These days most of us like to take tests and quizzes that claim to be able to identify what kind of a person we are, how we can best be motivated at work and how to interact with different personalities. Learning is no different!
Many have used Honey and Mumford’s learning styles questionnaire to uncover if they are an activist, theorist, pragmatist or reflector. Honey and Mumford used Kolb’s experiential theory as a basis for their work. Kolb published his concept in 1984 and categorised learning as a concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualisation or active experimentation.
The idea that we all have a mode of instruction or study that is most effective for us to absorb information is very appealing. If we could tap into that we could guarantee success and academic achievement. Many organisations spend significant amounts helping employees understand their learning characteristics.
Interestingly, in 2009 Pashler et al agreed that people differ in the way in which they prefer to think and process different types of information. But what they also concluded was that there was currently insufficient evidence to support incorporating learning style assessments of learners into the way education is delivered. There was limited evidence of the mesh between receiving information in a preferred format and improved learning.
In 2015, Rogowsky et al created an environment to test this meshing hypothesis. Based on their study, there was no relationship between a learner’s supposed learning style and improved learning when information is delivered in this style. Further research by Hussman and O’Loughlin in 2018 confirmed this result.
So what does this mean?
Although we may indicate a preference when answering a question set, really good training will use a variety of methods to share information, test understanding and make connections between new information and existing knowledge.
At Capita, we use this knowledge to produce interactive training that gets our delegates firing on all cylinders. Health and safety can be a difficult topic to train with the preconceived notions many people have. Breaking down this barrier to learning is key which is why we combine well written, varied training with experienced and competent facilitators. Our trainers are experts in their area of health and safety who also know how to engage their audience.
If you would like to discuss taking your training to the next level, please contact Nichola Ebbern / 07711 778 390
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