The importance of ensuring that students are reached by educators in the classroom at a level in which they can understand and take in the information being given to them is critical not only to their success, but also to reaching President Barack Obama's goal of having the highest proportion of high school graduates in the world by the end of the decade as well as the best-educated workforce by the year 2020. In order to reach those goals, it is imperative that educators incorporate various types of teaching methods in their classrooms so as to accommodate the various learning styles of the students they are instructing.
At University of Phoenix, educators and administrators understand how important it is that a student know the ways in which they individually learn best. As such, they have culled together a highly-interactive Learner Profile Assessment that is available online and also a component of the 2011 NBC Education Nation Road Tour, which University of Phoenix is sponsoring. The assessment asks users to choose one of three answers that coincides the best with 21 statements, like "you're a good listener," "you'll read anything that's in front of you, newspapers to cereal boxes," and "you tend to talk with your hands."
The assessment then tells the user what their main learning style is along with how they stack up when it comes to the other styles listed and in comparison to others who have already taken the assessment. The learning styles outlined in the University of Phoenix Learner Profile Assessment are: aural, solitary, verbal, logistical, physician, social and visual. Users can also sign up to get a detailed report of their learning style via email.
Through the University of Phoenix Center for Mathematic Excellence, students can take what they have discovered about their unique learning style from the Learner Profile Assessment to do better in a subject that many find difficult, especially if they have been out of school for awhile, like many University of Phoenix students.
"There are a lot of topics that were taught in kindergarten through high school that are expected to be right at a student's fingertips," said Ruth Geiman, manager of the Center. "Students who've been away from school awhile need to review them. The math they will encounter is not that difficult. The review can be very minimal or, if they want, they can spend a lot of time on it - it all depends on their free time and interest."
The Center for Mathematic Excellence features Running Start, an automated, Web-based tool that allows students to do a self-assessment to find out their strengths and weaknesses. Students also have access to practice worksheets and WorldWideWhiteboard™ Web conferencing, an online tutoring option that allows them to teleconference with their peers via the Internet and telephone. The various tools available through different mediums allows students to work on their math skills in the style that best accommodates how they learn.
A Vermont academic institution, the Bromley Brook School which is a boarding school for girls, also strives to cater to the unique needs of their individual students. The school goes so far as to create a specialized academic program tailored to accommodate each student's unique learning style.
According to the school's website, "When a student enters Bromley Brook boarding school for girls we develop an Individualized Learning Plan within six weeks of her arrival at the school, based on her unique learning styles, strengths and challenges. For example, an auditory learning style may mean that a student absorbs knowledge best through lecture and discussion. Visual learners grasp material through reading and film, whereas a kinesthetic learner likes a 'hands-on' approach in her classes. Some students will use a combination of learning styles."
University of Phoenix and Bromley Brook School are two examples of academic institutions that understand how a student's learning style can affect their academic performance and success. Because of this, the schools are working to help students discover the unique way in which they learn while also catering to those varying needs of each student type, which is a highly-effective way to boost academic performance and results. -Aricka Flowers, University of Phoenix Writer Network