3.2. Individual Learning Preferences

Let’s Get Individual: What modalities help you give, receive, and store information? How do you prefer to learn new knowledge and skills? (AOE 3. Training Delivery; 3.2. Individual Learning Preferences)

3.2. Individual Learning Preferences
Learning objectives:
  • List the four elements of Ned Herrmann’s brain-based approach, and briefly explain each
  • Explain why it is important for trainers to understand the various intake methods 
  • Describe Howard Gardner’s 10 multiple intelligences
  • List the seven preferred learning modes outlined in the perceptual modality model
  • Define characteristics of adult learners (CAL) and chain-of-response (COR) from Cross’s adult learning model
  • Explain the purpose of accelerated learning (AL) techniques
  • State three key principles of AL
  • List two factors that may affect the speed at which adults learn
  • List two considerations for identifying presentation styles
The Learning Style Neuromyth: A neuromyth describes fallacies scientists discover about how the brain functions (Biech, 2017). There are a number of misconceptions about your brain and how you learn -- specifically being there is no measurable proof that learning styles exist, all learners learn differently and have their own preferences -- even though we know that all of us learn well through all modalities.If you provide learning that encompasses many different modalities: 
  • Accept that participants learn in different ways
  • Use different methods to facilitate learning for different preferences
  • When delivering training, strive to create a variety of approaches that use techniques and activities suited to all learning preferences
Herrmann’s Whole Brain Approach is related to the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument: a method of personality testing developed by Ned Hermann that classifies learners in terms of preferences for thinking in four modes based on brain function. This is a personality testing related to brain dominance to understand how people learn in terms of preferences for thinking in 4 modes based on brain function:
  1. Left Brain (cerebral): logical, analytical, quantitative, factual, critical
  2. Left Brain (limbic): sequential, organized, planned, detailed structured
  3. Right Brain (limbic): emotional, interpersonal, sensory, kinesthetic, symbolic
  4. Right Brain (cerebral): visual, holistic, creative
Multiple Intelligence: how people prefer to receive information, intelligence reflects how they process information. Gardner (1983) suggests that intelligence is multifaceted and the traditional measures such as IQ tests do not accurately measure all its facets and defines intelligence as:
  • A measurable aptitude
  • An aptitude that people use to create and solve problems
  • An aptitude valued by the culture
Multiple Intelligence Theory:  (Frames of Mind, 1985) Gardner describes how intelligences reflect how people prefer to process information; believes that most people are comfortable in three to four of these intelligences and avoid the others. READ: Multiple Intelligences: What Does the Research Say? Via Edutopia

Perceptual Modalities
: a learner’s primary perceptual modality and the preferred mode of learning may be one of these:
  • Print: learns from texts, pencil-paper, books, etc.
  • Visual: learns from slides, films, videos, exhibits, demonstrations, graphics, charts, etc.
  • Aural: learns from listening to discussions and questions-and-answer sessions
  • Interactive: learns from talking in discussions and questions-and-answer sessions
  • Tactile (manipulative/haptic): learns from hands-on activities, model building & sketching
  • Kinesthetic (enactive/psychomotor): learns from role plays, physical games, & activities
  • Olfactory: learns from and associates learning with smells and tastes
Cross’s Adult Learning: the barriers to adult learning, such as participation and development stages and conceptual frameworks to describe aspects of adult learning and stimulate related research:
  • Chain-of-response (COR): pertains to adult learning and the framework to identify the relevant variable and hypothesize their interrelationships. 
  • Characteristics of adult learners (CAL): suggests ideas for further research and for implementation for adult learners; specifically difference between adults and children so that alternative teaching strategies could be developed. 
Accelerated Learning (AL) Techniques and Principles: a method for speeding and enhancing both the design and learning processes. AL uses the techniques that maximize learners’ long-term retention by honoring the different learning preferences of each learner and using experiential learning exercises e.g. role plays, mnemonics, etc.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
: an instrument to help determine personality type based on preferences for extraversion (E) or introversion (I), intuiting (N) or sensing (S), thinking (T) or feeling (F), and judging (J) or perceiving (P); used in career development and team building; the MBTI was not designed to assess the level of maturity, degree of motivation, state of mental health or intelligence. This is a jool based on the work of Carl Jung to ask people to self-report on preferences. READ: An Overview of the Myber-Briggs Types Indicator 16 Personality Types

Silver and Hanson’s Learning Style Inventory
: MBTI was used to adopted as a spectrum of four distinct styles that help students learn:
  1. Sensing-Thinking (ST): Mastery Style 
  2. Intuitive-Thinking (NT): Understanding Style
  3. Sensing-Feeling (SF): Self-Expressive Style
  4. Intuitive-Feeling (NF): Interpersonal Style 
Adult’s Learning Rates: a variety of factors can influence the speed at which adults learn; factors that influence the time it takes for employees to learn includes: psychological, environmental, emotional, sociological, physical, intellectual, experiential, and age.

WATCH: The first 20 hours -- how to learn anything | Josh Kaufman | TEDxCSU

Identifying Training & Presenting Styles:
this can impact the delivery of the learning and impact the training process; the key is to be a flexible presenter and consider how you facilitate learning to adapt the content in a manner that appeals to all learners. 

Books mentioned in this episode:
  • Adults as Learners by Patricia Cross
  • Let Them Choose by Jillian Douglas & Shannon McKenzie
  • The First 20 Hours by Josh Kaufman
  • Learn Better by Ulrich Boser
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