[Part of the Learning Processes Series by Marilynn Force ©, Regis University affiliate faculty member.] How the integration of Learning Platform software derived from text books will help various disciplines assimilate different learning styles.
About two years ago, while enjoying a cup of coffee at a local café, I was helping a Regis College student develop a project for a class she was taking from me. During our session she pulled up an accounting class she was taking online with Regis professor, Matt Daly, and showed me the various elements of her class that was helping her to learn the concepts of accounting.
I asked her to show me the text she was using and proceeded to review all of the bells and whistles that were available to her on the textbook website from Wiley Publisher called Wiley Plus.
At the time I was also teaching fundamentals of undergraduate accounting for the College for Professional Studies (CPS) and was seeking a way to serve my online students who were dominant auditory kinesthetic learners.
According to the Brookhaven Sensory Modality Preference Inventory, developed by the Dallas County Community College District, auditory learning means the brain needs to hear material to be processed, so it can capture and retain the concept.
For a Kinesthetic learner to learn they must touch a document during review of the material so their brain engages and captures the material.
For visual learners they must see a document to learn the lesson.
For a dominant auditory/kinesthetic learner the dominant visual environment of accelerated online learning can be frustrating and difficult when they cannot hear the instructor speak about the new information to be learned.
Within the function of the Wiley Plus software accompanying the accounting text, all types of learning styles are served with embedded podcast and auditory power point slides. Students are given the ability to print out lessons or exams for the student to work on then complete online.
After the CPS School of Management administration were presented with the functionalities of this software program, it was allowed to be integrated for use within the principles of accounting classes. Now all of the Regis online and classroom based students in accounting have access to the enhanced learning tools available.
Wiley Plus is not the only enhanced textbook learning platform that is used within the Regis online degree programs.
In my FIN 400 course, I use a similar textbook learning platform from McGraw-Hill Connect. This enhanced learning system allows the student to practice each assignment problem multiple times in their preferred learning style. Feedback on problems completed is immediate. Embedded within the problem the publisher has linked the part of the text where the problem was generated back so the student sees the context of the problem. This allows the student to understand the principles behind the problem. In practicing the problems by using successive, sequential repetitive process students are allowed to enhance and increase their cognitive development in their field of study.
In addition to the learning platform provided within the textbook, Regis classes then include an online interactive feature where additional postings by the instructor are added each week for the student to then digest each week’s material from the text.
Connect Success Academy offers the student enhanced instructions in the subject area they are studying in all learning style types. New assignments in developmental English are offered, additional writing assignments and opportunities to develop their personal learning plan, which is known as Adaptive Diagnostics, while participating in interactive blogs and discussion boards. These learning platforms help to enhance and develop the critical thinking processes of and for our students.
As Fr. David Clark said in his WSJ interview in 1991, and which holds true to today in 2012, to be of service to our students, (customers) here at Regis University we needed to change the structure design and delivery of education to meet the demands needs and challenges of our students.
Marilynn Force is an affiliate faculty member who has been teaching for a total of 22 years, 15 of which have been spent at Regis University focusing on finance and accounting within the School of Management. She has also taught for Metro State College and Webster University. Ms. Force’s career has focused on all aspects of small business development, entrepreneurship, management, communication and the creation of effective learning processes and anxiety cessation within the academic and business environment so critical thinking can occur. She is currently an ABD Doctoral Researcher working on the completion of her PhD in Education.