visual learners

Using Media Theory to Appeal to Students With Different Learning Styles

Image Credit: Mario Tama for "Lens Blog" New York Times

“Were all instructors to realize that the quality of mental process, not the production of correct answers, is the measure of educative growth something hardly less than a revolution in teaching would be worked.”

― John Dewey, Democracy and Education

By Sarah Sussman

Perhaps like many of my students, it was my art and photography classes that taught me how to close read. How does one draw a chain link fence?  Slowly creating each gray line allowed me to think about the fence abstractly. Trying to photograph that same fence from different vantage points similarly changed the whole look of the fence, reinforcing that fences could be metaphors; that photos were constructed and had meaning. The time and attention to detail that art requires pairs naturally well with the kind of microcosmic thinking that close reading and analysis calls for. As instructors, we frequently bank on this dual power that visual media has: to make lessons memorable, and to help students to think about problems more abstractly.

Workflowy in the classroom

Workflowy screen shot 1

By Jenn Shapland

To accommodate students who learn best when things are written out, rather than spoken, I use Workflowy to bring together the usually separate processes of teaching and tracking a class: daily lesson planning, real-time note taking, logging assignments and due dates, and creating a daily archive of class schedule and discussions. In other words, I use one platform—one set of notes—to plan my class each day; to provide a written schedule of each class day’s work and assignments; to display the current day’s plan on screen during class; to take notes on screen during discussions; and to provide students (and myself) with a day-by-day record of the entire semester accessible from the course website.

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