11 Mac 2019




Learning style is basically one’s approaches or ways of learning. Every individual has his own preferred way of learning compared to others, therefore it is important to the trainers and educators to understand various styles of learning so that they will be able to effectively engage in transferring knowledge and skills. Learning Styles are researched since 19th century. The early learning research concentrated on the relationship between memory and oral/visual learning methods (Dunn, Dunn, & Price, 1975 & 1989). Later, the focus shifted to different cognitive styles and strategies that determine a learner’s mode of receiving, remembering, thinking and problem solving (Messick, 1976).

Four Types of Learning Styles
Learning style was developed by researchers to classify learners based on their approach to perceiving and processing information (Buch & Bartley, 2002). Learning style is defined as “specific behavioral pattern an individual displays in learning” (Campbell, Campbell, & Dickinson, 1996). There are various researchers who studied the learning styles and developed models of learning styles. The most used and researched models were developed by Kolb (1984). Kolb (1984) developed his model of Learning Style Inventory based on the Experiential Learning Theory where he outlined two related approaches toward grasping experience. They are Concrete Experience and Abstract Conceptualization. The four learning styles available in Kolb’s model are converger, diverger, assimilator and accommodator (Kolb, 1984). Table 1 below explain the characteristics of the learning styles and their application to teaching based on Kolb’s model.

Kolb’s Learning Styles
They are abstract conceptualization and active experimentation. Thus, they will be able to make practical application of ideas by deductive reasoning. They are also good problem solvers.
Small- group discussion and class room participation dislike lectures. They are not risk takers. Thus, they prefer data-based programs and prefer computer based learning.
They are good at concrete experience and reflective observation. Therefore, they tend to be imaginative and provide innovative ideas.
Traditional classroom based delivery that comprises of brainstorming sessions, reflective activities, lectures and rhetorical questions
This group uses abstract conceptualization and reflective observation. They are good at using inductive reasoning. They are “private learners”.
Prefer print-based delivery
This group of learners tends to use concrete experience and active experimentation. They are good at actually doing the things.
Like experiment. So, could use handson computer-based simulation games, online group works, role play games and observations. They prefer computer based delivery mode.

Learning style is basically behavioural approach to learning experience and they are influential in the learning and achievement of learners (O’Conner, 1998). Understanding learning styles mean; the students will be able to diagnose the need of learning process, the teachers will be able to consider as the foundation for better interaction, it is possible to build strategies for accommodating learning styles, it will allow to prepare student involvement in learning process, and it will allow the students to group as per their learning preferences (Kolb, 1984).

The learning styles have developed since 19th century and were well received and adopted by many countries into their educational and business sectors. This is due to the fact that understanding learning styles helps the educators and the trainers to deliver relevant materials in a tailor-made fashion. This created an enthusiasm and motivation among the learners to learn and practice what they have learned.

Buch, K. & Bartley, S. (2002). "Learning Style and Training Delivery Mode Preference," Journal of Workplace Learning, 14 (1), 5 – 10.
Campbell, L., Campbell, B. & Dickinson, D. (1996). Teaching & Learning through Multiple Intelligences. Allyn & Bacon. Needham Heights: MA.
Dunn, R. K., Dunn, K. & Price, G. E. (1975, 1989). 'Learning Styles Inventory,' Price Systems, Lawrence, KS.
Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential Learning, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
Messick, S. (1976). 'Personal Styles and Educational Options,' Individuality in Learning. Jossey Bass, San Francisco.
O'Conner, T. (1998). 'Using Learning Style to Adapt Technology for Higher Education,' Retrieved from: http://www.indstate.edu/ctl/styles/learning.html.

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