Developing Appropriate Assessment Strategies

Assessment Success

When designing a new course, it is necessary to clearly define the course’s learning outcomes.  Every course must have a set of learning outcomes associated with it that anchor its overall design and guide the learning experience.  Read More …

Planning and Defining Learning Objectives

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As an educator, I have identified the need for a high quality e-learning course in introductory philosophy for all undergraduates pursuing any degree in any major.  Online introductory philosophy courses already exist at both of the community colleges where I work, so there would be no need to get approval from the curriculum committee to teach them.  Both Lone Star College and Houston Community College allow faculty members a great deal of freedom in how they teach the subjects they have been hired to teach.  Houston Community College’s philosophy department allows faculty members—even adjuncts—to choose their course textbooks (with the stipulation that they must be original texts by philosophers) while Lone Star College, though policies might differ from campus to campus, generally pre-selects a textbook (usually an anthology of philosophers or compilation of philosophical writings) for the introductory course in consultation with full-time faculty members.  The following course has been designed with these limitations in mind.

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Empirical Support for Learning Styles?

Learning Styles: A Critical Appraisal

Learning styles-based instruction is a method of teaching that matches instructional techniques to a student’s preferred style of learning.  The benefit of matching instructional techniques to learning styles is that students will learn more.  This claim is known as the matching hypothesis.  Despite the theoretical appeal of learning styles, the evidence for the matching hypothesis is minimal in the current research literature (Cuevas, 2015; Rohrer & Pashler, 2012).  Of the 31 studies published since 2009, only one—not without its methodological flaws—has supported the matching hypothesis.  With the lack of empirical support for learning styles-based instruction, downplaying the need to accommodate learning styles seems not only correct, but also necessary.  Educational resources are limited, and time and money need to be spent on interventions that have been shown by empirically-supported research to improve student learning (Newton, 2015).  In the following sections, I will examine learning styles and related theories, my own experience with learning and education, my preferred way to learn, and my success with various learning modalities.  I will show that learning styles are merely preferences that have little effect on actual learning. Read More …