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Sam Fowlkes
ACA Safety and Rescue Committee Chair
347 Paddlers Trail
347 Paddlers Trail
Sylva, NC  28779
T. 828 586-6563
F. 828 586-9649
336-202-5531
whitewatersam@gmail.com
www.whitewater-rescue.com
 
Learning Style Inventory!

Hay Group's website - awesome link!
 
 

Why Kolb's LSI3 Is the "gold standard"
LSI3 – David Kolb
Why this inventory is a MUCH better learning style evaluation instrument.


1.  Certainly an instructor could use the four stages of the Cycles of Learning only, but would have to use the new 12-item instrument instead.   The old instrument that had Four Rows of Nine Words is obsolete.  Kolb himself acknowledged it was unreliable and as we know, revised it several times. *There is really no going back to the old instrument--this was what got me researching into something better in the first place.


2. Regarding old Doer, Feeler, Watcher and Thinker classifications, somehow Instructors and Trainers got Doer and Feeler mixed around.

Instructors held CE (Experiencing) to be the Doer, and AE (Doing), the Feeler.  The Experiencing stage (CE) may involve acting and doing, but principally this mode targets sensing, feeling, grounded in reality (not just doing).  The Doing stage (AE) may involve feeling and intuitive as it makes immediate sense of a new learning experience, but focuses on getting things done and taking risks (the "Doing" may not be just physical skills, either).

The four stages of Kolb's Cycle should accurately be referred to as--Experiencing, Reflecting, Thinking and Doing.  The term watcher is not used in other learning style instruments and in my view, does not mean the same as reflective--we know what this was intended to mean, but RO is much more expansive and accurate than calling one a 'watcher'.

3. Instructors/Trainers also had come to hold that the classifications Doer, Feeler, Watcher and Thinker were absolute distinctions--cut and dried!  Everyone became a bit naive in this belief.  Once a person was classed as a Doer, that person "was always a doer."  The LSI 3 version, incorporating combinations of two stages is much more "real life” because circumstances, experiences and behaviors change as do individual learning styles.  Besides, RECENT RESEARCH has shown greater differences in how learners process information than previously thought.  It is not cut and dried!

The main thing that Kolb's Version 3 wanted to avoid was not stereotyping learners into a particular static style (as we did with the old way).  The refinement into four learning style types (Diverging, etc) makes it much more indicative of a person's process. 

Relative to cut and dried, in thinking of the classic teenager with a new kayak in a workshop (usually classed as a Doer), well....I suggest that this person, too, needs to have concept-driven instruction (blended appropriately for his maturity level) as he/she is enthusiastic about the new boat.
     With an entire class of younger students, obviously, I will adjust the amount of physical activity and drills appropriately for the audience, but the combo styles of the LSI--3 will give me much more information about each student.  A young, doing type student determined to be an Accommodating style, will give me much more info than just a classification of Doer (some who wants to be active).

4.  Most of the participants in ACA Workshops, Certification events, etc. are adults.   The socialization factors of communication, problem solving and working together are crucial for both adults and younger students, but especially for adults who have more life experience, and are not as physically oriented as young students.  This makes the LSI--3 pertinent for the experience level of adult learners, while still being useful for all ages down to age 12.

5.  Traditionally, schools (and education) have tended to favor ABSTRACT RECEIVING (AC) and REFLECTIVE PROCESSING (RO) and other modalities have been neglected in curriculum design, instruction, and assessment of achievement.  Using all modalities "within a Cycle" is a main value of the LSI--3. It serves as a stimulus, through Kolb's emphasis on using all four stages, for interpreting and reflecting on ways a learner can more effectively process information in SPECIFIC and new situations.  This may mean that a student will have to use another of the modes of learning that is not the dominant style.  This makes the LSI--3 "right for the times" with current emphasis on learning styles and real-life applications that allow learners to apply this knowledge to important issues in their lives.  *The Doing kayak student above, needs to "assimilate" the concepts about those rodeo moves on which he/she is working.

6.  Finally--
     A) Using the more refined types--Diverging, Assimilating, Converging, and Accommodating gives greater understanding of the learning process and enhances compatibility between instructor and participant.  *(Recent participants have told me this when I asked if the LSI--3 had helped them with the workshop)
     B) It is valuable for instructors in bringing increased understanding of the "selling points" of the inventory, regarding:  working in teams, solving problems, conflict resolution, and increased communication in interpersonal relationships.  Should lead to more effective instruction.

 

Hay Group LSI Tech Manual Free Download!
Hay Resources Direct  )
The best in research-based, practical & affordable assessment tools! August 2005
# In this issue Kolb Experiential Learning Space: Floor Mat
# Kolb Learning Style T-Shirt
# Kolb Learning Style Reference Card...Coming Soon!
# New LSI Technical Manual!

Dear Colleague,

The summer introduced a variety of new products to complement the experiential learning tools featured in Kolb's Learning Suite.

More detailed information for each of these new offerings is provided below.

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Hay Resources Direct

Kolb Experiential Learning Space: Floor Mat
TLE Floor Mat

This Twister-like floor mat gets workshop participants out of their seats and on to the Learning Space. While no one is ever instructed to place their left hand on the blue circle while placing their right foot on the red one, participants are instructed to stand in the place where they learn — on the quadrant that represents their preferred learning style (Accommodating, Diverging, Assimilating, Converging). Why would you want to use this Learning Space Floor Mat?

    * It's a great icebreaker.
    * It provides some powerful insights.
    * It starts the exploration of team learning profile.
    * It introduces learning skills.
    * It provides actual experience of the learning style concepts.

Read on...

Kolb Learning Style T-Shirt
LSI T-Shirt

Do you plan on using the Kolb Learning Style Inventory as an icebreaker in your next workshop or session?

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If you answered yes to any/all of the above, you need the Kolb Learning Style T-Shirt. Give participants this colorful, 100% cotton T-shirt and they’ll remember your workshop and the "aha" moments ("That’s why Zach and I are always knocking heads." or "I was always a little put off by Bella and her brusque attitude. I see now that it's just that she prefers people to get to the point.") it provided.
Read on...

Kolb Learning Style Reference Card...Coming Soon!
Coming Soon

Provide participants with a handy, easy to use reference card that highlights:

- Synergies/challenges of learning styles
- Ways to improve learning style skills
- Learning situation preferences
- Basic strengths of each learning style

Stay tuned for an update on this powerful learning style accessory!

New LSI Technical Manual!

If you are currently using the Kolb Learning Style Inventory it may be of interest that David Kolb has just published a new Technical Manual. It features a new norm population of 6,977 LSI users. This is a larger, more diverse, and more representative normative sample population.

The technical manual includes:

    * a description of the conceptual foundations
    * a description of the inventory's purpose, history and format
    * the characteristics of the normative sample
    * internal reliability and test-retest reliability studies, and
    * information on the internal and external validity

The LSI Technical Manual can be downloaded for free from our website.
Click here...
http://www.hayresourcesdirect.haygroup.com/Learning_Self-Development/Assessments_Surveys/Learning_Style_Inventory/Overview.asp

30% off all off-the-shelf assessment tools!
30%off
In appreciation of your business we would like to offer you a 30% discount off all off-the-shelf assessments now through September 30th, 2005.

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CAEL 2005 International Conference
CAEL2005
This year's CAEL International Conference will feature a pre-conference workshop on the Kolb Team Learning Experience.

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The Scholarship of Teaching!
THE SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING
Teaching to All Four Interrelated “Stages” of the LSI—3.1 Experiential Learning Cycle

One of the definitions Webster states for scholarship is—“the fund of knowledge and learning.”  This surely implies a broad based capability for meeting the individual needs and interests of the participants we teach.  Teaching to all four interrelated stages of a learning cycle will do just that and sharpen our teaching strategy in rescue classes.

Located elsewhere on this website, the LSI—3.1 identifies preferred learning styles and explores opportunities that different styles present for working in teams, solving problems, resolving conflicts and for improved communication.  All these factors are important ingredients for participants working together in rescue workshops.

The premise of David Kolb’s LSI—3.1 Inventory is that people are thought to learn through experience represented by four interrelated stages, or modes.  The process begins with an immediate or concrete experience which forms the basis for observations and reflections that are assimilated and refined into theories or concepts from which new implications for action can be drawn.  These implications are then tested and serve as guides in creating new experiences.   Refer to Table 1.
 
                                      Table 1.  Experiential Learning Cycle

       Visualize a cycle beginning with concrete experience and progressing clockwise        through all four interrelated stages, or modes. 


                                           
                                            CONCRETE EXPERIENCE
                                                        (Experiencing)


Accommodating Style                                                             Diverging Style


TESTING CONCEPTS                                                          OBSERVATION AND
AND NEW SITUATIONS                                                         REFLECTION
          (Acting)                                                                                (Reflection)


Converging Style                                                                Assimilating Style


                                              FORMATION OF ABSTRACT
                                      CONCEPTS AND GENERALIZATIONS
                                                               (Thinking)
Brief Summary of the Four Styles

Accommodating (Active/Reflective):
- Usually asks “What if?” and is good at initiating action.
- Solves problems in an intuitive, trial and error manner.
- Likes to apply course material in new situations.
- May have difficulty “seeing the forests because of the trees”….
Application: facilitator/instructor should be a role model and maximize opportunities for learner to self-discover.
Diverging (Concrete/Reflective);
- Usually asks “Why?” and is adept at recognizing problems.
- Solves problems by brainstorming, gathering information, and listening with an open mind.
- Likes to reflect on how course material relates to experience and interests.
- May have difficulty drawing conclusions and making decisions.
Application: facilitator/instructor should be motivator and task-master.
Assimilating (Reflective/Abstract):
- Usually asks “What?” and is effective at defining problems.
- Solves problems and desires information be presented in a logical, organized fashion.
- Likes time to reflect, create models, and develop theories.
- May have tendency to discount intuitive or emotional information.
Application: facilitator/instructor should serve as an “expert” in communicating the course information.
Converging (Abstract/Active):
- Usually asks “How?” and is good at making decisions.
- Solves problems by reasoning deductively, by doing, and trial and error.
- Likes to work actively on well-defined tasks.
- May avoid information about the “human” side of issues and may want to reach a conclusion prematurely.
Application: facilitator/instructor should be a coach/helper.

Suggested Activities for Teaching to All Learning Styles
These suggestions assume the reader has taken the LSI—3.1 and is familiar with the Kolb Inventory.

Although a variety of approaches will address differences in how people perceive new information, learning by doing is one medium that connects with all styles because learners enjoy being active.  Because swiftwater rescue is mainly a doing type activity practice drills and skills work will occupy most of the workshop time.

1) Even with the traditional method of lecture/discussion all four styles can be included.  Instructors and instructor candidates can formulate plans for, or make a brief practice presentation on a teaching topic so that it is designed to appeal to all four learning styles.
2) Group practice land sessions on Knots, Anchors, and Mechanical Advantage systems.  Practicing motor skills involves perception, thinking, and doing and requires various styles to blend their differences and strengths within a team.

3) A role playing skit or dramatization highlighting rescue principles is an excellent way     not only to address all styles but to coach different learners to consider other perceptual approaches to problem-solving.  For example, use role playing with a team of rescuers (instructors and assistants) solving a practice scenario with the class as the audience.
Role players:
a) As they solve the scenario the players would purposely violate accepted rescue principles as they progress with the solution.
b) Would assume a different role for each one of the four learning styles.
Diverging—could concentrate on “human” factors and not making situation worse.
Assimilating—would concentrate on defining the situation and organizing information into a concise, meaningful context.
Converging—would role-play reaching a fast decision rather than considering different perspectives.
Accommodating—role-play a rescuer who is ready to take action (“hands-on”) and is concerned with the immediate and urgent aspects of the situation.

Workshop participants (audience) would be asked to identify both the rescue principles being violated during the skit as well as the learning styles being role played.  Discussion might address rescue principles and the conflicts or synergies of the team as they solved the scenario. 

4) Once Rescue Scene Management has been presented in the workshop, having teams solve a rescue accident scenario is a way for groups to blend (synergies) and consider using strengths of the team.  Use a sho-card poster (or board) to display a river accident scene (assume cold weather so hypothermia is a first aid issue).
- Arrange groups of a least four participants (ideally, with each participant being a different learning style).
- Describe the rescue scenario and what the team task will be.
- Provide a handout for each group with about 9-10 rescue principles, in scrambled order, that each team must arrange sequentially as they decide their rescue plan.

Examples for the scrambled list:  establish upstream spotters, establish a rescue plan, check on physical well-being of any paddlers on shore and conduct an interview to gather information, establish leadership for the rescue effort, set downstream safety, gather wood/debris to make a fire for the victim when rescued, use L.A.S.T principle to assess the rescue situation, make verbal contact with victim and let her know you are going to help, assessment of victim’s injuries and treatment, and evacuation plans (if needed).

- As each team solves the scenario ask them to rank order (1-10, etc.) the steps the team would follow in solving the scenario.
- Teams should adhere to accepted rescue principles in their plan and strive to utilize the perceptual strengths of each member.
- Once completed have a spokesperson describe the team solution to the assigned rescue task.  Ask another team member to discuss how the team actually utilized different styles to arrive at their solution.

LSI—3.1 Builds Intrinsic Motivation
Using the LSI—3.1 to address and include all learning styles is expansive and fun, with many benefits:
- Cooperative interaction.  Due to each style having a polar opposite the styles
Diverging and Converging must resolve the conflict between intuition and logical approaches, whereas the styles of Accommodating and Assimilation will be challenged by differences between thinking first and acting first (the classic thinkers v. doers).
- Interpersonal factors come into play because different styles will begin to appreciate and respect different viewpoints.
- Participants acquire hands-on learning from each other.
- Better understanding of how to utilize the styles within a group encourages people to focus on strengths (synergies) rather than becoming bogged down in conflicting approaches.  This will serve participants well when working with   rescue strategies.
- Teaching to all four stages of a cycle will assist us instructors to be more adaptable, and improve the fit between our personal style and the different learners we teach.
Accommodating a full spectrum of styles will “keep us in style!”


References
1) Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory—Version 3 and Published Materials, distributed by Hay Group of Boston, MA.
2) The Kolb Learning Style Card, 2005.

 
 
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