1- ILS: Active vs. Reflective How does the student prefer to process information? Active • • Learn info by doing something active with it: discussing, applying, or explaining to others Like group work more Reflective • • Prefer to think about it quietly first Prefer working alone
2- ILS: Sensory vs. Intuitive What type of information does the student prefer to perceive? Sensory (external) • • • Tend to like learning facts Learn through sights, sounds, physical sensations Patient with details and good at memorizing facts and doing hands-on Intuitive (internal) • • • Prefer discovering possibilities & relationships Like innovation and dislike repetition Comfortable with abstractions and mathematical formulations
3- ILS: Visual vs. Verbal Through which sensory channel is external information most effectively perceived? Visual • Remember best what they see: pictures, diagrams, flow charts, and demonstrations Verbal • Get more out of words, written and spoken explanations Most people of college age and older are visual, while most college teaching is verbal.
4- ILS: Sequential vs. Global How does the student progress toward understanding? Sequential • • Gain understanding in linear continual steps Follow logical stepwise paths in finding solutions Global • • Tend to learn globally in large jumps May be able to solve complex problems quickly or put things together in novel ways
Learning Style Preferences • What does it mean to have a learning style preference? • Does it matter? • Does the population exhibit preferences one way or the other? • Is there meaning full variance between people? 11
Validity of Index of Learning Styles “A Study of the Reliability and Validity of the FelderSoloman Index of Learning Styles” by T. Litzinger et al. Students from 3 colleges: engineering, liberal arts and education. ILS is appropriately matched to the intent of the scales, providing evidence of validity for the instrument. The reliability estimate based on Cronbach alphas ranged from 0.56 to 0.77. "Applications, Reliability, and Validity of the Index of Learning Styles" by R. Felder et al. Presented several studies on the validity of ILS. Alphas coefficient greater than 0.5 for most studies
Meshing Hypothesis • Hypothesis: Students will learn better when the instructional approach meshes with their learning style preference • Also called the Attribute-Treatment Interaction hypothesis • Most frequently expressed in connection with visual vs. verbal learners 14
Testing the Meshing Hypothesis 1. Be able to reliably categorize people into visual vs. verbal learners 2. Create treatments A and B. – Visual learners must consistently prefer A, verbal learners must consistently prefer B. 17
Testing the Meshing Hypothesis 1. Be able to reliably categorize people into visual vs. verbal learners 2. Create treatments A and B. – Visual learners must consistently prefer A, verbal learners must consistently prefer B. 3. Visual learners must perform better when taught with A, verbal learners must perform better when taught with B. 18
Testing the Meshing Hypothesis 1. Be able to reliably categorize people into visual vs. verbal learners 2. Create treatments A and B. – Visual learners must consistently prefer A, verbal learners must consistently prefer B. 3. Visual learners must perform better when taught with A, verbal learners must perform better when taught with B. – Conversely, verbals must do (relatively) worse 19 with A, visuals with B.
Criticism: Massa & Mayer, (2006) “Testing the ATI hypothesis: Should multimedia instruction accommodate verbalizer-visualizer cognitive style?” by L. Massa, R. Mayer, 2006 Results: 1. 2. Support for the verbalizer-visualizer hypothesis No support for the attribute-treatment interaction ATI hypothesis Conclusion: There was not strong support for the hypothesis that verbal learners and visual learners should be given different kinds of multimedia instruction
Criticism: Pashler et al. (2008) Learning Styles Hypothesis preferences Meshing Hypothesis presentation should mesh with the learner’s preference Provides criteria to design studies that provide evidence for Learning Styles. Results: Learning Styles preferences exist with no dispute BUT no evidence (according to their criteria) for the Meshing Hypothesis VT-MENA, Egypt. 21
Criticism: Pashler et al. (2008) - 2 “…we found virtually no evidence for the interaction pattern mentioned above, which was judged to be a precondition for validating the educational applications of learning styles.” “Although the literature on learning styles is enormous, very few studies have even used an experimental methodology capable of testing the validity of learning styles applied to education.” Moreover, of those that did use an appropriate method, several found results that ﬂatly contradict the popular meshing hypothesis.”