Saturday, February 6, 2010

PowerPoint ... Good enough for all learning styles?

There are three earning styles that seem to emerge repeatedly throughout the research I did. Those were visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. However, there seem to be numerous other learning styles that all seem to relate to one of the three main styles such as:'
  • Verbal
  • Logical
  • Social
  • Solitary
Visual learners are very meticulous note takers. They are often captivated by colored pictures and words that relate to what is being taught (University of South Dakota, 2009). I believe that a PowerPoint presentation would be suitable for this type of learner as long as the information could be presented using the first contiguity principle that states graphics and text should match (Clark & Mayer, 2008, p. 80).

Auditory learners often seem as if they are not paying attention and tend to not care about the appearance of things as long as they can understand what is being said (University of South Dakota, 2009). Although an auditory learner relies on the audio or spoken word more than the visual graphic; the second contiguity principle suits both the visual and auditory learner by “coordinating spoken words and graphics” (Clark & Mayer, 2008, p. 86). Again a PowerPoint presentation would still be supportive to both types of learners.

Kinesthetic learners rely on practice and often require information to be delivered in digestible chunks (University of South Dakota, 2009). Lessons that are too long can cause frustration and often lead to disengagement. I find that out of all the learning styles I find myself in this category the most. I call it the adult ADD syndrome. Although I love pretty pictures and visual representation if something takes too long my attention stops. I find that is where the first redundancy principle is true in the fact that one may overlook a visual if they are too focused on reading the text (Clark & Mayer, 2008, p. 99).

Regardless of all the different styles and interpretations of learning, one needs to keep in mind that multimedia presentations have the ability to reach all audiences on different levels. With add-on tools such as Adobe Acrobat and Adobe presenter, PowerPoint has extensive capabilities to accommodate each learning style.

References------------------------------------ (2003-2007). Overview of Learning Styles. In Overview. Retrieved from

Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2008). E-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning (R. Taff, Ed., 2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

Moore, Carol. (1992). Learning Styles - Classroom Adaptation.

Nondestructive Testin. (n.d.). Understanding Different Learning Styles. In Learning Styles. Retrieved from ClassroomTips/Learning_Styles.htm

University of South Dakota. (2009). What's YOUR Learning Style? In Learning Style? Retrieved from index.html