Program and University Benchmark: Learning Styles

This assignment we are to act as faculty members you have been asked to design a
Leadership Strategies course that would accommodate the learning styles for a selected 10
students.
The students have all completed a learning style inventory in which three of the students
are determined visual learners, four are kinesthetic learners, and the rest are auditory
learners.
Note: The intended audience for the course is experienced staff nurses.
Within a 250-300-word paper, describe your plan to accommodate the learning styles of
each student. Makes sure to address:
1) Introduction
2) Descriptions of the learning activities and the rationale for the learning activities selected
based on the learning styles of our intended audience.
3)Reference at least three

Program and University Benchmark: Learning Styles

Much research has been done on how people learn or acquire knowledge. It is known that
individuals differ in the way they understand or process information. Studies show that people
learn by using their senses specifically; vision, hearing, touch, smell and taste. However, some
people tend to use a certain sense more than the other sense thus influencing the way students
learn and leading to development different learning styles. For example, some people use more
of their eyes to process information thus prefer pictorial or graphical information. Others use
more of their hearing senses thus prefer to learn by listening to someone.
Many theories of learning have come up to determine exactly how individuals learn and
many learning styles have been identified. The most widely accepted theory on learning is by
David Kolb who came up with the  Experimental Learning Theory Model (Kolb & Kolb, 2005).
This theory suggested that learners tend to learn by using one of the four learning styles i.e.

PROGRAM AND UNIVERSITY BENCHMARK: LEARNING STYLES 2
accommodation, converging, diverging and assimilation. Accommodators want to learn by doing
and like discovering things while those who learn by converging like to test issues to see if they
are correct and follow concrete steps (Gaur & Kohli, 2009). Those who learn by diverging
observe and discuss while assimilators like to memorize and to listen.
The above model helped Dr Richard Felder and Barbara Soloman to come up with a kind
of questionnaire that lets someone identify his or her learning style. They used the learning styles
mentioned in Kolb’s theory and modified them a little to come up with what is known as the
Index of Learning Styles (ILS) (Kolb, 1984). Individuals can thus take the test and they will be
able to identify what their learning style is. In this assessment model, there are three learning
styles i.e. Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic and a learner can fall into any of the three categories.
According to this model, a visual learner is one who learns using sight or vision (Gyeong
& Myung, 2008). He thus prefers information in visual format like graphs, pictures, videos,
simulations and so on. It is what they see that they will remember. The Auditory learner on the
other hand learns by listening thus prefers lectures, talks, audio tapes and sound. Kinesthetic
learners synthesizes information through movement thus prefers touching, experiments, hands on
approach and the like.
A class that will consist of adults who fall in all the above different categories of learners
has to incorporate different teaching styles to accommodate all the pupils. As a teacher who
would be teaching leadership strategy to a group of nurses, I would incorporate the following
activities and teaching methodologies in my classroom. I would start with role-play where
students volunteer to read from a skit to arouse interest in the subject and this would prepare my
kinesthetic learners for the boring lecture method that would follow. Adults are normally taught

PROGRAM AND UNIVERSITY BENCHMARK: LEARNING STYLES 3
in lecture method which is an auditory learning style hence I would have to include a power-
point presentation to accommodate my visual learners. Here the concrete stuff like definitions,
theories, and the science behind the subject would be tackled. Next, I would use short videos,
pictures and diagrams as a means to demonstrate or illustrate what we have learnt in the power-
point presentations. This would show how theory above is put to practice. This method would
take care of my visual & auditory learners who would have a chance to see and hear what is said
in the film.
I would also have small discussion or brainstorming groups that do not take more than
five minutes to take care of my kinesthetic learners. This also provides the learners with a chance
to express themselves and learn from others. There is also the option of giving students some
exercises to do individually so as to test their grasp of the basic content & theories being taught.
The questions should also include open-ended questions to test analysis & synthesis. This would
help the student find out if he has understood the work or not. Go through the questions and ask
different students to answer in a random manner. Also, have brief intervals where students can
ask questions or merely just reflect on what has been learnt. Do not fill every minute of the class
with note taking or lecturing. This will help the teacher know what area or content has not been
understood and needs repeating or a different approach. I would also give homework or a project
to be done in groups so that students could continue interacting with each other and discovering
new skills, they have.
The issue is not to incorporate all the above teaching methodologies listed above but to
find a way to ensure that all students are actively participating and are not merely passive
learners. The aim is to make sure that each lesson has a visual, audio, and kinesthetic aspect to it
– which thus ensures that all students are catered for.

PROGRAM AND UNIVERSITY BENCHMARK: LEARNING STYLES 4

References

Gaur, S. P. , & Kohli, K. G. (2009). Learning centered innovation in management education:
Kolb’s ELT. International Journal of Learning, 16 (1):185–194
Gyeong, J. A., & Myung, S.Y. (2008). Critical thinking and learning styles of nursing students at
the baccalaureate-nursing program in Korea. Contemporary Nurse, 29 (1): 100–109.
Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall
Kolb, AY., & Kolb. D.A. (2005). Learning styles and learning spaces: Enhancing experiential
learning in higher education. The Academy of Management Learning and Education,
4(2):193–212

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