I have read research claiming the idea of multiple styles of learning does not hold up. If so, what does the research say is the best form of learning/teaching?

closed as too broad by Nate Eldredge, Ric, Buzz, JeffE, RoboKaren Apr 26 '16 at 2:12

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    Which research? What exactly is "the idea of multiple styles of learning"? Express yourself clearly. – gnasher729 Apr 25 '16 at 23:20
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    Too broad. You are asking for a summary of the entire field of education. – Nate Eldredge Apr 25 '16 at 23:36
  • I agree with Nate. I think I know what you're getting at, as I have (also) heard that there are studies which report statistically insignificant or very minor gains from focusing on "visual learning" versus "auditory learning" versus "hands-on learning" etc. and mixtures thereof. But your question would be improved by including references, clarification of terms, and/or what school level to focus on if any. Possibly this would be better suited on another SE. We have a Math Educators SE, if you were mostly interested in how this sort of question pertains to mathematics, for example. – zibadawa timmy Apr 25 '16 at 23:50
  • All theories are criticized by someone. The real object should be to know the strengths and weaknesses of the theories in your field. Knowing this allows you to make appropriate decisions based on whatever it is you are trying to do. There is no single best way to learn. There are a plethora of different ways. What is best depends on the needs of the students which vary from class to class. – Darrin Thomas Apr 26 '16 at 3:22
  • @DarrinThomas: Not all theories are created equal. Some theories are flat-out false, and we should endeavor to know which ones they are. – Daniel R. Collins Apr 26 '16 at 4:50

Recent eagle's-eye overview of best-practice study methods: Dunlosky, John, et al. "What works, what doesn't." Scientific American Mind 24.4 (2013): 46-53.

Gold star winners:

  • Self-testing. That is: doing homework exercises and checking the answers.
  • Distributed practice. Studying regularly in batches over time (not cramming).

Runners-up (mixed evidence):

  • Elaborative interrogation.
  • Self-explanation.
  • Interleaved practice. ("Mixed practice")

What doesn't work:

  • Highlighting.
  • Rereading.
  • Summarization, keyword mnemonics, and imagery for text learning.

Multimodal Learning as per the article Multimedia design: the effects of relating multimodal information, M. Dubois and I. Vial

A statistically significant effect was observed on word memorisation in the different information presentation modes, suggesting better processing when there is co-referencing of the different sources, especially when the encoding and tests modes are the same.

In general, people learn better when the material is presented from multiple types of media: text, audio, video, etc.

The article is linked here:


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