A Taxonomy of Student Learning Styles for Use in Developing Independent Study

Brian Miller  Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education, UK

Abstract: This study develops a taxonomy of students in higher education which draws upon some theoretical elements of existing classifications.  The taxonomy has the specific objective of providing tutors with guidance on the use of independent study materials with individual students.  The paper provides a summary of the development of existing taxonomies in order to validate the academic foundation of the proposed classification.   The resulting taxonomy identifies six groups based on the dimensions of personality and approach to learning and utilises existing diagnostic tests in order to categorise a student.  The study describes in some detail the characteristics of each of the six student groups and has indicated the strengths and weaknesses of independent learning for each type.  The taxonomy described in this study represents a theoretically valid classification of students with practical value to teachers in higher education.

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