Learning and Thing styles: 4 Types of thinking styles In a course that I have been teaching with Occupational Therapy students, we have used 2 inventories for students to identify their learning and thinking styles. These are the VARK (Visual, Auditory, Reader/writer, Kinaethetic) which is a quick test to identify which preferences students have for sensory input. The other one used is Gregorc’s Inventory (see 4 types of thinking styles link) which identifies people as being combinations of random or sequential, abstract or concrete in their learning preferences. This combination has provided students with a good knowledge of their learning preferences. They have been asked to analyse their own learning experiences to provide evidence of their preferred learning environments. Although this included campus based learning, the main focus was on fieldwork learning. Very little has been written about this latter topic. See the Blogroll for several links on these 2 Inventories. For an application of the VARK questionnaire to occupational therapy student fieldwork placements; see the file by Penman.
Interestingly, I have come across an article that discusses how learning styles impact on the teacher. This is in relation to teaching using elearning methods.
This is an interesting critique of learning styles (U Tube – thanks Sarah!): Says that learning is about meaning not about a way of learning and that learning styles don’t exist. Do we know how students ‘get the point’ when teaching? Some things must be visually grasped while others must be kinaesthetically mastered – such as fieldwork eg. feeling tone. Must admit that the fieldwork example is one that was never entirely clear to me ie. all types of learners must end up being hands on.