This week is all about determining and understanding what our learning styles are. A self-assessment instrument known as Kolb’s LSI developed by Robert Vroman was answered and voila, you will have a better idea what kind of a learner you are. This questionnaire was designed to describe the way you learn and how you deal with ideas and day-to-day situations.
To the uninitiated, learners according to David A. Kolb can be classified as Divergers (no relation to the Divergent series by Veronica Roth), Convergers, Accomodators and Assimilators. Divergers take experiences and think deeply about them while convergers think about things and then try out their ideas to see if they work in practice. On the other hand, accomodators have the most hands-on approach with a strong preference for doing rather than thinking but assimilators have the most cognitive approach, preferring to think than act.
Personally, I would say that I belong to the assimilators group of learners. In that I thought that I learn best with lectures that start from high-level concepts and work down to the detail. I imagined myself to prefer organized and structured understanding. But after taking the inventory, I realized that I was wrong. Results revealed that I am more of a diverger type – a reflective observer. Look at my learning style grid below.
Divergers or reflective observers learn best from activities where:
- there are opportunities to observe and consider;
- there is time to think before having to act or contribute;
- there is opportunity for research and problems can be probed in some depth;
- they can review what was happening;
- they are asked to produce reports that carefully analyze a situation or issue;
- there is interaction with other without any risks of strong feelings coming to the fore; and
- they can finalize a view without being put under pressure.
Examining the results made me realize a lot of things. First, that to learn best, assess yourself honestly to reveal who you are. This will be very helpful in understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses. Second, it is possible that learning styles may change as we age. How we study when we were in our adolescent years may be different now that we are adults. Third, while it is true that we have a dominant learning style, remember that we also learn if we become assimilators or convergers sometimes. There are situations where have to adapt to our professors or leaders to our best advantage. And lastly, as a teacher myself, the pedagogical strategies that I use inside the classroom have to cater to all types of learners. It would be a good idea to determine the preference of my students before the start of a term to adjust to their needs.
Now, what are you still waiting for? Try to take the inventory yourself by clicking this link: KOLB’S LSI, open the pdf, and share the results in the comments section below. Have fun!