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What's Your Learning Style?

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Author: Nancy Rogers Bosse

Grade Level: 6th - 8th; Type: Psychology

Objective:

To determine whether volunteers remember more information when it is presented orally, visually or kinesthetically.

Research Questions

  • Do people learn better by hearing the information, seeing the information, or doing something with information?
  • Do people learn in different ways?
  • How can we improve people’s memory and improve the way they learn?

Memory is a person’s ability to remember information. Memory is necessary for learning. People learn in different ways. Some people are auditory learners; some are visual learners.

Materials:

  • 10 boys and 10 girls ages 11-13
  • 4 different sets of 30 flashcards (the flashcards should have simple pictures of nouns – objects or animals)
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Stopwatch or timer

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Gather the necessary materials. You will need four different sets of 30 flashcards, but the flashcards should be similar in appearance and difficulty. Also you will need to make an answer key for each set of flashcards. The answers do not need to be in the exact order, but you do need to know which cards were used for each of the tests.
  2. Gather your volunteers. You can give the volunteers the tests in small groups.
  3. For each test, provide each volunteer a piece of paper. Have each volunteer write his or her age and sex at the top of the paper and number their papers 1 through 30. When the volunteers are done, have them put their pencils down.
  4. For the first test, show the volunteers each flashcard from one set for five seconds without saying anything. Be sure each volunteer can see the flashcards well. After all the flashcards have been shown, give the volunteers five minutes to write down what they saw on the flashcards. At the end of five minutes, collect their responses.
  5. For the second test, repeat step 3. Then say each word on the second set of flashcards without showing the flashcards to the volunteers. Read the cards slowly and clearly, pausing five seconds between each card. After all the flashcards have been read, give the volunteers five minutes to write down what they heard. At the end of five minutes, collect their responses.
  6. For the third test, repeat step 3. Then show and say each flashcard from one set for five seconds. Be sure each volunteer can see the flashcards well. Read the cards slowly and clearly, pausing five seconds between each card. After all the flashcards have been read and shown, give the volunteers five minutes to write down what they saw and heard. At the end of five minutes, collect their responses.
  7. For the fourth test repeat step 3 except they do not need to put their pencils down.
  8. Provide each volunteer an additional piece of paper. Show and say each flashcard from another set while encouraging the volunteers to write the word on the additional piece of paper. Be sure each volunteer can see the flashcards well. Read the cards slowly and clearly, pausing five seconds between each card. After all the flashcards have been read and shown, collect the additional piece of paper that the volunteer wrote the words on. Then give the volunteers five minutes to write down what they saw and heard and wrote. At the end of five minutes, collect their responses. Thank your volunteers for their participation.
  9. Correct the results of the four tests. Record the data on a chart.
  10. Analyze the data and draw a conclusion.

Terms/Concepts: memory: a person’s ability to remember information auditory: to be understood through hearing visual: to be understood through sight kinesthetic: to be understood through action or touch; Memory and learning go hand in hand. In order to learn something you need to remember it and do something with it. Memory is essential to all learning. But people learn in different ways. Some people learn better by seeing, others by listening, and others doing.

References:

“Memory” at http://www.exploratorium.edu/memory/ “Memory” at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/memory/ “Human Memory” at http://www.cc.gatech.edu/classes/cs6751_97_winter/Topics/human-cap/memory.html “How Human Memory Works” by Richard C. Mohs, PhD at http://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/systems/nervous-system/human-memory.htm “Memory and Learning” at http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/d/d_07/d_07_p/d_07_p_tra/d_07_p_tra.html

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