
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The results show that majority of the students are visual learners, followed by kinesthetic learners, and auditory learners being the minority. However, since the data shows that majority of the students are visual learners followed by kinesthetic learners, and auditory learners with the lowest percentage as the various learning style in a class. When a teacher gets to have students with these various learning styles in a class, one single teaching approach is not the best way to reach each student. In order to meet the learning needs of all students, you must incorporate each of these styles into your activities and lessons. So in addressing the learning needs of the learners, starting with the visual learners, as a visual learner, he or she prefers seeing and observing things. They learn best by looking at pictures, videos, handouts, charts, diagrams, demonstrations or anything else that is visual, and sometimes learn by watching someone else complete a task first. The teacher or instructor must be able to use flowcharts, maps, or graphic organizers, create checklists, write out flashcards, draw pictures, and allow students to watch videos in class. When these approaches are used in teaching, it will help majority of the students get the true understanding of what is been taught in the class.
The second highest learning style according to the data collected is the kinesthetic learners, these type of learners prefers a more hands-on experience to learning. They like to touch, feel, and hold when learning. Kinesthetic learners tend to “Try it out first” and prefer to learn as they go. They would use their body movement rather than to read or listen to information. For the learning desires of the students to be met, the teacher must allow students to manipulate objects to help them understand a concept, have the student take notes (on paper or in textbooks) while reading or listening, and the teacher must organise study groups for students to teach themselves. The teacher must be able to add these strategies to the lesson plan or teaching approaches to suit all kinesthetic learners in the class.
The last learning style which was developed by Reid (1995) is auditory. Auditory learners will learn better if they hear spoken words or oral explanation. They remember information by reading aloud and moving lips while reading. They prefer joining traditional classroom setting which is dominated by written and oral spoken words such as teacher lectures, notes and worksheets. They are also interested in hearing audio tapes and class discussion. In teaching auditory learners the teacher must engage the student in conversation about the subject matter, group students to make discussion with others to expand upon their understanding of a topic, question students about the material they have learnt, and the teacher must be able to read out notes loudly.
In teaching these type of learners, whatever is been taught must be understood by all learners, for instance when using pictures, videos, handouts, charts, and diagrams to teach visual learners, the teacher must be able to read or explain the content in the videos and handouts, in the same manner, allow students to manipulate the charts in other to benefit auditory and kinesthetic learners as well. On the other hand, notes been taken by the kinesthetic learner must be read out loudly and presented on the board to help auditory and visual learners to get the concept been taught. In the auditory class where discussions are made, salient points must be noted on the board and discussions must be made practical to benefit the visual and kinesthetic learners.
Differences between Learning Styles and Preferences and the connection between them
As cited in (Gülbahar & Alper, 2014), Felder and Silverman described learning styles as grouping students according to a variety of scales of how they obtain and interpret information. Similarly, learning styles are tendencies for the preference to process information in some ways, according to Jonassen and Grabowski as cited in (Gülbahar & Alper, 2014). In contrast, a learning preference is the set of learning-related factors that are most conducive to an individual's retention of information. Such factors may include environmental, emotional, psychological, physical and even social qualities (Pritchard, 2009). It can be deduced from those definitions that learning styles depend on learning preferences. In other words, an individual can be classified under a specific learning style based on his or her preferred learning approach.
Effective/possible e-learning styles and learning preferences in online environments.
In order to determine effective or possible e-learning styles and learning preferences that should be taken into account in an online environments, there are several learning styles and preferences to be taken, firstly is individual learning style, the individual prefers to learn on their own and takes a longer time to think about how the topic learnt will relate to his or her life. Lessons taught in an online environment must trigger students to learn independently and allows students to bear the responsibility of their own learning to suit their learning preferences. In addition is the social or collaborative learning styles, the student must be involved in grouped activities and allowed to simultaneously use chat, virtual classroom, and whiteboard application as learning activities. Moreover, auditory learners also retain information best when it is presented through sound and speech and prefers instructors to explain the topic in details. They like listening to music while travelling, working and studying, and dislikes silent places as some of their learning preferences. With the visual learning, once visual learners can see the content being taught, they learn best. They follow instructions better when they first see a demonstration, rather than simply being told how to do something. Visual learners typically prefer images, mind maps, graphs, diagrams, and other forms of graphic organizers to help visual learners get the most from online environment instruction. Concrete Learners also thinks that she/he learns best by “doing” and likes to touch objects, clothes and furniture. Abstract learners are also good at linking what she or he heard and saw previously in daily conversations and also learn best by reading. Logical learners thinks that they learns best by “thinking in detail” and likes playing logical games and solving puzzles. Lastly is sensual learners, they like being provided with various resources and choices and understands a combination of pieces if she or he understands the whole.
How student’s e-learning styles and learning preferences affect the effectiveness of their learning.
E-Learning style and learning preferences has been shown to play an influential role in students’ achievement in learning based on teaching approaches. In view of this, Topçu (as cited in Gülbahar & Alper, 2014) indicated that awareness of learning styles and cultural context by instructors may be helpful in increasing the performance of students in web-based learning environments. On the other hand, Lindsay (as cited in Gülbahar & Alper, 2014) noticed that the balance between learning style and teaching style improved academic achievement and learning satisfaction. Since learning styles provide information on individual learning preferences difference, they can indicate how instruction can best be designed to support learning preferences and enhance academic achievement (Akdemir & Koszalka, as cited in Gülbahar & Alper, 2014).
Possible ways/methods used in addressing e-learning styles.
With regards to the various e-learning styles known, lessons can be taught to suit different learning styles with respect to these various methods of teaching. To begin with, individual learners’ likes to work and learn by themselves, the teacher has to adapt the strategies of providing problem solving exercise, case studies, ask questions so you know what they are thinking about, and storytelling approach of teaching. In the second place, social learners’ process information by interacting with others, the teacher must engage the students in role-play, group work, and allow them to discuss and share stories. Moreover auditory learners can also benefit from the class when lessons take the form of direct instructions, lectures, using mnemonic devices and rhyming, and getting students to pair up and explain concepts to each other. Lastly, visual learners’ retain information more effectively when visual aids are used, encouraging classroom demonstrations, presentation, let students take notes, and using colours and pictures in place of words. With the learning style of the concrete learners, the teacher must use discovery approach in teaching, and also use discussion and presentation method in teaching abstract learners. Discussion and critical analysis of real- world situation methods must be used for logical learners and role play and case study method for sensual learners.
- Quote paper
- Bright Asante Britwum (Author), 2020, Learning styles. Methods used in addressing e-learning styles, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/594815