Theories of learning styles are often deprecated today, but edX promotes them as an opportunity for students to reflect on their own strategies in this accessible infographic. It also uses them as a vehicle for promoting their courses.
The Wikipedia entry on Learning styles states that there is little evidence of learning styles accounting for better educational outcomes. For me, it is interesting that the exposure to digital communities and cultures that EDC has forced me to confront head on, has made my own learned (?) and habitual bias for text-based information clear. It feels dated and as if my own ability to learn is constricted.
An acknowledgement of different learning styles is secondary, perhaps, to a recognition or considered adoption of a philosophy on the ways in which learners construct meaning. In place of a purely connectivist course or one built around knowledge transmission, an acknowledgement of the very varied and complex interaction between students, ‘teacher’ and material would allow for more nuanced design. Such a course would provide opportunity for discussion and retreat,
Emphasis on participation in online discussions rewards participatory behaviour and punishes ‘lurking’ or ‘silent online behaviour’. This is a denial of differences in learning processes. (Gulati, 2008)
Gulati, S. (2008). Compulsory participation in online discussions: is this constructivism or normalisation of learning? Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 45(2), pp. 183-192.