Assessments on Learning Style
March 2, 2010 3:24 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of any good learning style assessments? I've done some searches online and the ones I've found are average at best. What I'm looking for is something that really determines how a person thinks and determines what your primary learning style is. If there are any psychologists reading this, are you familiar with any inventories or assessments that work this way? I'd also like some additional information on what methods of study and learning work best for a given learning style.
posted by Garden to Education (8 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Kolb Learning Style Inventory is something I do occasionally with my students.
posted by quodlibet at 3:26 PM on March 2, 2010

Ditto the Kolb LSI.
posted by DrGail at 4:10 PM on March 2, 2010

There's actually a lot of debate about whether assessing learning styles works at all - there's a surprising lack of research evidence that it does.

But if you want a good overview of the different learning styles out there, I recommend starting with "Is there a role for learning styles in personalised education and training?", International Journal of Lifelong Education, Vol. 24 No. 3. It gives a breakdown of 71 different models (focus in the article is on the 13 most representative).
posted by Paragon at 4:10 PM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

If you trust, they have an article outlining different learning/thinking styles

They also have a quiz.

After the quiz there are links to articles about the different learning styles. You can also try searching for whichever learning type you think you are, and seeing what information is out there.

This site seems pretty good too, in terms of describing and identifying the different styles.
posted by sentient at 6:15 PM on March 2, 2010

Will at Work Learning is a pretty good blog about learning, written by Will Thalheimer. He wrote a post about a month ago, which may be of interest: "Learning Styles Reviewed by Association for Psychological Science AND FOUND WANTING." His article provides citations for your further research.
posted by Houstonian at 4:33 AM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

"something that really determines how a person thinks and determines what your primary learning style is"

The answer is just what the previous responses mention--learning styles are at least 50% bunk. The problem is that people do not have one exclusive style of learning. Maybe you have a slight advantage using visual information, but you certainly can learn using written or kinesthetic information. In fact, most people learn best when they get the same information from multiple formats. You are also limited by the material-- I do not suggest trying to learn algebra using only kinesthetic instruction.

So the "average" tests you're finding online are probably the most useful you are going to find. The benefit from these tests comes from the discussion of study skills that follow (like the page linked above). Monitoring the effectiveness of your study strategies and trying new methods will help you become a better student. Just knowing you are a "visual learner" (and/or trying to convince an instructor to only teach that way) is not useful.
posted by parkerjackson at 6:17 AM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Okay, I understand what you are all saying about learning styles being limited and not very scientifically validated.

What would one do to help someone who thinks primarily in terms of words? I know some students who have Aspergers Syndrome that don't really think visually or from an auditory perspective. They think totally in the literal sense of words. How could one assist someone who has this particular thinking style or preference? What suggestions or strategies could I try to implement to facilitate greater understanding and a new way of looking at problems?

I hope there are some methods or suggestions I could make to help someone out with this learning style.
posted by Garden at 2:38 PM on March 3, 2010

Why don't you start with instructional strategies for Asperger's Syndrome? That's an extreme learning style that the typical assessment is not designed to measure or respond to. In a cursory search (Googling "Aspergers Syndrom Instructional Strategies"), I found this book. Chapter 3 addresses teaching content to students with this syndrome.
posted by parkerjackson at 12:50 PM on March 4, 2010

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