Friday, April 12, 2013

Unchallenged assumptions

One of the obligations of graduate scholars is to challenge taken for granted assumptions. One common unchallenged assumptions in elearning ( and education generally) is the notion of learning styles. Beginning scholars in this field should be aware that the learning styles theory is contested. This is the case with all theories and scholars are charged with the testing and verification of theories. One of the most common criticisms of learning styles theory is that the theory has not been very well supported by empirical research. To understand some of the dimensions of the scholarly debate over the issue of learning styles see:

 Coffield, F., Moseley, D., Hall, E., & Eccleston, K. (2004). Learning styles and pedagogy in post-16 learning. Learning and Skills Research Center. Retrieved from and

Jay Cross, one of the architects of the learning model used by the University of Phoenix reviewed Coffield et al. (2004) and has this to say about Learning Styles Theory. Cross, J. (n.d.). Learning Styles, ha, ha, ha, ha. Time. Retrieved from

 Pashler, H., McDaniel, M., Roher, D., & Bjork, R. (2009). Learning styles: Concepts and evidence. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 9(3). Retrieved from

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham has be working to test and verify learning styles theory.

Willingham, D. (2005). Do Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic Learners Need Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic Instruction? Ask the Cognitive Scientist, Summer. Retrieved from

 Willingham also has a short YouTube video which presents his position on the matter.

 Incidentally this is a good model for the scholarly use of web based multimedia. Willingham, D. (2008). YouTube - Learning Styles Don’t Exist. Retrieved from

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