Learning Styles Impact How Students Retain Information

A recent article published by Campus Technology, “Flipping to Adapt to Multiple Learning Styles at Minnesota State University” explores how one instructor flipped her classroom and used learning styles to effectively impact student engagement, academic performance, and overall satisfaction.  Chemistry instructor, Danae Quirk Dorr, used the four learning styles – practical, logical, imaginative, and enthusiastic.

Acknowledging that it would be a daunting task to personalize her classroom environment to 100+ students in a lecture hall, she set out with a list of basic objectives outlined in the article and implemented them to test her theory.  Included in her plan were reducing the amount of face-to-face lecture and class time by 50 percent, sending personal emails to students weekly with specific instructions on upcoming assignments, archiving all class materials, and recording lectures so students could view on their own.

She compared the results with her research findings of original work with the traditional classroom.  She focused on correlations between student learning styles and theAmerican Chemical Society standardized exam scores.  There were statistically significant findings reflecting higher scores in all 4 learning styles on the ACS exam as opposed to the traditional classroom.  It showed lower scores in 2 of the 4 learning styles.  From a faculty perspective, Quirk Dorr, stated “Overall and most importantly, I found my students to be very engaged and active learners throughout the semester. I believe giving students the responsibility and flexibility to use non-class time to prepare for a more interactive and collaborative face-to-face class experience has proven to be beneficial for all parties involved”.