My Study Problem

The different learning styles tested for in this survey are explained below. It is advisable that you print out this page for future reference (to print use your browser's print button above).

The following summaries are from the book, Teaching With Style: A Practical Guide to Enhancing Learning by Understanding Teaching & Learning Styles, Alliance Publishers, San Bernadino (1996), by Tony Grasha. Comments are by Dr. David P. Diaz and are not necessarily endorsed by Dr. Grasha.

Independent
Students who like to think for themselves and are confident in their learning abilities. Prefer to learn the content that they feel is important and would prefer to work alone on course projects than with other students.

General Classroom Preferences

Independent study; self-paced instructio; assignments that give students a chance to think independently; projects that students can design; student-centered rather than teacher-centered designs.

Comments

An independent learner likes a maximum of choice and flexibility and a minimum of structure and form in their learning environment. Independent learners like to be in control of their learning situations: 'Give me the minimum of instruction and then stay out of my way.' Independent skills are very important for future success. You will need to develop your ability to work independently, to see things that need to be done and do them, rather than waiting to be told what to do.

Avoidant
Avoidant students are not enthusiastic about learning content and attending class. They are slow to participate with students and teachers in the classroom. They are uninterested and often overwhelmed by what goes on in class.

General Classroom Preferences

Generally turned off by most classroom activities; would prefer no tests; prefer pass-fail grading systems; does not like enthusiastic teachers and does not want to be called on in class.

Comments:

Most students at the college level are not avoidant, however all of us have avoidant tendencies from time to time. After all, if we didn't have to attend school, we probably wouldn't. Most of us would rather do the things we want to do, and when we want to do them. Sometimes your avoidant tendencies come from having to take a course that is required for your degree program but which otherwise you would not prefer to take. Or, maybe you're just not feeling like coming to school today.

Collaborative
Typical of students who feel they can learn by sharing ideas and talents. They cooperate with the teacher and like to work with others.

General Classroom Preferences

Lectures with small group discussions--Small seminars--Student designed aspects of courses--Group projects.

Comments:

Today's businesses are looking for people who can work with others in product design or product development teams. While you may not prefer to interact with others in a learning situation, collaborative skills will definitely be needed in order to excel in future life and work settings.

Dependent
Dependent students show little intellectual curiosity and who learn only what is required. View teacher and peers as sources of structure and support and look to authority figures for specific guidelines on what to do.

General Classroom Preferences

Outlines or notes on the board; clear deadlines and instructions for assignments; teacher-centered classroom methods; as little ambiguity as possible in all aspects of course.

Comments:

While dependent learning styles may be portrayed as negative by some, dependent skills will be necessary in some circumstances in life. You will not always be able to assert your independence or work collaboratively with others. Sometimes you will need to sit back and observe, passively, while someone else leads or determines actions to be taken. Being a good listener sometimes is a passive process. You may want to lead, or talk, or advise, but the situation may call for you to relinquish these desires temporarily. There is a time for passive, as well as active, participation, so dependent skills will be an asset in some cases.

Competitive
Students who learn material in order to perform better than others in the class. Believe they must compete with other students in a course for the rewards that are offered. Like to be the center of attention and to receive recognition for their accomplishments in class.

General Classroom Preferences

Students enjoy becoming a group leader in discussions; prefer teacher-centered instructional procedures; like to be singled out in class for doing a good job; enjoy class activities where they can do better than others.

Comments:

It is interesting that, though we live in a competitive society, most students would rather not compete with each other in the classroom. However, students will compete if they know that this is expected by the teacher, and/or is a necessary requirement of the class. Further, such competitive skills may be necessary in a students' future occupation and thus is certainly a skill that may need practice.

Participant
Good citizens in class. Enjoy going to class and take part in as much of the course activities as possible. Typically eager to do as much of the required and optional course requirements as they can.

General Classroom Preferences

Lectures with discussion; opportunities to discuss material; class reading assignments; teachers who can analyze and synthesize information well.

Comments:

A participant learner is one who is motivated by whatever the instructor wants from him or her. They enjoy participating no matter what type of activity is chosen by the instructor.

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