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What’s your learning style? (LLG3)

What’s your learning style? (LLG3)

Our LLG3 reviewed two courses on edX.org. The courses were Introduction to Project Management and Inclusive Leadership: Get Beyond Work-Life Balance. After completing both courses, we discussed our learning experiences and aligned them with our learning styles. Two group members share the imagining learning style, while one identifies with the reflecting learning style. We will discuss what we observed and how it relates to our learning styles, and how each module attracts a variety of learners based off of their learning style.

Someone with the imagining learning style tends to look at situations from a broader lens.  The Project Management (PM) course consists of multiple objectives that cater to this learning style. The course focused on the learner's experience, shared experiences, and reflection revolving around project management. During the course, we participated in several assessments, weekly discussion boards and watched videos. Initially, the course asked the learners to complete two assessments. Our first assessment tested our fundamental knowledge of PM and requested us to self - reflect on concrete experiences while managing a project before completing the course. The second assessment occurred after completing the course material in week one. This particular assessment asked us to rate ourselves based on our PM skills. Each assessment provided results that gave us more insight regarding our knowledge, experience, and skillset within PM. This portion of the learning course focused on the constructivist theory of learning (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007). Constructivist theory of learning allows the learner to reflect on themselves. Imagining learners, learn by stepping back to observe and reflect on their experiences. Self- reflection creates new knowledge that can be utilized in the future.

In addition to self-reflection assessments, we also participated in weekly discussions. The weekly discussion encouraged us to answer specific questions regarding the week's lesson and to interact with classmates. This learning experience focused on the situative theory of learning (Merriam et al., 2007). The goal for the situative theory of learning is to engage the community of learners, in the hope that the learners develop new best practices, and change old practices (Merriam et al., 2007). Imagining learners enjoy working in groups where there is an open conversation. These learners love to gather information, listen with an open mind and receive feedback.

As for the second course, Work-life balance, our member with the reflective learning style seemed to enjoy this course more due to the opportunities to self-reflect. We recognized that the course material provided both independent thinking and group collaboration. Let’s now take a closer look at what we observed.  

The Work-Life Balance course required us to reflect on our lives rather than providing new information. The course started out by discussing the importance of work-life balance and why it is essential to understand its effect on one’s life. The course then began to test the learners’ knowledge of work-life balance following up with a review on the importance of flexibility in and out of the workplace. One of the highlights of the course occurred during the deep personal reflection exercise. During the exercise, we answered several questions regarding our lifestyles and priorities. After the completing the exercise the course provided a PDF file with best practices to enhance work-life balance.  This particular personal reflection exercise aligned with the transformational learning theory. Process reflection is part of the transformational learning theory that focuses on self-reflection and problem-solving strategies (Merriam et al., 2007). This theory focuses deeply on reflection and how the learning process cannot take place until this has been completed. When the learner thinks about their personal experiences, it is not until the reflection of those experiences happen that they learn the topic at hand. Thinking about personal experience and critical reflection are a strong part of the transformational learning theory (Merriam et al., 2007). Another part of this course requested us to visit the Work-Life Balance Facebook page where we discussed our experiences with other members and read about their personal experience. After reviewing our experiences with our classmates, we were given journal articles to develop our new skills further.

Overall both courses were informative and easy to follow. We all agreed both courses brought a lot of useful anecdotes, real-world examples, and provided video content to draw in the learner. However, the two learners with imagining learning style preferred the PM course. Whereas, our member with the reflective learning style enjoyed the Work-Life Balance course. As you can see, based off of our personal experience, one course may be more attractive to you. We encourage you to take a more in-depth look at your preferred learning style and determine which is more beneficial for your learning experience.

References

Kolb, D. A. (2015). Experiential learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and  

Development. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in Adulthood: a

Comprehensive Guide. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Contributors: Whitney Sutton, Portia Thomas, Joey Davis

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