EXAMINING THE CORRELATION BETWEEN DISCIPLINE PREFERENCE AND SENSORY MODALITY PREFERENCE

C. Sereni-Massinger, N. Wood

Saint Leo University (UNITED STATES)
Students have learning style preferences that are often classified according to their visual (V), aural (A), read-write (R), and/or kinesthetic (K) sensory modality preferences (SMP). As is stated by Flemming's VARK, a minority of people prefer to use one sensory modality when internalizing information (unimodal), whereas the majority of people prefer to use two, three, or all four modalities (multimodal). The right mixture of teaching strategies allows for adults to problem solve while critically applying the total sum of their experience in a custom designed learning environment based on individual learning and sensory modality preference. A study was conducted to a follow-up to previous research which assessed whether there is a correlation between the effectiveness of reality-based focusing events and sensory modality preference. The results of previous studies indicate that the new reality-based focusing event curriculum that was integrated for the Criminal Justice Graduate students at Saint Leo University was a valuable learning tool. The current study examines whether any such favorable impact correlates to sensory modality preference and whether these preferences vary from discipline to discipline. In our conference presentation and paper we will discuss characteristics of an adult learner and the relevance of these characteristics to learning. We will present the findings of the research study that support whether a particular teaching method (reality –based focusing event) might enhance student satisfaction with the learning process. Finally our conference presentation and paper will discuss the Modality Preference Instrument, which can be an empowering tool for students to better understand their own sensory preferences and modify their study habits accordingly.