Faculty Development & Learning Assessment

Learning & Teaching Topics

Learning Styles

Students learn and process information in different ways. Meeting the needs of diverse learners is not a way of lowering standards but rather a way of engaging all learners. Here are a sampling of common learning styles, preferred instructional methods, and the anatomical parts of the brain that each style utilizes:

In order to reach as many students as possible:

Topic References

Felder, R. (n.d.) Learning Styles. Retrieved April 15, 2009, from North Carolina State University Web site: http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Learning_Styles.html

Jester, C. (n.d.) A Learning Style Survey for College. Retrieved April 15, 2009, from Diablo Valley College FAST Online Faculty Academy Web site: http://www.metamath.com/multiple/multiple_choice_questions.html

Learning Styles Online. (2007). Retrieved April 15, 2009, from Learning Styles Online Web site: http://www.learning-styles-online.com/overview/

McKeachie, W.J. (1995). Learning Styles Can Become Learning Strategies. National Teaching & Learning Forum 4(6). Retrieved April 15, 2009, from NTLF Web site: http://www.ntlf.com/html/pi/9511/article1.htm

Miller, S. (2000). Web Version of the Learning Styles Survey. Retrieved April 15, 2009, from FAST Online Faculty Academy Web site: http://www.metamath.com/lsweb/fourls.htm

Smith, M. (1996). David A. Kolb on Experiential Learning. Informal Education within a Formal Setting. Retrieved April 15, 2009, from InFed Web site: http://www.infed.org/biblio/b-explrn.htm#learning%20style

University of Michigan Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. (2009). Teaching Strategies: Learning Styles. Retrieved April 15, 2009, from CRLT Web site: http://www.crlt.umich.edu/tstrategies/tsls.php

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Center for Teaching and Learning. (1997). Teaching for Inclusion: Diversity in the College Classroom. Retrieved April 4, 2009, from UNC Web site: ctl.unc.edu/TeachforInclusion.pdf
(204 page PDF)

Vanderbilt Center for Teaching. (2008). Learning Styles & Preferences. Retrieved April 15, 2009 from CTL Web site: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/cft/resources/teaching_resources/theory/styles.htm

VARK. (2009). VARK: A Guide to Learning Styles. Retrieved April 15, 2009, from VARK Web site: http://www.vark-learn.com/english/index.asp

HSU Connection

The average college instructor “tends to be more reflective, verbal, sequential, and deductive than his or her students” (University of North Carolina, 1997, p. 10). If there is a mismatch between the learning styles of most students in a class and the instructor’s teaching style, students can become discouraged and do poorly. The best way to combat this is to appeal to a wide variety of learning styles. According to Dr. Richard Felder (n.d.), “If the balance is achieved, all students will be taught partly in a manner they prefer, which leads to an increased comfort level and willingness to learn, and partly in a less preferred manner, which provides practice and feedback in ways of thinking and solving problems which they may not initially be comfortable with but which they will have to use to be fully effective professionals.”