Strategies for teaching to diverse learning styles

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Anderson, J. (2000). Tailoring assessment to student learning styles: A model for diverse populations. American Association for Higher Education Assessment Conference.

Overview of learning styles using Felder's type Index, but without acknowledgement to Felder.

Explores why LS is not utilised/recognised in teaching institutions.

Explores differences between groups (gender, age, culture etc).

How to move forward - "If you want to develop an assessment model that addresses the needs of diverse populations, the most important thing that you can do is frame the questions that you want answered." Anderson then gives a lengthy list of questions for teachers to ask themselves.

Explores what institutions can do to address diverse learning styles.

Ayre, M. and A. Nafalski (2000). Recognising diverse learning styles in teaching and assessment of electronic engineering. 30th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, Kansas City.

Paper written by the first LS Project officer before the project started.

Gives an overview of the literature on learning styles

Tells of how a course was constructed in "electricity and electronics" to cater for a variety of styles.

Notes student satisfaction and improved outcomes.

Bowman, A. (2000). Focussing on Doing, NET*Working 2000. 2002.

Short paper re online learning.

Outlines his own experience of setting up and teaching online.

Gives list of recommendations for departments wanting to go online.

Not LS based

Brightman, H. J. (ND). GSU [Georgia State University] master teacher program: on learning styles, Georgia State University. 1997.

"This file discusses briefly (1) the four dimensions underlying the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and (2) several teaching approaches that will appeal to different MBTI profiles."

Although M-B based, it is closely related to Felder and gives strategies for teaching to all types.

Cannon, R. and D. Newble (2000). A handbook for teachers in universities and colleges: a guide to improving teaching methods. London, Kogan Page.

" chapters on student-centred learning and evaluating learning and teaching..."

gives guidance on how to change teaching styles.

Carpenter, D., D. (2001). "Teaching lessons learned." Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice: 141-143.

Good short paper on need to alter teaching styles to cater for all types of learning.

Gives ideas and strategies but not specific engineering examples.

Dunn, R. S. and S. A. Griggs (2000). Practical approaches to using learning styles in higher education. Westport, Conn., Bergin & Garvey.

Given a glowing report by David Dollar ("this outstanding book"). The book identifies ways students learn, taking environmental factors into account, followed by 'real-life' strategies staff have taken to accommodate these differences.

"This book is designed to help instructors who philosophically embrace the concept of individual differences but do not know how to translate that theory into practice."

Ebeling, D. G. (2001). "Teaching to all learning styles." Education Digest 66(7).

Written by a schoolteacher so not geared for University.

But has some strategies that may be of help to staff

Felder, R. M. (1993). "Reaching the second tier: Learning and teaching styles in college science education." Journal of College Science Teaching 5(23): 286-290.

Addresses research by Sheila Tobias that recognises 2 levels of student - those who enter the sciences and stay and those who leave for other disciplines after one year.

Thorough exploration of the different learning styles (F-S Style), their meanings and implications.

Good examples of strategies staff can take to change their teaching to accommodate all types of student learning styles.

Felder, R. M. (1995). "A longitudinal study of engineering student performance and retention. IV. Instructional methods and student responses to them." Journal of Engineering Education 84(4): 361-367.

"This paper outlines the policies and procedures, assignments, and classroom activities in the experimental course sequence and describes the students' performance and attitudes as they progressed through the sequence."

Felder, R. M. (1996). "Matters of style." ASEE Prism 6(4): 18-23.

Overview of 4 learning styles (Kolb, Myers-Briggs, HBDI and Felder-Silverman). Then gives excellent examples of ways to teach to the results of student surveys using each of the models.

Overall conclusion = Felder himself states that the model for learning styles is irrelevant (eg F-S; Myers-Briggs). What is important is that "teaching designed to address all dimensions on any of the models is likely to be effective, and all of the models lead to more or less the same instructional approach".

Felder, R. M. (2002). "Designing tests to maximize learning." Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice 128(1): 1-3.

Paper giving tips on how to present exams and tests to students in a quantitative discipline (and how to improve the teaching evaluation results!)

Felder, R. M. and R. Brent (2002). Designing and teaching courses to satisfy Engineering Criteria 2000. Raleigh, North Carolina, SouthEastern University and College Coalition for Engineering Education: 32.

Based on overall American Engineering curriculum.

"Since Engineering Criteria 2000 was first introduced to American engineering education, most discussion in the literature has focused on how to assess Outcomes 3a-3k and relatively little has concerned how to equip students with the skills and attitudes specified in those outcomes. This paper seeks to fill this gap."

Does not address Learning Styles specifically (though they are mentioned)

BUT - this paper has useful ideas on teaching and learning styles.

The Appendices are particularly useful

Felder, R. M. and L. K. Silverman (1988). "Learning and teaching styles in engineering education." Engineering Education(April).

Overview of learning and teaching styles and the problems associated.

Gives "How to teach" examples for each learning style group.

Has 2 good boxes for quick reference -

"Models of learning and teaching styles"

"Teaching techniques to address all learning styles"

Frye, R. (1999). "Assessment, accountability, and student learning outcomes." Dialogue (Western Washington University)(2).

A useful paper for thinking about assessment and student learning.

This paper discusses the difference between assessment for excellence and assessment for accountability. It then goes on to outline "7 principles for good parctice", and strategies for improving student learning. Assessment based on the learning cycle is discussed followed by a discussion on curriculum based on student learning.

Hargreaves, D. J. and E. J. Wallis (1995). Towards a new teaching paradigm - the mismatch between student and lecturer conceptions of learning. Internationalisation of Engineering Education, University of Melbourne.

"Unless the students' and the lecturers' viewpoints are aligned, it seems that the learning outcome will not be satisfactory. A new teaching paradigm is therefore required, one which empowers students to develop their strategies to attain the desired learning outcome and the lecturer is more a facilitator than a deliverer of factual knowledge."

Gives lecturers' own comments on:

The present situation

Characteristics of a good lecturer

Student problems/challenges

Some solutions

Larkin-Hein, T. and D. D. Budny (2001). "Research on learning style: applications in the physics and engineering classroom." IEEE Transactions on Education 44(3): 276-281.

2 colleges with very different student bodies used Dunn and Kolb's models to assess student learning.

Teaching strategies are outlined to accommodate all styles.

Outcomes from the research are seen as very beneficial.

Lewis, R. B. (1990). 21st Century Learning. American Society of Civil Engineers National Forum on Education and Continuing Development for the Civil Engineer, Las Vegas, Nevada, American Society of Civil Engineeers.

An interesting paper because it is addressed to lecturers and their teaching styles, rather than student learning styles.

Some ideas, but very limited.

Better on enthusiasm for change than concrete ideas.

McLoughlin, C. (1999). "The implications of the research literature on learning styles for the design of instructional material." Australian Journal of Educational Technology 3(15): 222-241.

A good review of learning styles literature based on psychology (cognitive styles) and Kolb's model.

"The purpose of this article is to propose ways in which individual differences can be accommodated when designing self-instructional learning materials in print for distance learners."

Gives some ideas of ways of preparing material to cover a variety of learning styles.

Has excellent Reference list.

Montgomery, S. M. (1995). Addressing diverse learning styles through the use of multimedia. 2001.

A study of engineering students' learning styles and the outcomes.

How diverse styles were addressed in teaching of one class using multimedia programmes.

Has some possibly useful ideas for teaching

Nilson, L. B. (1998). Teaching at its best : a research-based resource for college instructors. Bolton, Mass., Anker Pub. Co.

Instructional support services and resources -- Understanding your students -- In the beginning : course design and objectives -- The complete syllabus -- Course coordination between faculty and TAs -- Copyright guidelines for the classroom -- Your first day of class -- Classroom management -- Preserving academic honesty -- Making the most of office hours -- Motivating your students -- Learning styles -- An introduction to student-active teaching : the discovery method -- Making the lecture a learning experience -- Leading effective discussions -- Questioning techniques for discussion and assessment -- From student-active to experiential teaching formats -- Cooperative learning - etc etc

Smith, K. L. (1997). "Preparing faculty for instructional technology: From education to development to creative independence." Cause/Effect 20(3): 36-44.

"This article examines theoretical and methodological tools that can help faculty design flexible learning environments that incorporate appropriate technologies to meet individuals' needs and course or curriculum goals."

Gives good table of comparisons between face-to-face learning and technology aided learning.

Explores different learning styles, but not specifically Felder

Gives examples of how faculty can improve teaching styles and work cooperatively.

Sparkes, J. J. (1999). "Learning-centred teaching." European Journal of Engineering Eductation 24(2): 183-188.

"Amidst all the current enthusiasm for 'student-centred learning' there is still a role for the teacher, but what is it? The purpose of this paper is to identify this role by considering the kinds of learning expected of students and how teachers can help them acquire them."

Findings agree with others (that styles vary and teaching must be adapted) but nothing specific in the way of examples.

Vaughn, L. (2001). "Microburst teaching and learning." Medical Teacher 23(1): 39-43.

"Microburst Teaching and Learning is one strategy for combining various teaching styles and methods in 'bursts' with different learning styles to enhance the learning process."

Not specific about various learning styles - i.e. no theory

Based on medical training (not engineering)

Gives good personalised examples of teaching/learning experience.

Vaughn, L. (2001). "Teaching in the medical setting: balancing teaching styles, learning styles and teaching methods." Medical Teacher 23(6).

"Using a variety of teaching methods and styles ultimately may encourage adaptability and lifelong learning in the teaching-learning process."

Based on medical training (not engineering)

Gives some short examples of different ways to teach