A few years ago, you couldn’t go to an education conference without hearing all about learning styles (Auditory, Visual, Tactile, Kinesthetic & Verbal). Now it’s as though it never happened – conferences are talking about personalisation, policy and Gonski. Even though it’s no longer trendy, there are plenty of people still working on improving learner engagement in education through developing a better understanding of the influence of learning styles, and how they can be exploited.

One of the people that continues to work in this area is Ole Lauridsen, of the LearningStylesLab at the Aarhus School of Business, Denmark. A while ago he worked with the Microsoft Partners in Learning team in Denmark to produce a booklet about OneNote and Learning Styles, and it's still relevant today.

If you’re interested in learning styles, it is definitely worth a read – with some excellent background on learning styles (based on the Dunn and Dunn model) , along with an analysis of how tools in Office can help a student. It also refers to www.learningstyles.net, where you can take a personal Learning Style assessment

I learnt something about my own learning style (and why I learn in that way) from the booklet. For example

  Some people learn best when they have new and difficult information presented to them step by step in a logical sequence; they are called analytics.
Others (most people) learn best when they have new and difficult information presented in large chunks on the basis of which they can then investigate the details themselves; they are called globals.
Finally, there is a group of people, called the integrated, who do not prefer one way rather than the other; they can approach new and difficult information both analytically and globally.
 

 

I’m clearly a ‘global’ – I really like investigating and coming to my own conclusion, because then I feel more of an investment in the result. As I continued through the guide, it made even more sense.

  • “The leading principle for globals is F&C: Fun and Colour”
      Well, I like F&C, even though I’m bad at choosing colours
  • “…they often like to work with mind mapping (sometimes combined with text boxes) rather than step by step tables”
      That describes me to perfection. I really hate flowcharts!

LearningStyles

You can download the booklet from here