Join Renaldo Lawrence for an in-depth discussion in this video Understand each student's learning style, part of Teaching Technical Skills Through Video.
- Knowing students means more than merely acquiring information about them, such as their names, ages, their friendship groups, and maybe having some knowledge about their family backgrounds, or a few statistics from their school record. Yes, all this information is important to help you get a better idea of the whole person, but just as important is to know the students' learning styles. Knowing our students' learning styles helps us to both create better learning content that students can relate to and also enables us to match our teaching to the students learning styles by explaining and presenting content in different ways.
Equally as important is that you as the teacher know your own dominant learning style. Knowing your own learning style will make you more aware of, and more inclusive of other styles, so you can help reach all learners. And I believe that a teacher's own preferred learning styles often becomes their predominant teaching style. So teachers who are aware of their preferred teaching styles and the preferred learning styles of each of their learners are more likely to adopt a student-centered learning experiences, even if it is not the way they've learned or prefer to learn.
When you combine the knowledge of your own learning style, the learning styles of your students, and knowing some aspects of the students' personal lives, like their hobbies, likes, or commitments, this can lead to amazing results, of students who really wanting to learn, because not only have you, the teacher, shown genuine interest, but you have also made the content relatable to their world. So how do you get to know a student's learning style.
One simple way is simply to ask them how do they learn? I do this with every new class, I ask, would you prefer me to a, explain it in a lecture style and provide you with audio so that you can revisit it, b, assign the task so that you can carry it out c, provide you with visuals so that you can digest the content. This allows me to differentiate between my auditory learners, kinesthetic learners, and visual learners.
Another way is to administer some sort of questionnaire based around learning styles. Some samples can be found at vark-learn.com, and brainboxx.co.uk. By having students take at least one questionnaire, you will have some base line data to start ensuring that you are differentiating your lessons and meeting your students' learning needs.
- Understanding students' learning styles
- Using support materials
- Exploring example content
- Preparing video lessons
- Using TubeChop, Adobe Spark, and other video applications
- Connecting with other teachers