CS 5 Computer Literacy
A Challenging Class
There are two main reasons students will find CS5 to be a challenging class.
1. Because credit for CS5 transfers to the CSU system, CS5 has to meet the same standards as CS101 in the CSU system. This is a college level class!
2. Much of the material in CS5, terminology and current technologies for example, is likely to be new to many students. Because of this, students may find it will be time consuming to learn this material.
In order to maximize student learning, it will be helpful for each student to spend some time at the beginning of this class exploring her/his learning styles and how to put that knowledge to use in this class.
All students have preferred ways of taking in and processing information. Some students listen well, others need to see things demonstrated while others learn best by doing. Teaching methods also vary. Some instructors lecture, others demonstrate or lead students to self-discovery. Some teachers focus on principles while others focus on applications. Some teachers emphasize memorization and others emphasize understanding.
When a mismatch exists between the learning style(s) of a student and the teaching style of the professor, the student may become bored and inattentive in class, do poorly on tests, get discouraged about the class and in some cases drop the class.
To meet the challenge of addressing different student learning preferences in CS5, I will try to use a variety of instructional methods. If I am successful, all students will be taught at least partly in a manner they prefer and partly in a less preferred manner. Although students may not feel as comfortable with the less preferred methods, those methods will provide students with practice and feedback in ways of thinking and solving problems which they will have to use in their careers.
Fleming's VAK/VARK model
The following is exerpted from a Wikipedia article on learning styles.
One of the most common and widely-used categorizations of the various types of learning styles is Fleming's VARK model, Visual, Auditory, Read/write, and Kinesthetic which expanded upon earlier Neuro-linguistic programming (VAK: Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic or tactile) models.
Fleming claimed that visual learners have a preference for seeing (think in pictures; visual aids such as overhead slides, diagrams, handouts, etc.). Auditory learners best learn through listening (lectures, discussions, tapes, etc.). Tactile/kinesthetic learners prefer to learn via experienceómoving, touching, and doing (active exploration of the world; science projects; experiments, etc.). Its use in pedagogy allows teachers to prepare classes that address each of these areas. Students can also use the model to identify their preferred learning style and maximize their educational experience by focusing on what benefits them the most.
Read the complete article at:
Take the Learning Style Inventory
In order to help students determine their preferred learning styles, learning style inventories have been created. A learning style inventory consists of a series of questions about how you prefer to learn. For example:
1. I understand something better after I
(a) try it out.
(b) think it through.
Click the following link to go to a learning styles inventory. Answer all questions as best you can and then submit the inventory.
Take the learning styles inventory
Keep in mind there are no right or wrong answers to the inventory questions so be as honest as you can when answering the questions. If both options for a question seem to be true for you, choose the one that is most like you.
A profile of your learning styles is created based on your answers. Hopefully you'll be able to use the profile results to learn what you can do to increase your chances of doing well in this class!
Once you submit the inventory, your results will appear on screen. Copy and paste your inventory results into a Word doc. Save your Word doc with the name MyLearningStyles
Keep this file for later reference.
How can learners help themselves?
The following material comes from North Carolina State University.
How can active learners help themselves?
If you are an active learner in a class that allows little or no class time for discussion or problem-solving activities, you should try to compensate for these lacks when you study. Study in a group in which the members take turns explaining different topics to each other. Work with others to guess what you will be asked on the next test and figure out how you will answer. You will always retain information better if you find ways to do something with it.
How can sensing learners help themselves?
Sensors remember and understand information best if they can see how it connects to the real world. If you are in a class where most of the material is abstract and theoretical, you may have difficulty. Ask your instructor for specific examples of concepts and procedures, and find out how the concepts apply in practice. If the teacher does not provide enough specifics, try to find some in your course text or other references or by brainstorming with friends or classmates.
How can visual learners help themselves?
If you are a visual learner, try to find diagrams, sketches, schematics, photographs, flow charts, or any other visual representation of course material that is predominantly verbal. Ask your instructor, consult reference books, and see if any videotapes or CD-ROM displays of the course material are available. Prepare a concept map by listing key points, enclosing them in boxes or circles, and drawing lines with arrows between concepts to show connections. Color-code your notes with a highlighter so that everything relating to one topic is the same color.
How can sequential learners help themselves?
Most college courses are taught in a sequential manner. However, if you are a sequential learner and you have an instructor who jumps around from topic to topic or skips steps, you may have difficulty following and remembering. Ask the instructor to fill in the skipped steps, or fill them in yourself by consulting references. When you are studying, take the time to outline the lecture material for yourself in logical order. In the long run doing so will save you time. You might also try to strengthen your global thinking skills by relating each new topic you study to things you already know. The more you can do so, the deeper your understanding of the topic is likely to be.
For more information on how learners can help themselves, see: Learning Styles and Strategies