Seminar Papers

The Influence of Learning Style toward Teacher’s Lesson Preparation

The Influence of Learning Style toward Teacher’s Lesson Preparation

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The term learning styles refers to the view that different people learn information in different ways. In recent decades, the concept of learning styles has steadily gained influence. In this article, we describe the intense interest and discussion that the concept of learning styles has elicited among professional educators at all levels of the educational system.

Moreover, the learning-styles concept appears to have wide acceptance not only among educators but also among parents and the general public. This acceptance is perhaps not surprising because the learning-styles idea is actively promoted by vendors offering many different tests, assessment devices, and online technologies to help educators identify their students’ learning styles and adapt their instructional approaches accordingly (examples are cited later).

Learning style is the way in which each learner begins to concentrate on, process, absorb, and retain new and difficult information (Dunn and Dunn, 1992; 1993; 1999). The interaction of these elements occurs differently in everyone. Therefore, it is necessary to determine what is most likely to trigger each student’s concentration, how to maintain it, and how to respond to his or her natural processing style to produce long term memory and retention.

To reveal these natural tendencies and styles, it is important to use a comprehensive model of learning style that identifies each individual’s strengths and preferences across the full spectrum of physiological, sociological, psychological, emotional, and environmental elements. (International Learning Styles Network, 2008)

The Influence of Learning Style toward Teacher’s Lesson Preparation

  1. Lesson planning in accordance with learning styles

In all academic classrooms, no matter what the subject matter is, there will be students with multiple learning styles and students with a variety of major, minor and negative learning styles. An effective means of accommodating these learning styles is for teachers to change their own styles and strategies and provide a variety of activities to meet the needs of different learning styles.

Then all students will have at least some activities that appeal to them based on their learning styles, and they are more likely to be successful in these activities, Hinkelman and Pysock (1992), for example, have demonstrated the effectiveness of a multimedia methodology for vocabulary building with Japanese students.

This approach is effective in tapping a variety of learning modalities. By consciously accommodating a range of learning styles in the classroom in this way, it is possible to encourage most students to become successful language learners.

  1. Altering teaching style to create teacher-student style matching

The prospect of altering language instruction to somehow accommodate different learning styles might seem forbidding to teachers. This reaction is understandable, Teaching styles are made up of methods and approaches with which teachers feel most comfortable; if they try to change to completely different approaches, they would be forced to work entirely with unfamiliar, awkward, and uncomfortable methods.

Fortunately, teachers who wish to address a wide variety of learning styles need not make drastic changes in their instructional approach, Regular use of some of the instructional techniques given below should suffice to cover some specified learning style categories.

 (1) Make liberal use of visuals. Use photographs, drawings, sketches, and cartoons to illustrate and reinforce the meanings of vocabulary words. Show films, videotapes, and live dramatizations to illustrate lessons in text.

(2) Assign some repetitive drill exercises to provide practice in basic vocabulary and grammar, but don’t overdo it.

(3) Do not fill every minute of class time lecturing and writing on the blackboard. Provide intervals for students to think about what they have been told; assign brief writing exercises.

 (4) Provide explicit instruction in syntax and semantics to facilitate formal language learning and develop skill in written communication and interpretation.

  1. Fostering guided style-stretching

Learning style is a consistent way of functioning which reflects cultural behavior patterns and, like other behaviors influenced by cultural experiences, may be revised as a result of training or changes in learning experiences. The following are examples of teaching activities that guide students to alter their learning behaviors, stretch their learning styles and enable them to improve their language performance.

(1) Groups of four or five learners are given cards, each with a word on it. Each person describes his word in the foreign language to the others in the group without actually using it. When all students have described their words successfully, the students take the first letter of each and see what new word the letters spell out. (Puzzle parts might also depict objects in a room; in this case, when all the words have been guessed, the group decides which room of the house has been described.)

 (2) Class members are placed in pairs or in larger groups. Each student has a blank piece of paper. He listens to his partner or the group leader who has a picture to describe (the teacher can provide the picture or students can choose their own). As his partner describes the picture, the student tries to draw a rough duplicate according to the description he hears.

  1. Providing Activities with Different Grouping

In a class made up of students with various learning styles and strategies, it is always helpful for the teacher to divide the students into groups by learning styles and give them activities based on their learning styles. This should appeal to them because they will enjoy them and be successful. For example, the group made up of the extroverted may need to express some ideas orally in the presence of one or many class members.

On the other hand, the group made up the introverted may need some encouragement to share aloud and may want the safety of jotting down a few notes first and perhaps sharing with one other person before being invited or expected to participate in a group discussion. No matter how students are to be grouped, teachers should make a conscious effort to include various learning styles in daily lesson plan.

One simple way to do this is to code the lesson plans so that a quick look at the completed plan shows if different learning styles have been included. Putting “A” or “V” beside activities that denote whether they are primarily appealing to the analytic learner or the visual learner will serve as a reminder that there is a need for mixture of both kind of activities.

Meanwhile, simply designating various parts of the lesson plan with letters (I for individual, P for pair, SC for small group, LG for large group) and other symbols reminds the teacher to pay attention to learning styles. If the coding system is used on a regular basis, it becomes very natural to think in terms of providing the setting and the activities by which all learners can find some portion of the class that particularly appeals to them.

Lesson planning as a mental process

Before you plan your lesson, you will first need to identify the learning objectives for the lesson. A learning objective describes what the learner will know or be able to do after the learning experience rather than what the learner will be exposed to during the instruction (i.e. topics). Typically, it is written in a language that is easily understood by students and clearly related to the program learning outcomes.

Plan the specific learning activities: When planning learning activities you should consider the types of activities students will need to engage in, in order to develop the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate effective learning in the course.

Learning activities should be directly related to the learning objectives of the course, and provide experiences that will enable students to engage in, practice, and gain feedback on specific progress towards those objectives. As you plan your learning activities, estimate how much time you will spend on each.

Build in time for extended explanation or discussion, but also be prepared to move on quickly to different applications or problems, and to identify strategies that check for understanding. Some questions to think about as you design the learning activities you will use are:

  • What will I do to explain the topic?
  • What will I do to illustrate the topic in a different way?
  • How can I engage students in the topic?
  • What are some relevant real-life examples, analogies, or situations that can help students understand the topic?
  • What will students need to do to help them understand the topic better?

Many activities can be used to engage learners. The activity types (i.e. what the student is doing) and their examples provided below are by no means an exhaustive list, but will help you in thinking through how best to design and deliver high impact learning experiences for your students in a typical lesson.

The Influence of Learning Style toward Teacher’s Lesson Preparation

The term learning styles refers to the view that different people learn information in different ways. In recent decades, the concept of learning styles has steadily gained influence. In this article, we describe the intense interest and discussion that the concept of learning styles has elicited among professional educators at all levels of the educational system.

Moreover, the learning-styles concept appears to have wide acceptance not only among educators but also among parents and the general public. This acceptance is perhaps not surprising because the learning-styles idea is actively promoted by vendors offering many different tests, assessment devices, and online technologies to help educators identify their students’ learning styles and adapt their instructional approaches accordingly (examples are cited later).

Learning style is the way in which each learner begins to concentrate on, process, absorb, and retain new and difficult information (Dunn and Dunn, 1992; 1993; 1999). The interaction of these elements occurs differently in everyone. Therefore, it is necessary to determine what is most likely to trigger each student’s concentration, how to maintain it, and how to respond to his or her natural processing style to produce long term memory and retention.

To reveal these natural tendencies and styles, it is important to use a comprehensive model of learning style that identifies each individual’s strengths and preferences across the full spectrum of physiological, sociological, psychological, emotional, and environmental elements. (International Learning Styles Network, 2008)

The Influence of Learning Style toward Teacher’s Lesson Preparation

  1. Lesson planning in accordance with learning styles

In all academic classrooms, no matter what the subject matter is, there will be students with multiple learning styles and students with a variety of major, minor and negative learning styles. An effective means of accommodating these learning styles is for teachers to change their own styles and strategies and provide a variety of activities to meet the needs of different learning styles.

Then all students will have at least some activities that appeal to them based on their learning styles, and they are more likely to be successful in these activities, Hinkelman and Pysock (1992), for example, have demonstrated the effectiveness of a multimedia methodology for vocabulary building with Japanese students. This approach is effective in tapping a variety of learning modalities. By consciously accommodating a range of learning styles in the classroom in this way, it is possible to encourage most students to become successful language learners.

  1. Altering teaching style to create teacher-student style matching

The prospect of altering language instruction to somehow accommodate different learning styles might seem forbidding to teachers. This reaction is understandable, Teaching styles are made up of methods and approaches with which teachers feel most comfortable; if they try to change to completely different approaches, they would be forced to work entirely with unfamiliar, awkward, and uncomfortable methods.

Fortunately, teachers who wish to address a wide variety of learning styles need not make drastic changes in their instructional approach, Regular use of some of the instructional techniques given below should suffice to cover some specified learning style categories.

 (1) Make liberal use of visuals. Use photographs, drawings, sketches, and cartoons to illustrate and reinforce the meanings of vocabulary words. Show films, videotapes, and live dramatizations to illustrate lessons in text.

(2) Assign some repetitive drill exercises to provide practice in basic vocabulary and grammar, but don’t overdo it.

(3) Do not fill every minute of class time lecturing and writing on the blackboard. Provide intervals for students to think about what they have been told; assign brief writing exercises.

 (4) Provide explicit instruction in syntax and semantics to facilitate formal language learning and develop skill in written communication and interpretation.

  1. Fostering guided style-stretching

Learning style is a consistent way of functioning which reflects cultural behavior patterns and, like other behaviors influenced by cultural experiences, may be revised as a result of training or changes in learning experiences. The following are examples of teaching activities that guide students to alter their learning behaviors, stretch their learning styles and enable them to improve their language performance.

(1) Groups of four or five learners are given cards, each with a word on it. Each person describes his word in the foreign language to the others in the group without actually using it. When all students have described their words successfully, the students take the first letter of each and see what new word the letters spell out. (Puzzle parts might also depict objects in a room; in this case, when all the words have been guessed, the group decides which room of the house has been described.)

 (2) Class members are placed in pairs or in larger groups. Each student has a blank piece of paper. He listens to his partner or the group leader who has a picture to describe (the teacher can provide the picture or students can choose their own). As his partner describes the picture, the student tries to draw a rough duplicate according to the description he hears.

  1. Providing Activities with Different Grouping

In a class made up of students with various learning styles and strategies, it is always helpful for the teacher to divide the students into groups by learning styles and give them activities based on their learning styles. This should appeal to them because they will enjoy them and be successful. For example, the group made up of the extroverted may need to express some ideas orally in the presence of one or many class members.

On the other hand, the group made up the introverted may need some encouragement to share aloud and may want the safety of jotting down a few notes first and perhaps sharing with one other person before being invited or expected to participate in a group discussion. No matter how students are to be grouped, teachers should make a conscious effort to include various learning styles in daily lesson plan.

One simple way to do this is to code the lesson plans so that a quick look at the completed plan shows if different learning styles have been included. Putting “A” or “V” beside activities that denote whether they are primarily appealing to the analytic learner or the visual learner will serve as a reminder that there is a need for mixture of both kind of activities.

Meanwhile, simply designating various parts of the lesson plan with letters (I for individual, P for pair, SC for small group, LG for large group) and other symbols reminds the teacher to pay attention to learning styles. If the coding system is used on a regular basis, it becomes very natural to think in terms of providing the setting and the activities by which all learners can find some portion of the class that particularly appeals to them.

Lesson planning as a mental process

Before you plan your lesson, you will first need to identify the learning objectives for the lesson. A learning objective describes what the learner will know or be able to do after the learning experience rather than what the learner will be exposed to during the instruction (i.e. topics). Typically, it is written in a language that is easily understood by students and clearly related to the program learning outcomes.

Plan the specific learning activities: When planning learning activities you should consider the types of activities students will need to engage in, in order to develop the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate effective learning in the course. Learning activities should be directly related to the learning objectives of the course, and provide experiences that will enable students to engage in, practice, and gain feedback on specific progress towards those objectives.

As you plan your learning activities, estimate how much time you will spend on each. Build in time for extended explanation or discussion, but also be prepared to move on quickly to different applications or problems, and to identify strategies that check for understanding. Some questions to think about as you design the learning activities you will use are:

  • What will I do to explain the topic?
  • What will I do to illustrate the topic in a different way?
  • How can I engage students in the topic?
  • What are some relevant real-life examples, analogies, or situations that can help students understand the topic?
  • What will students need to do to help them understand the topic better?

Many activities can be used to engage learners. The activity types (i.e. what the student is doing) and their examples provided below are by no means an exhaustive list, but will help you in thinking through how best to design and deliver high impact learning experiences for your students in a typical lesson.

Plan to assess student understanding: Assessments (e.g., tests, papers, problem sets, and performances) provide opportunities for students’ to demonstrate and practice the knowledge and skills articulated in the learning objectives, and for instructors to offer targeted feedback that can guide further learning. Planning for assessment allows you to find out whether your students are learning. It involves making decisions about:

  • the number and type of assessment tasks that will best enable students to demonstrate learning objectives for the lesson
  • Examples of different assessments
  • Formative and/or summative
  • the criteria and standards that will be used to make assessment judgments Rubrics
  • student roles in the assessment process
  • Self-assessment
  • Peer assessment
  • the weighting of individual assessment tasks and the method by which individual task judgments will be combined into a final grade for the course

Plan to sequence the lesson in an engaging and meaningful manner: Robert Gagne proposed a nine-step process called the events of instruction, which is useful for planning the sequence of your lesson. Using Gagne’s 9 events in conjunction with Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy of Educational Objectives aids in designing engaging and meaningful instruction.

Create a realistic timeline: A list of ten learning objectives is not realistic, so narrow down your list to the two or three key concepts, ideas, or skills you want students to learn in the lesson. Your list of prioritized learning objectives will help you make decisions on the spot and adjust your lesson plan as needed.

Plan for a lesson closure: Lesson closure provides an opportunity to solidify student learning. Lesson closure is useful for both instructors and students.

In conclusion, letting your students know what they will be learning and doing in class will help keep them more engaged and on track.

Providing a meaningful organisation of the class time can help students not only remember better, but also follow your presentation and understand the rationale behind the planned learning activities. You can share your lesson plan by writing a brief agenda on the whiteboard or telling students explicitly what they will be learning and doing in class.

Plan to assess student understanding

Assessments (e.g., tests, papers, problem sets, and performances) provide opportunities for students’ to demonstrate and practice the knowledge and skills articulated in the learning objectives, and for instructors to offer targeted feedback that can guide further learning. Planning for assessment allows you to find out whether your students are learning. It involves making decisions about:

  • the number and type of assessment tasks that will best enable students to demonstrate learning objectives for the lesson
  • Examples of different assessments
  • Formative and/or summative
  • the criteria and standards that will be used to make assessment judgments Rubrics
  • student roles in the assessment process
  • Self-assessment
  • Peer assessment
  • the weighting of individual assessment tasks and the method by which individual task judgments will be combined into a final grade for the course

Plan to sequence the lesson in an engaging and meaningful manner: Robert Gagne proposed a nine-step process called the events of instruction, which is useful for planning the sequence of your lesson.

Using Gagne’s 9 events in conjunction with Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy of Educational Objectives aids in designing engaging and meaningful instruction.

Create a realistic timeline: A list of ten learning objectives is not realistic, so narrow down your list to the two or three key concepts, ideas, or skills you want students to learn in the lesson. Your list of prioritized learning objectives will help you make decisions on the spot and adjust your lesson plan as needed.

Plan for a lesson closure

Lesson closure provides an opportunity to solidify student learning. Lesson closure is useful for both instructors and students.

In conclusion, letting your students know what they will be learning and doing in class will help keep them more engaged and on track. Providing a meaningful organisation of the class time can help students not only remember better, but also follow your presentation and understand the rationale behind the planned learning activities. You can share your lesson plan by writing a brief agenda on the whiteboard or telling students explicitly what they will be learning and doing in class.

References

Ambrose, S., Bridges, M., Lovett, M., DiPietro, M., & Norman, M. (2010). How learning works: 7 research-based principles for smart teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.

Fink, D. L. (2005). Integrated course design. Manhattan, KS: The IDEA Center. Retrieved from http://ideaedu.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Idea_Paper_42.pdf.

Gagne, R. M., Wager, W.W., Golas, K. C. & Keller, J. M (2005). Principles of Instructional Design (5th edition). California: Wadsworth.

Gredler, M. E. (2004). Games and simulations and their relationships to learning. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research for educational communications and technology (2nd ed., pp. 571-82). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

The Influence of Learning Style toward Teacher’s Lesson Preparation

The Influence of Learning Style toward Teacher’s Lesson Preparation

The Influence of Learning Style toward Teacher’s Lesson Preparation

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