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Learning Style Comparison

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In today’s job market employers are seeking individuals that are ready to take on new positions that require advance training. The job market is very competitive and the low skill jobs are disappearing forcing adults to return to school to learn new skills and be trained to fill these new positions. An Individual that is aware of his or her learning style will have a have a higher percentage succeeding in an educational environment than an individual that is not of aware of his or her learning style. In an effort to discover my learning style I will describe my learning assessment results and provide brief description of different learning styles. I will discuss what I learn about myself, and how my learning style affects my education. I will note the reasons why it is important to understand learning styles when developing adult education and training. Index of Learning Styles (ILS) results

The ILS is an on-line instrument used to assess individual’s learning styles. The ILS instrument was developed Richard M. Felder and Barbara A. Soloman of North Carolina State University. The ILS assesses an individual on four dimensions such as active/reflective, sensing/intuitive, visual/verbal, and sequential/global (Felder & Soloman, 2011). An active learner retains information by doing something with the information and the reflective learner will reflect on the information or think about it before acting on it.

The Sensing learner prefers to learning factual information and the intuitive learner needs to discover the different relations that exist between the information that is being taught. The visual learner best learns by using pictures, diagrams, videos, or actual performance of a skill and the verbal learner learns by verbal explanations, lecture, or by writing. The sequential learner learns by following a logical forward flow of concepts and randomness is not part of the equation. The global learner learns by digesting large portion of information and making connections between that information to learn the material. ILS results were as followed: first dimension (active/reflective) that I had more of a preference to learn from a reflective perceptive. For sensing versus intuitive I was will balance between both learning constructs, and between visual and verbal I was noted as having a preference for visual learning. On the fourth dimension, I was well balance between sequential and global constructs.

Learning style
Right-Brain/Left-Brain and Whole –Brain thinking
It divides the learning preferences into four categories or quadrant A-D. Quadrants “A” focus on the left cerebral portion of the brain that represents the Logical, analytical section. Quadrants “B” focus on the left limbic section of the brain that represents the organizational aspects of an individual. Quadrant “C” focus on the right limbic portion of the brain and that represents the emotional kinesthetic attributes of and individual. Quadrant “D” focus on the right cerebral section of the brain that is indicative of an individual that is a visual and innovative learner. Dunn and Dunn Learning Style identify different aspects of an individuals’ characteristic that allows them to discover different ways that individuals can learn.

Dunn and Dunn learning styles outlines the different elements were individual will learn best. According to the model learning occurs within the constructs of what are the motivational factors, social interaction, and physiological and environmental elements (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007, p. 129). These elements trigger an individual to learn and learning will take place within the element or a result of the element. In environmental element learning is stimulated by environment itself or the setting the individual is in and stimuli such as light and or sound. Motivational factors like drive, tenacity are some the emotional elements that stimulate learning within and individual.

How an individual interacts with a social context can also facilitated learning the individual might learn best within a group setting or prefers to study alone. Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model postulates that new learning experience is built on top or dependent on what has been learned in the past or in other words individual’s learning experience. Kolb noted that there are four modes of learning and that the modes are broken up into two categories, and those two categories are subdivided two more times. The first category is learning that occurs to perception and the second category is processing and denotes how an individual’s goes about learning. The first category is subdivided into two opposite viewpoints concrete experience and abstract conceptualization (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007, p. 136; Cassidy, 2004).

The second category is formatted the same as the first category but the two opposing viewpoints are reflective observation and active experimental. These four learning modes can describe individual’s learning style into four categories that can be represented by the diverger, assimilator, converger, and accommodator. An individual learning style will be describe as a combination of the four basic learning modes there might be a strong preference for one mode but in general the learning style characterizes will be a mixture of the learning modes. McCarthy’s 4MAT system model is an integration of Kolb’s model and right-brain/left-brain learning style preference model (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007, p. 138; Harris, Sadowski, & Birchman, 2011).

The 4MAT system identifies four types of learners the first one is the imaginative learning followed by the analytical learner. The third type of learner identified by the 4MAT system is the individual that learns by common sense and the last type is the dynamic learner. The imaginative learner learns by listening and interacting socially contrast to the analytic learner that learns by observing, analyzing, and classifying subject matter (Merriam, Caffarella & Baumgartner, 207).

The common sense learner learns by doing, experimenting and the dynamic learner learns by creating, modifying subject matter, asking what if this occurs that what will happen (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007). The overall premise of the 4MAT system is that the learner will learn in a sequence order from Type 1 to Type 4 and move through four quadrants. Each quadrant represents a section of the brain and will move from concrete experience to reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and finally active experimentation.

Multiple Intelligence theory (MIT) incorporates brain research and how different parts of the brain are responsible for learning. MIT stipulates that there is eight types of intelligences and that learning does not occur within one aspect of intelligences but it is a combination of multiply intelligence that allow an individual to learn. The eight categories are linguistic, logicalMathematical, spatial, musical, bodily kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist (Bradshaw, Lowenstein, 2007). The linguistic learner will learn by writing, debating and discussing information and the logical-mathematical learner learns best when he or she is categorizing or working with abstract ideas.

The visual learner learns best by working with diagrams, pictures and by using visualization techniques to increase his or her learning capability. The body-kinesthetic learner learns by doing, hands on technique this learner learns by touching processing the learning experience through body movement. The musical learner uses rhythmic sounds to increase material retentions. The interpersonal learner learns by working within groups where cooperating, comparing, and interviewing facilitates learning. Intrapersonal learner learns best by working alone, reflecting, and working at his or her own pace. The naturalist learner learns best by working within the environment by sharing and comparing ideas within the construct of the surrounding environment. Learning style affects

I was very surprised by the results because I have always seen myself as more of a verbal learning. Even though I am balance between visual and verbal the findings indicated that I had a higher preference for visual learning. I was also surprised that I was balanced between the sequential and global learner because I believed that I was more of a sequential learner versus a global learner. The results suggest that I am well verse in using both a sequential and global perspective to facilitate learning. My results are well balance between the four dimensions and by using findings I will implement methods that will go in hand with my learning style preferences.

Learning style importance
It is important to understand learning styles when developing adult education and training because teaching and learning does not happen in a bubble. By understanding the different learning styles and educator is able to design the lesson plan to meet the needs of many different learning styles. The educator is also able to implement different teaching methods to reflect the different individuals in the classroom.


Bradshaw, M. J., & Lowenstein, A. J. (2007). Innovative teaching strategies in nursing and related health professions (4th ed.). Sadbury, MA: Jones and
Bartlett Cassidy, S. (2004). Learning styles: overview of theories, models, measures. Educational Psychology, 24(4), 419-444. Retrieved from

Felder, R. M., Soloman, B. A., (2011). Leaning style and strategies. Retrieved form http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/ILSdir/styles.htm Harris, L. V., Sadowski, M. A., & Birchman, J. A. (2011). A comparison of learning style models and assessment instrument for university graphics educators. Repository library NCSU. Retrieved from http://repository.lib.ncsu.edu/irbitstream/1840.1677261etd.pdf Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide (3rd ed.). Jossey-Bass.

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