For a new paper in Anatomical Sciences Education, a pair of researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine have conducted just such an investigation with hundreds of undergrads. Once again however the findings do not support the learning styles concept, reinforcing its reputation among mainstream psychologists as little more than a myth.
one of the most popular online learning styles surveys, the VARK. Taken by millions of people worldwide, the VARK categorises students according to how much they prefer to learn visually, via auditory information, through reading and writing, or through kinaesthetics (by doing or by practical example).
Husmann and O’Loughlin don’t pull any punches in their conclusion. Their findings, they write – especially when considered in the context of past research – “provide strong evidence that instructors and students should not be promoting the concept of learning styles for studying and/or for teaching interventions. Thus, the adage of ‘I can’t learn subject X because I am a visual learner’ should be put to rest once and for all.”
Cai, Y., Chiew, R., Nay, Z. T., Indhumathi, C., & Huang, L. (2017). Design and development of VR learning environments for children with ASD. Interactive Learning Environments, 25(8), 1098-1109. doi:10.1080/10494820.2017.1282877
Collins, J., Hoermann, S., & Regenbrecht, H. (2016). Comparing a finger dexterity assessment in virtual, video-mediated, and unmediated reality. International Journal Of Child Health And Human Development, 9(3), 333-341.
Epure, P., Gheorghe, C., Nissen, T., Toader, L. O., Macovei, A. N., Nielsen, S. M., & … Brooks, E. P. (2016). Effect of the Oculus Rift head mounted display on postural stability. International Journal Of Child Health And Human Development, 9(3), 343-350.
Sánchez, J., & Espinoza, M. (2016). Usability and redesign of a university entrance test based on audio for learners who are blind. International Journal Of Child Health And Human Development, 9(3), 379-387.
Eden, S. (2008). The effect of 3D virtual reality on sequential time perception among deaf and hard-of-hearing children. European Journal Of Special Needs Education, 23(4), 349-363. doi:10.1080/08856250802387315
Eden, S., & Bezer, M. (2011). Three-dimensions vs. two-dimensions intervention programs: the effect on the mediation level and behavioural aspects of children with intellectual disability. European Journal Of Special Needs Education, 26(3), 337-353. doi:10.1080/08856257.2011.593827
Lorenzo, G., Lledó, A., Roig, R., Lorenzo, A., & Pomares, J. (2016). New Educational Challenges and Innovations: Students with Disability in Immersive Learning Environments. In Virtual Learning. InTech. https://doi.org/10.5772/65219
Want to be smarter? Heredity is not the barrier you might think it is, says University of Michigan social psychologist Richard E. Nisbett, PhD. After analyzing decades of intelligence research, Nisbett maintains that past studies give too much credit to heritability’s role in intelligence. Culture, social class and education, he argues, matter more, and explain racial gaps in IQ.
Diverse learners with exceptional needs require a specialized curriculum that will help them to develop socially and intellectually in a way that traditional pedagogical practice is unable to fulfill. As educational technologies and theoretical approaches to learning continue to advance, so do the opportunities for exceptional children.
Special and Gifted Education: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications is an exhaustive compilation of emerging research, theoretical concepts, and real-world examples of the ways in which the education of special needs and exceptional children is evolving. Emphasizing pedagogical innovation and new ways of looking at contemporary educational practice, this multi-volume reference work is ideal for inclusion in academic libraries for use by pre-service and in-service teachers, graduate-level students, researchers, and educational software designers and developers.
Steven Butnik’s article Understanding, Diagnosing, and Coping with Slow Processing Speed.
Consider whether the student is being held back by anxiety, a learning disability that is making the content difficult to process, a condition like dysgraphia that makes handwriting especially challenging, eyesight issues that make the board or papers hard to read, or auditory processing difficulties that make working in a busy, noisy classroom very difficult.
In The Power of Validation, Karyn Hall and Melissa Cook define validation as “the recognition and acceptance that your child has feelings and thoughts that are true and real to him regardless of logic or whether it makes sense to anyone else.”
Students who frequently get stuck on school work may lack the problem-solving skills they need to get unstuck. So whenever you can, model your own strategies with teacher think-alouds, and get other students to do the same thing.
Michael Dunlea finds that in many cases students get hung up on one specific aspect of an assignment, so if he is able to figure out what’s confusing them, he can help them continue.
For some people, simply setting a time limit for a task is enough to get them moving more quickly, so it’s worth a try with your slow-paced students. Use this one carefully, though: For some students, it could cause even more anxiety and make them shut down completely.
Establish a Bare-Minimum Goal for Formative Assessment
Mix Low-Stakes with High-Stakes Tasks
Mark Problem Items for Later: instructional coach Gretchen Schultek Bridgers advises students who get stuck on an item, especially on a test, to mark it with a small post-it note, a highlighter, or a star as a reminder to come back to the item later. This kind of strategy will be useful to everyone, not just your slow working students.
Higher education institutions are abuzz with the concept of Open Badges. The concept was presented to SCSU CETL some two years ago, but it remained mute on the SCSU campus. Part of the presentation to the SCSU CETL included the assertion that “Some advocates have suggested that badges representing learning and skills acquired outside the classroom, or even in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), will soon supplant diplomas and course credits.”
“For higher education institutions interested in keeping pace, establishing a digital ecosystem around badges to recognize college learning, skill development and achievement is less a threat and more an opportunity. Used properly, Open Badge systems help motivate, connect, articulate and make transparent the learning that happens inside and outside classrooms during a student’s college years.”
Educational programs that use learning design to attach badges to educational experiences according to defined outcomes can streamline credit recognition.
The badge ecosystem isn’t just a web-enabled transcript, CV, and work portfolio rolled together. It’s also a way to structure the process of education itself. Students will be able to customize learning goals within the larger curricular framework, integrate continuing peer and faculty feedback about their progress toward achieving those goals, and tailor the way badges and the metadata within them are displayed to the outside world.