|Finding your child’s personal learning style can be accomplished through various online tools or through your own personal observations. Many of the online tools are geared towards adults, making them difficult to use in assessing a child’s learning style. The questions may be difficult for a child to answer, or more likely, the child won’t have any experience with the topic of the question.
One tool, called the Learning Style Inventory (LSI), was specifically made for use with middle school children. The LSI is available online at the Learning Styles website. The online tool is based upon the Dunn, Dunn, and Price model, which assesses 21 different areas. This LSI has one of the highest reliability and validity ratings (Farkus, 2003). The LSI has an established record, and is being modified to be used with elementary and high school students, as well as adults. The online versions for grades other than middle school are supposed to be available 1st quarter, 2007. I believe this tool will give you the most thorough view of your child’s learning needs, making it well worth the nominal fee of $5.00.
A set of free online assessments that seems fairly accurate is the Abiator’s LSI Tests, but the Learning Styles Test #1 is a bit difficult for a young child. This site provides four different assessments, all of which provide useful information. Three of the assessments are simple check boxes for statements you agree with, making them easy for a child to respond to. Many of the questions are geared towards school work, and involve reading, which may skew results somewhat, but not significantly enough to affect the determination of your child’s primary and secondary learning styles.
There is also another free tool you can use called the “Solid A” learning style assessment. This assessment has about one dozen questions, with a simple response format. The one difficulty we had with this assessment is that several of the “visual” questions use reading, writing, or spelling in the examples. A child struggling with these core academic skills may indeed be a visual learner, but may answer the questions negatively because they have difficulty with the underlying skills. The assessment was fairly accurate, but not entirely. Because of its simple, child-friendly format, I recommend it for a general determination of your child’s primary and secondary learning strengths.
Another free inventory, which gives very detailed information is the Memletics Learning Styles Inventory. This inventory provides information on solitary, social, visual, verbal, aural, logical, and physical aspects of a person’s learning preferences. With 70 questions, this inventory can take longer to complete, but is well worth the effort.
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