Information About Learning Styles

Learning styles refer to individual differences in preferences for the strategies used during learning and the input modalities for receiving new information. Several models have been proposed to describe different learning styles or modality preferences. Many of these models include descriptions of the types of situations and study strategies that individuals with a particular style are likely to prefer and self-scoring assessments that allow students to identify and describe their preferred learning styles.

Learning about your preferred modalities and styles of learning might help you identify specific study strategies that are likely to help improve your ability to learn.

Although taking a learning styles inventory might provide you with a description of your current preferences, remember that you are able to develop new learning skills and strategies. Successful learners know about and can use a variety of strategies for learning new material. Although you might continue to prefer one strategy or modality over others, the more varied your choices among strategies that you know how to use, the more successful you are likely to be as a learner.

Try new strategies and expand you set of learning skills!


Index of Learning Styles

The Index of Learning Styles is an on-line instrument developed by Richard M. Felder and Linda K. Silverman (1988). The ILS is used to assess learning style preferences on four dimensions (active/reflective, sensing/intuitive, visual/verbal, and sequential/global). The ILS model and assessment instrument were developed by ). The site at NC State University includes Information about the ILS, supporting research, and access to the instrument.

NC State University Index of Learning Styles

Kolb Learning Style Inventory

Kolb (1984) proposed four modes of learning:

Concrete Experience (CE)

Reflective Observation (RO)

Abstract Conceptualization (AC)

Active Experimentation (AE)

More information about Kolb's learning styles, including a short self-scoring questionnaire can be found at D. Duncan's site at the University of Colorado.
Kolb's Learning Style Inventory & Self-Scoring Questionnaire
Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Workshop on Learning Styles

University of Arizona

University Learning Center

Workshop on Learning Styles

The University of Arizona ULT site includes an workshop that gives an overview of learning styles and includes a self-assessment of learning styles on the VAK. The VAK identifies three types of learning styles:




This site also includes an instrument that describes your preferred learning style within this model.

UArizona ULC Workshop on Learning Styles
Posted January 11, 2009