C.O.D. Library ESL/ABE/GED Faculty Newsletter

October 16, 2008

How do we learn?

Filed under: General — Tags: — Jenn @ 12:17 pm

A couple years ago, I participated in a 4-day long intensive instruction workshop. While most of the focus was on strategies for improving our teaching, we did spend a fair amount of time discussing learning.  To kick off our learning session, all the participants took a learning style inventory that assessed our favored methods of acquiring knowledge and processing information.

I am a hands-on learner– I like to jump in and start doing as soon as possible.  If I’m in a workshop, I don’t always keep pace with the instructor but move ahead, skip around and explore on my own.  In this session, however, I learned one of the pitfalls of learning styles– they frequently influence our teaching styles.

We all know that not everyone learns the same– there are the hands-on learners like myself, there are those who prefer to watch and listen, those who make connections later on, those who need to take copious notes for further review.  Accommodating all these different learning styles is a challenge, especially when they don’t synch up with our own personal learning styles.

When I teach information literacy skills such as locating resources in the Library’s catalog or citing sources using NoodleBib, I naturally give students an opportunity to play around with the tools while I demonstrate.  This works for the hands-on learners, but for all the other students it may be a waste of time or a confusing process.  In the spirit of providing useful information to all of our students, the ESL and ABE/GED research guides have tools for other learning styles:  step-by-step online instructions and handouts [1, 2] that can be printed and saved.

I hope you’ll take a look at some of these handouts– feel free to print them out, copy them and distribute them to your students.  If you can’t bring your students in to the Library the handouts are a great way to introduce them to some of the skills they will need to find ESL and ABE/GED materials in the Library.  For students who have come in for an orientation, the handouts can serve as a handy reminder of all the things they learned (and maybe already forgot!) during their visit.

I’m in the process of bringing a lot of the handouts up-to-date, but as our website changes and resources come and go, there may be some discrepancies.  Please let me know if you find any confusing or incorrect information on these handouts so I can update them for you and your students.  Thanks in advance for your help!

ESL Handouts

ABE/GED Handouts

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