Student Created Curriculum Builds Enthusiasm for Learning

Everyone has a different way of studying and learning new material. As an educator, I was often guilty of creating lessons plans that favour my preferred learning style. As Socrates said, “Knowing thyself is the height of wisdom,” but in today’s higher education system it is a wise educator who first learns about his or her students.

A few years ago I was asked to teach a basic business course to students in a fairly new program. I asked the program coordinator to describe the type of students who enrolled in his program, and what he needed the students to know by the end of the course to succeed in future courses.

He told me that they were very creative, but needed confidence. They had no business experience, were between 18 and 25 and needed to know how to create a business plan. Most of the students hadn’t yet chosen an area of specialization, and were still exploring their options. Continue reading

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Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory – Accommodators and Divergers

In this final post of a three-part series, I am providing a very brief overview of Kolb’s LSI quadrants of accommodating and diverging. These two quadrants represent those who learn best by experiencing and feeling. They tend not to learn best through abstract conceptualization, which is the domain of convergers and assimilators.

Accommodators use their senses and intuition to learn. More often than not, they rely on gut reactions or feelings to perceive information. Divergers make sense of information using cogitative means. They are thinkers and analyzers.

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Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory – Convergers and Assimilators

In this second of a three-part blog posting, I am providing a very brief overview of Kolb’s LSI quadrants of converging and assimilating. I hope that readers have taken the 20-minute test, which costs $25. Taking the test will give you insights into how you learn and which learning styles you should make stronger.

Convergers are those who process information by taking part or doing an action. On the opposite side of the scale are assimilators, who process information through watching others and reflecting on what others do.

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An Introduction to David Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory

Just as there are many ways to teach, there are many ways to learn. Learners generally have a dominant or preferred learning style. This style describes the best way an individual processes and perceives information.

There are many models of learning styles, including Jackson’ hybrid model, Myers Brigg Type Indicator, Fleming’s VARK model, and Kolb’s model, to name a few. All models are valid, but no one particular model is all-inclusive.

In the study of education, two forms of learning have been identified: Cognitive, which is how we perceive and process information, and sensory, which is how we use our senses to receive information.

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Applying Adult Education Theory to Curriculum Design

Last week Mclean’s online posted an article written by a university student title “Learning Styles are Bogus.” He wrote the article based on one peer reviewed paper and his inability to study.

While I believe the article is flimsy, it made me wonder how many instructors look at only one theory when designing curriculum and do not take into account other learning factors. Here is a quick rundown of a few adult education theories that should be consulted when designing curriculum.

Many in adult education are familiar with Bloom’s taxonomy and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, but I doubt many curriculum designers finish their design and then refer to either the taxonomy or hierarchy.

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