People learn in many different ways. For example, when learning to use a new software program, you might read the entire manual first while your colleague instead opens up the program and starts experimenting. Although there are several different ways to categorize learning styles, many educators structure their lessons to include seeing, hearing, reading and writing, or doing in every class session. By designing lessons that incorporate auditory, visual, and kinesthetic elements, you can create opportunities for students to construct meaning and apply concepts. (You will learn more about this in Module 3.)
Read the following teacher quotes to gain some insight on working with students with different learning styles.
"We strive to teach by repetition. It's not like we just do an experiment once and then we're done with it, because oftentimes the students aren't able to retain it. Last week we had some students explain the different parts of the bioreactor. Tonight we'll start off with a review of the different parts of the bioreactor, and I will have the students assist in assembling it. They'll also have to look at a diagram to know how all the parts fit together."
— Deb Audino, Instructor, Biotechnology
"I present theoretical material, but I don't overwhelm them. We have sort of a bite-sized piece of theoretical material, and then we pause. Then they work with an actual experiment or two based on that theory. They work with it enough that by the time they finish doing the experiment and working up a lab report, they really have that theory set in their minds in a way that just talking about it or reading an example or looking at an illustration can't do."
— Leslie Barber, Instructor, Biotechnology
Imagine that you are teaching students how to use a new piece of technology. How can you take advantage of different learning styles to help all your students understand?