Monday, March 12, 2012

White Paper on Learning Styles

After reading the VTLC's white paper on Learning Styles, consider the following questions:

Questions for Reflection

  • What ways of thinking are required by your discipline?
  • What modes of instruction do you most often use?  What is the relationship between the way you teach and the ways of thinking required by your discipline?
  • How do you gauge your students' learning preferences? What role do they or should they have in your teaching?

VTLC Reading Circle 2012 (part 3 of 7)

This post is the third in the series on the 2012 VTLC Reading Circle on How Learning Works by Ambrose, Bridges, DiPietro, Lovett, and Norman.  There are several ways to participate, including reading and reflecting on this series of blog posts.  For more details, see our website.

The previous post asked reflective questions about students' knowledge organizations.  The third concept in the book is "Students' motivation generates, directs, and sustains what they to do learn" (69).

The authors state, "if we want our students to gain the deep understanding that comes from exploration and intellectual risk-taking (a learning goal) but they want only to do what is necessary to get a good grade (a performance goal), we may not obtain the kinds of learning behaviors and outcomes that we desire" (72).

Questions for Reflection

  • What goals do you have for student learning?
  • What performance (or performance-avoidance) goals do your students have?  What affective and social goals do your students have?
  • In what ways are student goals aligned or misaligned with your goals for student learning? 
  • What "outcome expectancies" do your students have?  How do you address these in your course?
  • What strategies to "establish value" and "build positive expectancies" are you using?  Which ones would best address differences between your goals and those of your students?
  • Finally, in what ways have you created a "supportive environment"?  Are there ways in which the learning context (environment) can be improved?