Plans, types and styles, oh my! Results from our learning behavior survey
The results are finally in from the survey inspired by Anne’s Learning
tips. 1774 people – speakers of English, German, Spanish, French
and Italian – have participated. To tell you the truth, the feedback was
overwhelming: free comments alone added up to over one hundred pages.
We read every last one of them, we sorted them, we evaluated them.
Here we assemble our first conclusions for you. They considerably
rattle the idea, or shall we say, myth, of “learning styles”.
General agreement with the Learning Tips was high, over 75%. But there
were two particular tips on which opinions where clearly split:
1) Set a plan and don’t stick to it
2) Your style of learning keeps changing
Only 57% agreed with these tips. 24% weren’t sure. 18% wouldn’t
recommend them to others.
18% of participants make a plan and stick to it.
Plan at least how often a week you will take up your study, and stick to that, even if you only rehearse some vocabulary
29% are concerned about getting muddled if they diverge from a plan
I’m afraid that without following a plan I could become disorganized
35% have a plan that they don’t stick to
I set a plan but usually by the end of week one it is in disarray…..panic at work or distractions at home etc
Sticking to the wrong, but well intended plan hinders. Be flexible and open.
16% don’t need a plan
I think it’s important to just keep at it. You don’t need a plan for that… just dedication!
47% could never fit into any one type
My teacher has tried to work out my learning style too…I don’t seem to be any, I change!
We all have different learning skills and tolerances – we have to hone to our needs.
33% never thought about it
I thought learning types were fixed—but if that’s not the case, even better. I’d like to learn more about that.
18% think there are set learning styles
Actually, I believe that for a person one learning style dominates, even when all of them are there.
31% of those who think that there are set learning styles, invented their own terms for their particular “style”:
Chaotic learning style
Set aside the time every day to work on a task, do not miss.
Out of all survey participants, only 5% considered themselves to have a
specifically visual, auditory, or sensory learning style:
I’m a visual learner.
We consulted Curtis J. Bonk, Professor of Instructional Systems
Technology at Indiana University and author of the book, “The World Is
Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education” about the idea
of learning styles. He thinks that although there are learning style
models for environments such as classrooms, the online world offers a
whole new way of learning.
“People have different learning situations, styles, benefits and
opportunities. The options available in online environments can make
learning formats even more diverse. With this in mind, successful
learning should be a result of interacting with content in an
individually preferred way. Some learn better by speaking the language
while others learn with the help of visual exercises. The more diverse
and fun the learning options and products, the better the success
rate,” Prof Bonk says.
There is no such thing as a specific “style”
Everyone has their own particular way of learning. We all have our own
strengths, weaknesses, methods and tricks. Thanks to everyone who
participated for all your comments and suggestions! We learned a lot
and we’re going to share what we learned. Promise!
I listen to how the others do it. That gives me new ideas.