Module 1: planning for learning at work: learner's workbook

Understanding your learning styles

Page last updated: 2004

So, how does this information relate to our own learning and your professional development?

Task - writing exercise

Ask a friend or colleague to complete the learning style questionnaire. Discuss and compare your learning styles using the Cycle of Learning process:
  1. Reflect on the activity
  2. Draw your conclusions from the process
  3. Consider what this means for the future (What will you do differently?)
Take some time to record your comments.

Your response and questionnaire results

Understanding your learning styles can help you understand your weaknesses and strengths. Your responses may have included:
  • seeing and appreciating that others may learn differently
  • matching and seeking out ways to learn best
  • being aware of the importance of creating opportunities for reflection
  • building on and enhancing your learning styles.
You will recall that the Cycle of Learning involves:
  • doing something – experience
  • thinking about what has happened – reviewing/reflecting
  • drawing some conclusions – concluding
  • deciding what to do in a similar situation – planning.
If your questionnaire result shows you are already an all-round learner (i.e. no single style predominates - all four styles are virtually level) you are likely to manage each stage of this process consciously and well. Your Activist tendencies will ensure you have plenty of experiences. Your Reflector and Theorist tendencies will ensure that afterwards you review and reach conclusions. Your Pragmatist tendencies will ensure that you plan future implementation.

But what should you do if you have a strong preference for one style or another? You must make best use of the strengths of that style, but the real answer has to be that if you want to be fully equipped to learn from experience you will need to develop styles which at present you do not use. The following suggestions provide advice on how to set about this. It is best to concentrate on the suggestions which focus on your areas of weakness.