INFLUENCE OF STUDENT LEARNING STYLES IN THE USE OF TECHNOLOGICALLY-ENRICHED ENVIRONMENTS FOR TEACHING OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Universidad Huelva (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
Abstract:Following Lender and Silverman (1988), students take in and process information in different ways. In the opinion of these researchers, student learning styles can be defined by their ranking in four scales limited by the following extremes: active-reflexive, sensorial-intuitive, visual-verbal, and sequential-global. If the teaching style used by the professor enters in conflict with the apprehension style, preferred by the majority of the students, problems of conduct and low academic performance may appear.
On the other hand, the emerging European Space of Higher Education (ESHE), lends impulses to the substitution/complementation of an explication-based teaching by/with the development of high level competences, which are of use for carrying out professional activities in the new information-based society of the 21st century. In this context, we have been using in the last years constructivist methodologies and technologically-enriched environments (e.g., three-dimensional computer molecule models, simulations based on applets, interactive evaluation activities, etc.) in the teaching of Organic Chemistry to future engineers and scientific professionals. Based on these experiences resulted the interest to study the influence of the learning style on the students opinion about the applied novel methodological planning.
In agreement with the obtained results, the majority of the students possess a learning style primarily influenced by active, sensorial, visual and sequential components and characteristics. In particular, intuitive and verbal aspects were evaluated lower, which means that the students show preference for learning by doing than based on possibilities and relationships and therefore, prefer the use of visualization instead of texts and oral presentations.
The students, independent on their learning style, evaluate the use of an interactive informatics environment in the teaching of Organic Chemistry positively.
a) 91% of them recognize that the applied methodology promotes their active implication in the understanding of Organic Chemistry.
b) 94% think that the use of three-dimensional molecule models and interactive simulations has an important paper in the improvement of their comprehension of basic concepts related to the course.
c) 90% recognize that the acquired knowledge using a computerized environment is different from the acquired by reading a text. This refers not exclusively to information, but is something more complex, namely, the mixture of information, capacities, skills, etc.
R.M. Felder and L.K. Silverman, "Learning and Teaching Styles in Engineering Education," Engr. Education, 78(7), 674-681 (1988)
Keywords: learning style, technologically enriched environment.