17 June 2011

How to Assess Learning Styles.

Learning Styles and Communication Styles
How to assess the learning styles
of your family, your child, your child’s teacher, your clients and your friends.
Each person’s learning style is unique and perfect, as it is.
We can all improve our communication, learning/ teaching ability and relationships through simple observation techniques – and by choosing our behaviour and communication methods. This is based in observing your student, family members, teacher, client, friend and noting their:-


1.    Speed of speech. How fast, how much, or how thoughtfully they talk.
2.    Vocabulary. The words that they use.
3.    Directions. How they give directions.
4.    Physical Involvement. Their hand and body movement
5.    Eye Movement. Most importantly - how their eyes move, when they have to think.

When we do this we can assess their natural and preferred learning style. This is made up of a combination of learning through seeing, doing, telling and listening.

Our dominant learning style, and theirs, normally determines how we communicate. Understanding ourselves and our subject show us how best to teach and to learn – and gives us the keys to communicating concepts, visions, messages and presentations to individuals - and to groups.

We all have very unique learning styles, which are made up of varying levels of Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic learning preferences, however when we find the dominant aspects within a person’s learning style, we can focus more on those.

With these keys we are able to take charge of the communication that we share or receive, by making simple adjustments in the way in which we communicate with individuals and groups of people – and by taking charge of the way in which others communicate with us.

Basic Learning Styles
We all learn through a combination of the 3 basic learning styles. In each of us certain aspects are stronger than others.

Basic Learning Styles Overview Descriptions
V
Visual
Seeing and Reading
A
Auditory
Listening and Speaking
K
Kinesthetic
Touching and Doing

The basic learning styles are (V) Visual, (A) Auditory, (K) Kinesthetic.




Basic Combinations/ Dominant Learning Styles

VA/ AV
Visual
Auditory
Seeing and Reading
Listening and Speaking
AK/ KA
Auditory
Kinesthetic
Listening and Speaking
Touching and Doing
VK/ KV
Visual
Kinesthetic
Seeing and Reading
Touching and Doing


Basic combinations are (VA) Visual Auditory, (KV) Kinesthetic Visual and (AK) Auditory Kinesthetic.

·         Visual learners learn, share and receive best through pictures, photographs and visual displays.

·         Auditory learners learn and receive best through hearing and talking. They share best through words.

·         Kinesthetic learners learn and receive best through doing and experiencing and share best when demonstrating processes and ideas.

The impact

The way we learn impacts our:
  1. Study Methods and Teaching Style 
  2.  Sales Techniques 
  3. Presentation  and Public Speaking Style 
  4.  Coaching and mentoring methods 
  5. Ability to Retain and Share information 
  6.  Results in exams, presentations, sales opportunities. 
  7.  Communication Style 
  8.  Behaviours, Relationships 
  9. And our Future.
Assessing Learning Styles

If you wish to communicate better with a person - take charge of the conversation and observe.

  1. Ask questions that cause him/her to think. Note: Asking something that they easily have the answer to (like their name) will not reveal any signs. 
  2. When they answer a question, ask another. Use open questions to get them to think even deeper. (Eg. “Why did you like him?”, “What made you choose that outfit.”). The signs will become more apparent. 
  3. Ask them for directions from one point to another, in an area that they know reasonably well.
  4. Watch the direction of their eye movements, as they reflect upon the answers. 
  5.  Listen to their answers. Note the words they use and the speed of their speech. 
  6.  Observe their hands and body movement.

Notes
  1. If you are an observer, PLEASE do not answer for the person being assessed. This does not help at all. 
  2.  If you are being assessed – just relax. This is all normal and the knowledge gained will help YOU, in YOUR studies, communication and relationships.

Dominantly Visual Learners


Visual learners:-
  1. Eyes look up, or into the distance, when accessing information and answers to your questions. 
  2. Often talk fast using visually descriptive words, including colours and visual words – such as – Picture, vision, see, show, look, visualise, seen and saw 
  3.  May ask, “How does this look to you?”
4.    They use landmarks when giving directions. Road names are not as important to them, unless there is a very visible road sign with the name on it, or it is a major and well known road.

5.    They will normally start their directions with a well-known landmark. Eg. “Have you seen the KFC in Church Street?”

Dominantly Auditory Learners
 Audio learners:- 
  1. Glance occasionally to the ear on the non-dominant side, when accessing information and answers to your questions. (I.e. if they are right-handed they look left and vice versa.) 
  2. Talk a lot and like to dominate conversations they use sound words, with strong emphasis on key words. The words used are – Mission, story, heard, hear, listen, speak, say, whisper, understand, tell and ear.
3.    May ask, “How does it sound to you?”, “Can I sound you out, about..?”, “Did you hear about?”

4.    They use road names, traffic lights, circles and T junctions when giving directions. Landmarks are not as important to them, unless it is a national landmark – and even then they will tell you what the sign “says”, on the front of the building. They normally start the directions from where you are parked. Even if you are in another city!

Kinesthetic Learners


Kinesthetic learners:-
  1. Eyes look towards the ear on the dominant side and to their hands - when accessing information and answers to your questions. (I.e. Right handed people look to their right ear - in addition to their hands.) 
  2.  Often take their time and talk thoughtfully, whilst moving, holding their hands or fiddling. They use emotive words, such as – feel, feeling, felt, sensed, moved, cared and safe.
3.    May ask, “How does this feel to you?”

4.    They often do not like giving directions and when they do they will talk and show, whilst physically showing the journey, using body and hand movements. 

5.    They are happier if they can find somebody else to give directions, or get you to a nearby  place where you can get directions 

6.    In real-life situations - some very kinesthetic people may even jump into your car and take you to your destination!

Dominant combinations

Once we have these signs for the basic learning styles it is important to look for other signs that show the various dominant combinations. 

These are Audio Kinesthetic, Visual Kinesthetic and Audi Visual. The more someone leans towards one of Visual, Audio or Kinesthetic the more dominant that aspect becomes and the less dominant the other aspect will be.

Audio Kinesthetic Learners (Kinesthetic Audio) AK or KA

Audio Kinesthetic learners:-
  1. Glance from left to right - and to their hands, when accessing information and answers to your questions.
2.    Normally only talk a lot when comfortable and can at times take time and be reserved - thoughtful. They use sound and emotive words.

3.    May ask, “How does it sound, or feel, to you?”

4.    They use road names, traffic lights, circles and T junctions and body/ hand movement - when giving directions. 

5.    The more audio - the more talkative they are.
6.    The more kinesthetic – the more reserved and physically expressive they are.

Visual Audio Learners (Audio Visual) AV or VA
Audio Visual learners:-
  1. Eyes look up, into the distance and glance occasionally to the ear on the non-dominant side, when accessing information and finding answers to your questions.
2.    Often talk well with power words using auditory and visually descriptive words, including colours and power words.

3.    May ask, “I just want to sound you out. How does this look to you?”

4.    They use landmarks, road names, traffic lights, circles and T junctions when giving directions. 

5.    They find it easy to learn and communicate.

Visual Kinesthetic Learners (Kinesthetic Visual) VK or KV

Visual Kinesthetic learners:-
  1. Eyes look up, or into the distance and towards the ear on the dominant side and to their, when accessing information and finding answers to your questions.
2.    Sometimes talk fast – when comfortable – and at other times are more reflective and thoughtful. They use emotive and visually descriptive words.
3.    May ask, “Hold this and tell me how looks to you?”
4.    They use landmarks and physical body movement, when giving directions.
5.    The more visual - the more landmarks and openness, to give directions and talk or show.
6.    The more kinesthetic - the more thoughtful and reflective - and the more their body and hands will move.

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2 comments:

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Anonymous said...

I love the simplicity of the explanations.