Supplemental Content by Learning Style Project (VARK was chosen for this project after a review of ADDIE, SAVVY, and other adult learning theories/models)

This project was designed to test the effect of access to learning style focused supplemental content. We used four sections of Art Education Methods students (Elementary Ed, non art majors). These students, as teachers, will be tasked with teaching the Elements of Art and the Principles of Design. The Methods course teaches these along with the materials and process/techniques of art.

We tested all sections for VARK affinities, chosing each student's primary, while realizing that most people have a range of style comfort, to keep the variales simple. Each student then had access to his or her specific style-focused reiterated content through our password protected LMS. The control group had no access to the focused content; all students had the same lectures and labs.

VARK breaks learning styles ito Visual (show me an image), Aural (tell me about it), Read-Write (let me read it and write about what I learn), and Kinesthetic (let me play around with it). The education system is highly preduciced toward Aural (lectures) and Read-Write (textbooks, notes, and essays), so it was somewhat of a surprise to me to learn that we had a significant majority of primarily kinesthetic learners.

For the Aural learners we taped the teacher reading the lecture. We included the video feed as many Aural learners count on seeing the speaker, even though that was slightly beyond the simplest definition from VARK.

For the Read-Write learners we wrote out the lectures with a series of study questions, but answerig these was voluntary.

For the Visual learners we took the slides used in the lectures, grouped them with basic captions as to what concept each one represented, and let the students browse at will.

For the Kinesthetic learners I built series of manipulables that allowed "play" exploration of the concepts covered in the lectures. The images on this page are screen shots of some of those reusable learning objects (RLOs).

    

The Kinesthetic learner is comfortable with "play" and this perception allows the user to experiment in a way that scored multiple choice questions do not.I tend to utilize this whenever possible. But even with multiple choice self-quizzes, instant feedback on all answers, especially wrong answers, is incredibly valuable if you want your learners to understand the concepts behind the question.

The open-ended learning these provide (multiple "correct" answers to visual problems) can be extremely valuable. Learners not only explore multiple avanues to sucess (and failure, to be forseen and avoided), but also have fun while working and stay more focused and engaged in the training.

 

This example shows multiple options to show "emphasis."

   
Concepts covered in the Principles of Design include Balance, and Emphasis.

Concepts covered in the Elements of Art include Color Mixing and Value Scales.

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