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Learning Styles

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.


September 11, 2007 - Posted by | E-Learning, Learning Styles


  1. I have used the vark tool Merolee but not the other one. Had a brief look at the link you provided. i would be interested in looking at the tool sometime if that is possible. Vark does give students the idea that not everyone will learn in the same way and hopefully they consider this in their interactions with their clients, as well as giving them an understanding of their own learning needs. I have always felt their is more to individual learning style than the Vark categories and these other categorizations do look interesting.

    Comment by midwikied | September 13, 2007 | Reply

  2. I have a copy of the Gregorc tool and can provide via email – not sure who you are!

    Comment by Linda Robertson | September 19, 2007 | Reply

  3. Acttually I have now put this on the page – see the title “4 learning styles”

    Comment by Linda Robertson | September 19, 2007 | Reply

  4. I meant 4 thinking styles!

    Comment by Linda Robertson | September 19, 2007 | Reply

  5. Hey Linda
    MIwikied is Carolyn in School of MIdwifery!

    Comment by Merrolee | October 6, 2007 | Reply

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