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Evaluating the Different Learning Styles: How Students Learn to Enhance Scientific Knowledge and Understanding Belinda R. Hauser 1, Danyelle Winchester.

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Presentation on theme: "Evaluating the Different Learning Styles: How Students Learn to Enhance Scientific Knowledge and Understanding Belinda R. Hauser 1, Danyelle Winchester."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evaluating the Different Learning Styles: How Students Learn to Enhance Scientific Knowledge and Understanding Belinda R. Hauser 1, Danyelle Winchester 2, Kamla Deonauth 2, Howard University 1, Washington, DC Analysis by using the VARK questionnaire showed students most suitably identified as Kinesthetic learners and combined rather than just one distinct learning style. In a sample size of 133, visual learners are of least type of learn style identified with students. Results Figure 3. Annual Postdoctorate Preparation Institute, Methods Design: The VARK questionnaire developed by Fleming identifies the preferences of students for particular modes of information presentation. With permission from the VARK Copyright Company (http:///www/vark-learn.com/english/index.asp) rights were granted to administer the VARK questionnaire for our research. The questionnaire form will be downloaded from the VARK website (http://www.vark- learn.com/english/page.asp?p=questionnaire). The VARK questionnaire consists of sixteen questions that the students will complete and will be scored to determine their types of learning styles. The VARK questionnaire can be obtained free of charge.http:///www/vark-learn.com/english/index.asphttp://www.vark- learn.com/english/page.asp?p=questionnaire Introduction In both the Undergraduate and Graduate level classroom the multiple learning styles that are used by students to incorporate novel information are not taken into consideration by instructors. Although this neglect is seen across many disciplines with negative ramifications, it becomes especially problematic in the science classroom. Most Science lectures and labs are handled separately, In the lectures setting the focus is primarily auditory or sometimes a visual component is introduced. Students who are not strong auditory or visual learners have a difficult time understanding the material being presented resulting in boredom in the classroom, lack of attention and increased truancy. If an instructor hopes to engage his/her class all learning styles must be taken into consideration and incorporated into the lecture presentation. In general there are three kinds of learners and three major factors in which make up the three an individuals learning style. This includes the following: the three senses auditory, visual and kinesthetic. Characteristics of an auditory learner is an individual that remembers what others say very well through verbal repetition and prefers to discuss ideas. In addition verbal instructions are well understood and verbally expresses interest and enthusiasms. Auditory learners differ from Visual (spatial) learners in that visual learners i remember best and study best when they see pictures, diagrams, time-lines and demonstrations. In addition, these individuals prefer instructions rather than verbal instructions. Lastly there are Kinesthetic and/or Tactile learners, which learn best by hands on and work well in groups. These individuals learn remember best through physical interaction or involvement in whatever is being taught. They also enjoy hands-on activities. In this study, we investigated the three common learner styles of students using the VARK questionnaire. Students were evaluated based on activities geared toward three common subjects in the science field to determine if the information is understood and retained. The VARK questionnaire determined the student preferred learning style(s). Results Conclusion In the typical college classroom there is a definite bias towards auditory presentations by most instructors. As a result non-auditory learners are at a severe disadvantage. It is therefore crucial to identify the learning style utilize by the majority of college students so instructors can more appropriately tailor their lecture to engage the maximum number of students in the learning process Aim: To determine the predominant learning style of an undergraduate general biology class using the VARK Learning Style Inventory Questionnaire Hypothesis: Current methodology of teaching is not conducive to students learning and retention of information. By adopting a lecture style that incorporates visual aural/auditory, and kinesthetic tools of presentation, will lead to greater comprehension of the material being presented. Statement of the problem From the VARK questionnaire, a majority of students are kinesthetic learns rather than just auditory or visual learner(<5%) in each case study. Students learn from a variety of methods rather than only aural/auditory. Day 3 cohort evaluation show dramatic improvement in post evaluation indication student were learning and retaining information. (Cohort consisted of 28 students.) Day 4 cohort evaluation indicated student were retaining the information just as day 3. (cohort consisted of 68 students) Visual pictures, diagrams, time- lines and demonstrations Visual pictures, diagrams, time- lines and demonstrations Aural/Auditory verbal repetition Aural/Auditory verbal repetition Kinesthetic hands on and works well in groups Kinesthetic hands on and works well in groups Acknowledgements Alliance for Graduate Education and The Professoriate (AGEP) AGEP Director: Dr..Kamla Deonauth The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) Howard University Biology Department, Faculty and Staff Session were held over a 3 day period. Cohort consisted of 133 volunteers from the undergraduate Biology 101 and 102 course. Each session was held over a 50min period illustrating a PowerPoint presentation, aural/audio presentation and a mini hands on activity.


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