There is, of course, some debate on the nature of individual learning and learning styles or preferences. Different theorists have brought forward different conceptions of how students approach and embrace the learning process, but despite some disagreements between them, all can agree on one thing: every learner is unique. What resonates with one learner may not resonate with another in the same way – or at all. With this in mind, it is important to ensure that you are doing all you can to provide students with a wide range of ways to meet your targeted learning objectives in your courses.
Some ways to differentiate your instruction in this way include:
- Providing audio and/or video captures of your lectures along with text transcripts or lecture notes
- Offer a range of instructional materials, such as links to website or YouTube videos, to enhance course content and provide students with a wider breadth of materials from which to study
- Adding variety to course activities and assessments to include projects, presentations, group work, and exams where appropriate, rather than sticking with just one type of assessment of learning
- Providing venues for students to ask questions, including open and virtual office hours (such as through Adobe Connect), and ensuring that students know how long it will typically take you to return a response in asynchronous venues such as discussion forums and email
The following videos can help illuminate the idea of learning styles even more, and are highly recommended. You may also want to investigate the OLT’s many workshops and tutorials available on various instructional technology tools that you can use to enhance your ability to reach every student.
- Sir Ken Robinson on Creativity and Learning
- Dr. Dan Willingham on how people learn
- Dr. Howard Gardner on the multiple intelligences theory