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Knowing students style is very important. That because it helps students to be active learners. This study aim is to have a deep look in students' style in ADU and which style they prefer much. Also, which learning style the teachers should use to teach language and is there a different between the three styles of learning. Study was conducted in 20 responders from Abu Dhabi University. The perusal of results indicated that students prefer to use visual style much more than others style.
Learners have different styles, attitudes, behaviors, thoughts, and perspectives. Everyone acts according to his own character. Also, every learner has his own style to represent or gain information. There are three styles that learners use to gain information; they are visual, auditory and tactile.
Learners have different ways to gain information, some learners prefer to study alone and others prefer to study in groups. Otherwise, teachers need to be familiar with students' styles because knowing students' styles will make job of the teacher more comfortable. Also, it will raise the students' performance inside the class room.
Statement of problem
Which style is the best one for ADU students?
Statement of purpose
Determine students' styles and find suitable ways to make students gain information easily and benefit from their instructors.
Leaning styles definition
Everyone has his own style to present or acquire data. Learning styles can be defined as several approaches or ways of learning. Also, it can be described as an individual behavior, activities and qualities that appear on the learner character when process of learning is occurring. Actually, it is a kind of techniques that enables the learner to learn in a best way. (Wikipedia, 2009)
People have different styles of thinking and different ways of representing information. The word style is used in language to describe differences between people. Style can be described as individual qualities, activities and behavior that appear on the learner character during learning process. Style has a major influence in different parts on human character such as personality, behavior, cognition, perception, learning and motivation. I think that the learner himself can shape his own style. For example, if the learner has a weak personality; he will not manage to express his ideas and participate with the other learners. However, if the learner has a strong personality; he will be successful in his learning trip. Students with strong personality show high attention to language. (Robert, 2000)
When I move to the college, I see different kinds of students; they are from India, Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Oman etc. Each one has his own styles; some of them like to study in groups and other like to study alone. Otherwise; learning styles can be different from person to person.
Types of learning styles
In this life, there are a lot of differences; people have different attitudes, behavior, intelligence and different styles. In learning, we have different types of learning styles. There are three types of learning styles, visual, auditory, and tactile or kinesthetic.
Learners who use this kind of style; they usually learn information or data through seeing things. They prefer instructor who uses the blackboard or the projector to
present the main points or the one who gives an outline about the lecture.
Also, they prefer to study alone by themselves in a quite room. These learners often see information in their minds when they are trying to remember something. Also, they need to see the body language of the teacher and follow facial expressions. In addition, they prefer to set at the front of the class and avoid obstructions (e.g. students head). Al thought, these learners tend to use pictures more and depend on visual display such as diagrams, video, chart, and handout. Also, these learners use their own imagination to express their feeling like painting and other arts. In addition, to be able to acquire information; they draw symbols and pictures on cards to recall information when they need it. Also, they use color pens to highlight main ideas. Moreover, visual learners use diagrams and graphs to facilitate recall. (Suzanne, 2000)
Learners who use this type of style; they usually depend on hearing to acquire information. They learn best through listening to others, discussion, and verbal lectures. Auditory learners realize or gain meaning of speech through listening to tone of voice, pitch and speed of the speaker. Sometimes written information may have little meaning if they hear it. Also, these learners may acquire or benefit from reading texts aloud and using tape recorder. In addition, auditory learners prefer to participate and interact with other learners; they usually pay more attention for the speaker whether the teacher or a partner. When studying, try to find for yourself an isolated room where you won't bothering anyone and read your notes or textbook aloud. Also, you can use tape recorder to record your lectures. Al though, having lectures on a tape record enable you to prepare for exams in a nice and easy way. (Shannon, 2006-2010)
Tactile or kinesthetic style
Tactile learners learn information or data if they are physically engaged. These learners learn best by following the teacher movement inside the classroom. Tactile learners seem more active to follow the teacher body language. Also, these learners seem more active in they classroom, they set at the front seats and they take note
without taking care to grammatical mistakes. When studying, set at the front seats and take notes without taking care of grammatical mistakes or writing incomplete sentences. Also you can draw pictures or charts to help you remember information.(corina,1999-2010)
Taxonomy of learning styles
Learners use different ways to learn about any subject. According to several psychologists, there are seven specific types of learning styles. In teaching, teachers should determine type of learners that they have and select the best style which suite their learners needs.
Linguistic: in this type, the learners prefer to read, write and tell stories. They show a high level of memorizing places, data, and names, and are always surprising you in their ways of finding the information. Also, they have a strong ability to recall information you have told them, word by word. These students learn best through seeing, saying and hearing. Otherwise teacher should courage them to be more creative by helping them to write down words, phrases and encouraging them to share their ideas with other partners. (Stacy, 2001)
Logical: learners are obsessed of mathematical problems. They like to solve problems especially if they are related to math. These students develop logical thinking. Their main issues are how things work, why things relate to one another and why things are here. This type of students learn best by analyzing, differentiate and finding relationships between things. (Stacy, 2001)
Teacher should courage and helps them by showing them how to find relationships between things. For example, what is the effect of pollution? Some students may find that it has a negative effect on human being health and other may say it has a negative effect on animals etc. By showing them how to find relationships between things; they will catch language and they will be creative.
Spatial: these are the imaginers. They spend their time in dreaming, watching others and staying away from real life. This type of students likes to work with colors, pictures and use mind eye.
If you feel that they are less motivated, you can ask them to draw a picture and then ask them to talk about it. You will realize that they are more participating with you, because picture for them is everything. Teacher should courage their artistic abilities and allows them to express their feels, thoughts, and ideas by showing them how to do that. (Stacy, 2001)
Musical: if you notice that you have a student, who likes to sing all the time, then this student is a musical learner. This type of learner love everything relates to music, they prefer to hear music while walking, studying and eating etc... Also, this type of learners is good in noticing pitches, rhythms, and details. (Stacy, 2001)
As I said before, they like to learn best through rhythm so teacher should adapt his method of teaching with their style. For example, while reading any passage, he can put a song for them. This type of students needs the teacher to use techniques which are related to music. For example, to activate their memories, he can ask them to write a song about the lesson. However, music should not be consuming time lecture or that will bring bad consequences.
Bodily: this type of learners depends on body to catch the language. They like to walk around the class, examine everything and they use body language to express their ideas, thoughts and feelings. They prefer to play any kind of sport rather than sit down and read a book. (Stacy, 2001)
Teacher should keep them active all the time by playing with them word games, have spelling lesson during football. Also, he can take them to nature to learn about geography.
Interpersonal: we can describe these learners as a group of hands that work together to complete a given task. These learners have ability to melt in any social situation. They are more tended to have a lot of friends and bringing them home. Also, they prefer to work in group inside the class room and have unlimited patient for the others. (Stacy, 2001)
Teachers should courage their love for people and help them to be with different types of people. However, parents should follow them carefully because they may
face people that have different cultures, attitudes, behaviors and ideas. And conflict cultures may make some problems for these learners.
Intrapersonal: are those students who prefer to work alone and like quite places to study in. They prefer to work on their own interest and usually they have a deeper understanding for themselves. Also, intrapersonal learners tend to stay a way from groups and like do their best alone. Teachers should follow them and support because they may commit mistakes in any time. (Stacy, 2001)
Kolb learning style
Kolb divided process of leaning into four steps; the first process is cyclical process. It begins with concrete experience; the whole process is based on experience. The second step is reflective observation, seeing experience from different perspectives. The third step is abstract conceptualization, designing generalizations that immersion observations into sound theories. The final one is active experimentation where learner uses these generalizations as theories to test new situations. Kolb believes that learning process is based through experiment. He says that the whole learning process consist of four stages: experiencing, reflecting, thinking and acting. The learner receives information and tries to test every single part. Then, think about the information and finally try to act on the information. (scott,2000)
Several studies have been conducted on groups of children. These children groups include Native American, Alaskan Eskimo and Mexican- American children. Studies showed that certain groups have strong visual perception in comparison to auditory, tactile or kinesthetic styles. (Swanson, 1995)
Another study was conducted on children from different cultures to determine their learning styles; these children are from African- American, Mexican- American and Greek- American. Study showed that Greek American children like to use auditory style and both African American and Mexican- American children like to use tactile style. (Swanson, 1995)
In this task I made questionnaire, in order to know opinions' of students and about my questions or problems. Then, I distributed those questions on 20 students from Abu Dhabi University; they are taking different courses such as Islamic culture, professional ethics and others.
Their ages are from eighteen to twenty six. After that, I collected them and started to analyze them. Finally, I compare between data which I found in articles and data in questions.
As you know my research talks about the three types of learning styles which are visual, auditory and tactile. I am sure that now you are known about these three types and what are the meanings of these types. Some students have their own styles to learn. They may focus on visual rather than auditory which I observed on my survey. Other students have abilities to learn by auditory style rather than visual style when they learn. Some students acquire these types and they use visual, auditory and tactile to learn better. They usually like to change their styles of learning. They use all these three types to learn better and make learning process more useful and understandable.
I distributed survey for 15 male and 5 female students in ADU. This survey includes 15 questions that let me know their learning styles. These questions have four choices and each students select one or two. Before I collected their answers to analysis, I noticed that most of students in ADU use visual styles of learning.
This chart clarifies the result that I collected from my survey
From this chart, you can see that learning styles of students at ADU divide into three types of learning styles as following:
First, most of students at ADU use visual styles of learning. I collected 181 points that 16 students selected from the different choices. In visual style, when students spell the word, they try to see it. When they talk, they dislike listening for long time because they feel board. So they like to see pictures, directions, posters, diagrams etc to know ideas, places, etc. Also, when they meet someone again, they just remember faces rather than names. I found most of students at ADU like to learn through seeing, drawing, using graphs, and reading written instruction that came with the program. In addition, they like to learn from books that has real-life stories, experiences and examples. Also, these students like to search in websites that have interesting written descriptions, lists, explanations, design and visual features. When they do something new at work, they like to see demonstrations, slides, or posters.
Second, some students use auditory style to learn at ADU. I collected 86 points that 4 students selected. These students like to have feedback from somebody who talks it through with them if they have finished a competition or test and would like some feedback. Also, they would talk about, or arrange a talk for them about for example,
parks or wildlife reserves, when a group of tourists want to learn about the parks in their areas. In addition, if the students want to learn a new program, skill or game on a computer, they would talk with people who know about the program. These students prefer a teacher or a presenter who uses question and answer, talk, group discussion, or guest speakers. Also, if they are using a book, CD or website to learn how to take photos with your new digital camera, they would like to have a chance to ask questions and talk about the camera and its features. In addition, they like websites that have audio channels where I can hear music, radio programs or interviews. When students do something new, they prefer verbal instructions or talking about it with someone else.
Third, the study shows that most students do not use tactile style to learn at ADU. I did not collect any point for this style; this shows that students do not like to try or touch things that would help them to learn. These students do not like to use the controls or keyboard when they want to learn a new program, skill or game on a computer. Also, if they find someone who want to go to airport, town center or railway station; they do not like to go with him. In addition, if they have a problem with their knee; they would not prefer that the doctor use a plastic model of a knee to show what was wrong.
In addition, the reason of dislike tactile style is not known. There are several reasons that show why students do not like tactile style in ADU; one of the main reasons is their ages. Adults do not like to play or touch things because they show a polite character. Also, time can discourage students to use tactile; as we know adults do not have time for these small issues.
Table of the results:
Types of learning styles.
Number of students
The pervious studies showed that students prefer to use visual style. Otherwise, do we have to focus on visual style more? Each style has its own characteristics; we can not separate the three styles. Other studies showed that learning styles are different from one culture to another. Otherwise, these differences are natural but we can give some tips to raise students' performance. I think we have to make a balance between the three styles. We should make the students love to use the other two styles by showing them tips and commands.
Learning style is the way of thinking of a person to gain information from surrounding. Each learner has its own style to gain information. There are three types of learning style visual, auditory and tactile. In visual learning style a learner learns through viewing the graph, notes, diagram, and picture to gain information. In auditory learning style a learner learns through listening to other people. Lastly in tactile learning style a learner learns through touching things. The study shows that most of the learners use visual learning style to gain information, however we cannot separate the other two learning styles because the three learning styles are related to each other. In conclusion, I would like to say that all the three learning style are important for learning process, teacher or instructor should know every individual learner style.
Provide online survey for the students, in order to know students learning styles
Design activities to encourage the use of auditory and tactile styles
Provide one lecture at least in every course for students to give them tips for studying
Design curriculums with more focus to pictures, graphs, diagrams etc…
Design curriculums that focus on visual, auditory and tactile styles
Design box suggestions
Design posters which show the importance of learning styles.
Corporate with instructors to determine learning styles