Learning Styles;  Global - Analytical

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The Global extreme in this continuum is seen in students who benefit by seeing the end result, the whole picture, the goal they are reaching for.  You might hear them say, "Show me what you want, I'll figure out how to get there."  Students who are global learners are good at creating visions, understanding the long term effects, and because they see the end results, they are usually good at remaining focused, knowing what the final outcome will be.   They learn by using their intuition, playing with ideas that are being taught.  

To accommodate the global learner, it is best to provide them with the end result you are asking them to reach.  In the opening paragraph or slide of your content, give them an image of the whole picture. Let them know what the intent of this particular class session is.  It is also important in projects that are extensive, to provide them with goals that they reach that are end results along the way to the end of the project. 

The global learner typically enjoys working in groups, prefers open-ended questions, relate things they learn to their personal life, and are good at multi-tasking.  These students are more comfortable in a flexible, learning environment.

The Analytical end of this continuum is someone who organizes the process.  These are students who break the project into pieces, figure out how to do each part, and figure out how it all fits together.  Analytical learners enjoy having a list of the steps needed and the sequence they need to follow. They are disciplined, detail oriented, wanting to know all the parts involved in the learning required. Analytical learners actually read instructions before trying to put something together.  It is important in encouraging them to direct them toward the goal. 

It is important in accommodating them to break the project into pieces, to show the sequence of progression, to encourage each step they have devised.  Providing lists, charts and timelines are helpful for these students. They want to be able to systematically proceed through the given steps in any process.

The Analytical learner prefers working alone, likes multiple choice questions, is very comfortable in a structured, ordered environment and generally finishes one thing before beginning another.   These students appreciate a well structured leaning environment.

To accommodate these two styles, incorporate an explanation in the beginning of your course that describes the desired final outcomes of the course and then do the same for each class.  This gives the Global learner a sense of the vision, the whole picture.  Then proceed to list or show in a chart or graph the steps that will be taken to achieve that outcome.  Do this as well at the beginning of each class. This will help the Analytical learner in knowing the steps that will need to be taken.

At the end of your class, list the steps or material you have covered and again describe the whole picture that you have, by then, arrived at.   

A variety of activities can be offered, both done in groups and individually.  When working in groups the expectations of the work that is to be done in the group needs to be well defined.  Perhaps even providing a list of tasks or questions to be answered will be helpful.  Roles for the students in each group can also be defined.  This will allow the Analytical learner to benefit from this work as well. 

Assessments can also be done that are tailored to meet these styles.  Open ended questions that allow the global learner to be creative while the analytical learner can state the facts provide feasible options for both styles. 

Technologically Speaking...

Discussion boards can be used well to bridge the differences between the global learner and the analytical learner.  An on-line discussion board allows the analytical learner to think about the question and format an answer, but still allows the global learner to answer spontaneously.  The questions  can be designed to solicit responses that demonstrate a global learner's understanding of the whole picture while other questions would require of the analytical learner, an expression of the components of the concept.

Material posted on line can begin with an introduction paragraph that provides an overview of the concept, which benefits the global learner.  The material can also be designed to provide tables, charts and graphs to assist the analytical learner.