Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Learning styles

There has been an interesting discussion on the ili discussion list about learning styles, and whether or not it is valuable to design learning to engage with differing learning styles.
The research that started the discussion off is described in this press release:
Allen-West, C. (2009) Learning Styles Debunked: There is No Evidence Supporting Auditory and Visual Learning, Psychologists Say. Association for Psychological Science.

Someone also recommended:
Sanderson, H. (2011) "Using Learning Styles in Information Literacy: Critical Considerations for Librarians." The Journal of Academic Librarianship 37 (5), 376-385.

One point I would make is that, if you are aiming to develop people to be lifelong learners, you will be aiming to make them more aware of how they learn (from that perspective, thinking about "learning styles" can be a trigger to help them reflect), but you will also be aiming to help people expand the ways in which they learn (so just using their preferred learning style may not be helping them, ultimately)
Photo by Sheila Webber: young people being lured to play with new mobile phones in Sheffield yesterday. Interestingly, the van was lined with images of old books...

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