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Adult Learning Styles. Created by Margaret R. Jones VCU 2005. Learning Styles.

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adult learning styles
Adult Learning Styles

Created by Margaret R. Jones VCU 2005

learning styles
Learning Styles

The education literature suggest that adult learners who are actively engaged in the learning process will be more likely to achieve success. Once adult learners are actively engaged in their own learning process they begin to feel empowered and their personal achievement and self-direction levels rise.

The key to getting and keeping adult learners actively involved is understanding learning style preferences.

(Blackmore, Jessica. 1996. Learning Styles.

knowles adult learning principles
Knowles’ Adult Learning Principles
  • Adult Learner’s need to know
  • Adults are goal oriented
  • Adults are autonomous and self-directing
  • Adults are problem centered (relevance of what they are learning)
  • Adults are practical and problem-solvers
  • Adults have accumulated life experience
litinger osif processes
Litinger & Osif Processes
  • Cognition: how one acquires knowledge
  • Conceptualization: how one processes information. There are those who are always looking for connections among unrelated events. Meanwhile for others, each event triggers a multitude of new ideas.
  • Affective: people's motivation, decision making styles, values and emotional preferences will also help to define their learning styles
learning theories
Learning Theories
  • Kolb’s Theory of Learning Styles Model
  • Meyers-Briggs Type Inventory Theory
  • Felder-Silverman Learning Styles Model
kolb s theory of learning styles
Kolb’s Theory of Learning Styles
  • Concrete experience: being involved in a new experience, relating to people, and sensitivity to feelings and people.
  • Reflective observation: watching others or developing observations about own experience,viewing things from different perspectives, and looking for the meaning of things.
  • Abstract conceptualization: creating theories to explain observations, logical analysis of ideas, systematic planning.
  • Active Experimentation : ability to get things done, risk taking, influence people and events through action.
meyers briggs theory
Meyers-Briggs Theory
  • Developed by an American woman named Katherine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs-Meyers in 1940.
  • Based on Type theory work of Carl Jung, a Swiss psycholanalyst.
the eight functions
The Eight Functions
  • Extroversion vs. Introversion
  • Intuitive vs. Sensing
  • Feeling vs. Thinking
  • Judging vs. Perceiving
the eight functions1
The Eight Functions
  • Extroversion vs. Introversion
    • process information externally or internally
  • Intuitive vs. Sensing
    • how we gather information intuitively or through five senses
  • Feeling vs. Thinking
    • how we make decisions based on emotions or logical/rational thought
  • Judging vs. Perceiving
    • lifestyle whether we are planned/organized or spontaneous/flexible

So…what's my type

By choosing four dominate preferences from each of the functions you create your type.


four quadrants learning
Four Quadrants & Learning
  • IS (Introverted Sensing
  • IN (Introverted Intuitive)
  • ES (Extraverted Sensing)
  • EN (Extraverted Intuitive)
four quadrants learning1
Four Quadrants & Learning
  • IS (Introverted Sensing
    • Learn by reading and observing
  • IN (Introverted Intuitive)
    • Learn by reading and reflecting
  • ES (Extraverted Sensing)
    • Learn by doing
  • EN (Extraverted Intuitive)
    • Learn by talking/acting through ideas
felder silverman learning styles model
Felder-Silverman Learning Styles Model

Developed by Richard Felder and Linda Silverman. It incorporates five dimensions. Two replicate aspects of Meyers-Briggs and Kolb models.

felder silverman learning styles model1
Felder-Silverman Learning Styles Model
  • Active and Reflective Learners
  • Sensing and Intuitive Learners
  • Visual and Verbal Learners
  • Sequential and Global Learners
felder silverman learning styles model2
Felder-Silverman Learning Styles Model
  • Active
    • Understand information by doing
    • Like group work
  • Reflective
    • Understand information by thinking about it quietly first
    • prefer to work alone
felder silverman learning styles model3
Felder-Silverman Learning Styles Model
  • Sensing
    • Like learning facts
    • Solve problems by well-established methods and dislike complications
  • Intuitive
    • Prefer discovering possibilities and relationships
    • Like innovation and dislike repetition
felder silverman learning styles model4
Felder-Silverman Learning Styles Model
  • Visual
    • Remember what they see (pictures, films, demonstrations, diagrams, flow charts)
  • Verbal
    • Get more out of words (written and spoken explanations)
felder silverman learning styles model5
Felder-Silverman Learning Styles Model
  • Sequential
    • Gain understanding in linear steps
    • Follow logical stepwise paths to find solutions
  • Global
    • Learn in large jumps
    • Solve complex problem quickly once they have grasped the big picture

Adult learners have a diverse range of learning styles so its important to incorporate a variety of formats such as:

  • Using visual aids to enhance your presentations
  • Using discussion and problem-solving activities
  • Explore issues with role-play
  • Using practical hands-on activities
  • Baron, Renee. 1998. What Type Am I? New York: Penguin Group.
  • Blackmore, Jessica. 1996. Learning Styles.
  • Briggs-Meyers, Isabella. 1995. Palo Alto, CA: Davies-Black Publishing.
  • R.M. Felder and L.K. Silverman, "Learning and Teaching Styles in Engineering Education," Engr. Education, 78(7), 674-681 (1988).
  • Hirsh, Sandra K. and Kummerow. 1998. Introduction to Type in Organizations. Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc.
  • Knowles, M.S. 1998. The Adult Learner: Fifth Edition. Butterworth-Heinemann.
  • Litzinger, Mary Ellen, and Bonnie Osif. 1993. Accommodating diverse learning styles: Designing instruction for electronic information sources. In What is Good Instruction Now? Library Instruction for the 90s. ed. Linda Shirato. Ann Arbor, MI: Pierian Press.

Created by Margaret R. Jones VCU 2005