Free Functional Skills and Skills for Life resources
Learning Styles or Preferences
Learning styles are now considered unimportant: the emphasis has shifted to active learning and a blend of teaching/learning strategies (based on Evidence based teaching) for ALL learners.
However, information on learning "preferences" is still useful for PGCE / Cert Ed. study or simply for reference and ideas.
For specific English and Maths teaching theory sites see our CPD links.
A useful online learning styles quiz.
After 25 easy to answer questions you are given a VAK report (visual, auditory or kinaesthetic) accompanied by sensible suggestions for improving your study strategies and learning.
Generally the questions are easy to read, although Entry Level 1-2 learners may need some support.
Two on-line Learning Styles Interactive Diagnostic Screening tools designed by Ross Cooper (LLU, South Bank University). They do not rely purely on reading skills and are best explained by reading parts of the handbook (see note below).
Version one focuses on learning styles (visual holistic, visual sequential, verbal holistic or verbal sequential), version two also includes dyslexia screening.
Don Clark’s (aka as Big Dog) pages are stuffed full of training, learning and leadership advice, including excellent sections on learning styles (VAK, Briggs, Gardner, Honey & Mumford, etc.). These are discussed both individually and as whole and are prefaced by a very sensible warning about the current thinking on learning styles.
North Carolina University has an online Learning Styles Questionnaire. Instant results on a sliding scale in 4 areas: active – reflective, sequential – global, sensing – intuitive, visual – verbal. With background information and teaching and learning ideas. Probably best for higher level learners (and their tutors!). Suggested by Bob Davis, Basic Skills tutor – British Army.
A very useful (archived) site for both students and tutors involved in Key Skills at Levels 2 or 3. Covers Number, Communication, ICT and Wider Key Skills – many of the topics covered are equally suitable for Functional Skills support (e.g. report writing, DIY number project).
VARK has online or printable learning styles questionnaires. Learning style theories are no longer “in vogue” but in past years I have found these questionnaires useful for Entry level students with low literacy as there are only 13 questions. There are also special versions for young people and athletes.