Are Learning Styles Real? And What Do They Have To Do With i-Pathways?

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I hear and read a great deal of information about effective teaching strategies. Most of it focuses around adapting instruction to fit the individual learning style of the adult. The concept of a learning style where individuals have specific preferences to learning based on senses (visual, auditory, or tactile / kinesthetic) is so deeply embedded into education that it is commonly accepted as best practices. However, recently, these concepts have been heavily disputed. So, how do we approach instruction with or without learning styles –and how does i-Pathways fit into an instructional plan. While cognitive scientists agree that students have preferences about how they learn, research clearly demonstrates that students have the same instructional outcomes whether or not it is presented in their preferred learning style. The ‘new approach’ to learning styles is that teachers should focus on the universal learning style of the human mind.

 Basically, instruction should include a variety of experiences designed to engage multiple senses. The key elements emphasize students encountering information in multiple forms and experiencing novelty and variety in instruction. This is where i-Pathways fits. Throughout the curriculum, i-Pathways provides students with visual images, graphics, charts, text, and audio elements. The nature of navigating through technology based instruction appeals to the tactile preference. For many, learning through a technology-based system where the instruction is self-passed provides novelty to instruction. 

Fully addressing the universal needs of the learner by implementing a technology rich, rigorous, and engaging curriculum in i-Pathways will lead to increased student success, higher persistence, and greater learner satisfaction. 

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