The Use of Learning Styles as a Tool for Curriculum and Personal Development

The Use of Learning Styles as a Tool for Curriculum and Personal Development

J. Hermon (2007).  The Use of Learning Styles as a Tool for Curriculum and Personal Development. 14.


A broadening of the range of acceptable subjects for entrance to degree programs in the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering (the School) at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) has led to an increasingly diverse academic background among the student intake. The recently introduced Product Design & Development (PDD) degree, in particular, is more diverse with significant numbers not having studied advanced level mathematics. Many also have art based qualifications on entry, rare among engineering undergraduates on the courses offered by the School. It can no longer be assumed that students entering the School possess the same fundamental knowledge, experience or approach to learning which has traditionally been the base from which to teach students on the Bachelor or Master of Engineering degree programs.

A better understanding of the student population was required and an investigation initiated. Part of this involved a survey of all stage 1 entrants to the School’s degree programs. Measurements of learning style preferences were used to identify differences and trends among the various cohorts.

Individual learning style data then provided a focus for discussion with personal tutors as part of a pilot Personal Development Planning exercise with the PDD cohort. This structured and supported process helps students plan their personal, educational and career development. The emphasis was on raising awareness among the students of their own preferences and to encourage a balanced development across the range of learning styles.


Authors (New): 
John Paul Hermon
Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
learning styles
student intake
personal development planning
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