Learners often express preferences about how they would like to receive information – by reading, hearing or doing – and these are often referred to as ‘learning styles’. Many teachers believe that assessing learning styles and teaching to learners’ preferences will improve learning.
While your students may have a preference, they also use different styles depending on the type of content being taught. For example, if you are teaching an engineering course that requires diagrams and visuals, student adapt their style to use their visual skills, because this makes the most sense and the best way to learn the content. However, students may need additional content using their preferred learning style to reinforce and/or drive home the new knowledge – reading – hands on activities – opportunities to reflect and have discussions with their peers. These teaching strategies provide additional support for your students.
By using a more student-centered approach to your teaching, students are encouraged to be more independent, and have more autonomy over their learning. Student engagement provides an environment which enables them to focus on their learning style and adapt to new knowledge that works for them.