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Using styles for more effective learning in multicultural and e-learning environments

By James A Redmond and Carol Evans

Abstract

Purpose – This Special Issue contains selected papers from the thirteenth annual European Learning Styles Information Network (ELSIN) conference held in Ghent, Belgium in June 2008. One of the key aims of ELSIN is to promote understanding of individual learning and cognitive differences through the dissemination of international multidisciplinary research about learning and cognitive styles and strategies of learning and thinking. Design/methodology/approach – Three papers within this special issue consider how style differences can inform the development of e-learning opportunities to enhance the learning of all (Vigentini; Kyprianidou, Demetriadis, Pombortsis and Karatasios; Zhu, Valcke and Schellens). The influence of culture on learning is also raised in the paper of Zhu and colleagues and those of Sulimma and Eaves which both focus more directly on cultural influences on style, learning and teaching. Findings – A number of key themes permeate the studies included in this Special Edition such as: the nature of styles; the intrinsic difficulty of isolating style variables from other variables impacting on performance; inherent difficulties in choosing the most appropriate style measures; the potential of e-learning to attend to individual learning differences; the role of culture in informing attitudes and access to learning; the development of constructivist learning environments to support learning through an understanding of individual differences; and most importantly how one can apply such insights about individual differences to inform and enhance instruction. Originality/value – The papers in this Special Issue contribute to enhanced knowledge about the value of style differences to design constructive learning environments in multicultural and e-learning contexts

Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.ioe.ac.uk.oai2:4287

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