skip to main content
Iowa Lakes Community College
main content

index of learning styles assessment

all iowa lakes community college students may access the index of learning styles assessment (free of charge) by using the following link: //
the purpose of this questionnaire is to assess each student’s individual learning preferences, which in turn will enhance educational success.  the online instrument, created by richard m. felder and linda k. silverman is used to assess preferences on four dimensions (active/reflective, sensing/intuitive, visual/verbal, and sequential/global).
when finished with the questionnaire, students will be given a line graph to show what his or her preference is for each dimension.  below is a brief description of each.
active and reflective learners
  • active learners tend to retain and understand information best by doing something active with it--discussing or applying it or explaining it to others. reflective learners prefer to think about it quietly first.
  • "let's try it out and see how it works" is an active learner's phrase; "let's think it through first" is the reflective learner's response.
  • active learners tend to like group work more than reflective learners, who prefer working alone.
  • sitting through lectures without getting to do anything physical but take notes is hard for both learning types, but particularly hard for active learners.
sensing and intuitive learners
  • sensing learners tend to like learning facts, intuitive learners often prefer discovering possibilities and relationships.
  • sensors often like solving problems by well-established methods and dislike complications and surprises; intuitors like innovation and dislike repetition. sensors are more likely than intuitors to resent being tested on material that has not been explicitly covered in class.
  • sensors tend to be patient with details and good at memorizing facts and doing hands-on (laboratory) work; intuitors may be better at grasping new concepts and are often more comfortable than sensors with abstractions and mathematical formulations.
  • sensors tend to be more practical and careful than intuitors; intuitors tend to work faster and to be more innovative than sensors.
  • sensors don't like courses that have no apparent connection to the real world; intuitors don't like "plug-and-chug" courses that involve a lot of memorization and routine calculations.
visual and verbal learners
  • visual learners remember best what they see--pictures, diagrams, flow charts, time lines, films, and demonstrations. verbal learners get more out of words--written and spoken explanations. everyone learns more when information is presented both visually and verbally.
  • in most college classes very little visual information is presented: students mainly listen to lectures and read material written on chalkboards and in textbooks and handouts. unfortunately, most people are visual learners, which means that most students do not get nearly as much as they would if more visual presentation were used in class. good learners are capable of processing information presented either visually or verbally.
sequential and global learners
  • sequential learners tend to gain understanding in linear steps, with each step following logically from the previous one. global learners tend to learn in large jumps, absorbing material almost randomly without seeing connections, and then suddenly "getting it."
  • sequential learners tend to follow logical stepwise paths in finding solutions; global learners may be able to solve complex problems quickly or put things together in novel ways once they have grasped the big picture, but they may have difficulty explaining how they did it.
for the most comprehensive description of these learning styles and how to fully utilize these, please visit with a success center instructor on any of our five campuses.
© 2020 iowa lakes community college. all rights reserved.