Raw thoughts from Alex Dong

Know your learning style

I wasn’t a top student in schools. My parents got called into school to “figure out a solution” a lot often than others.  I excel in some classes like history, chemistry and math but not others like literature.  I was appalling bad at remembering all those beautiful Chinese poems no matter how many times I tried to remember them.  I have never really understood why until I took the “learning style” test.

During the test, you will get to answer 40 a/b questions and in the end, you’ll be presented with a report like this:

Results for: Alex Dong

ACT                  X                                REF 
     11  9   7   5   3   1   1   3   5   7   9   11  

SEN                              X                    INT 
     11  9   7   5   3   1   1   3   5   7   9   11  

VIS      X                                            VRB 
     11  9   7   5   3   1   1   3   5   7   9   11  

SEQ                                  X                GLO 
     11  9   7   5   3   1   1   3   5   7   9   11
  • If your score on a scale is 1-3, you are fairly well balanced on the two dimensions of that scale.
  • If your score on a scale is 5-7, you have a moderate preference for one dimension of the scale and will learn more easily in a teaching environment which favors that dimension.
  • If your score on a scale is 9-11, you have a very strong preference for one dimension of the scale. You may have real difficulty learning in an environment which does not support that preference.

So a few interesting things I learned about myself.  It’s very scary to realise about this at age 35.  If I have known this test early in my life, I am sure I would make a lot of choices quite differently. (Explanation can be found here. )

  • I’m a bit extreme on VISual vs VeRBal factor. This is exactly why I am so slow processing words, debating and remembering but I can clearly remember all the details of a street corner I drove past in a foreign city 10 years ago.

  • I’m a strong GLObal instead of SEQuence learner, which means I will not carefully follow through a sequence of steps and my thoughts jump around quite a bit.  This explains one long question in my mind.  No matter how hard I try, it’s almost impossible for me to get a high score in exams. I often forget to read the questions fully.

  • I prefer to play with something to understand it, that makes me a ACTive instead of a REFlective learner.  I guess this is the reason why I prefer computer programming instead of mechanical engineering because fundamentally I need to play to understand whereas most mechanical stuffs are done in CAD software and simulations.

  • I’m also a INTuitive instead of SENsing learner where I hate to repeat and love to play with new things.  So trying to force myself to become a diligence worker who consistently delivers just works against my nature.

In the future of education, I believe all kids will be “profiled” so that a personalised course set will be delivered that tailored to the student’s learning style.  I can smell some opportunities around the corner here.