Large numbers of students make it almost impossible for class teachers to work with individual students. LSA group profiles make it possible to divide students with similar learning needs into subgroups within a class. This will avoid mismatching style combinations and improve tolerance and discipline. Teachers also get invaluable insights into their students' thinking style, in which areas there may be undiscovered strengths, and how students can best learn.
This knowledge will be incredibly beneficial to the learning process, especially if NEW and/or DIFFICULT content needs to be conveyed.
Why do educators like to work with Group Profiles?
As soon as teachers are familiar with the LSA instrument and have experience in the interpretation of individual profiles, they can start using Group Profiles. The advantage is that without extensive reading effort, a Group Profile makes it possible to quickly grasp the Learning Styles of all students in an overall overview. This eliminates the handling of individual profiles - only in students with individual learning problems, the sifting of the single profile is necessary.
Group Profiles are useful for class teachers/group leaders/tutors/lecturers/seminar leaders and even day care providers (these terms apply to both genders) working with groups of any size. They show the synergies of the group, how learning content can be best communicated to the members of a group, but also which group members can best work together and in which way. In conjunction with the LSA Interpretation Manual, this is a powerful tool that enables lesson/unit planning and course preparation effectively.
This detailed LSA information is especially valuable for educators when they face new classes/groups whose learning behavior is not known at all or very little known. In order to reduce the need for trial-and-error strategies, uncertainty about appropriate methods and thus stress in the classroom, teachers need to know which learning style combinations of their students lead to real learning success. In addition to individual LSA profiles, Group Profiles are the most reliable source of information for student-centered instruction - like a 'pedagogical secret weapon', which leads to better discipline and lasting learning success.
Group Profiles enable educators to:
- observe extreme results (esp. strong preferences and non-preferences)
- sub-group students with similar needs
- use as many strategies and methods as possible to meet different learning style needs
- adapt the lesson preparation to the true learning strengths of a class and
- practice "double-tracking" in order to simultaneously satisfy both the analytic and holistic learning needs of their students.
Group Profiles are the key to a simple but successful introduction of Learning Styles in each class or learning group. But that does not mean that teachers have to be responsive to every individual learning need because students also do have the ability to be flexible. However, measures should be taken to adapt one's teaching style to the learning style needs of a class or group, especially in the field of sensory modalities. It reduces teaching stress!
This will unbelievably favour the learning process, especially if NEW and/or DIFFICULT theoretical content needs to be taught. More practical ideas can be found in the LSA Interpretation Manual and in B. Prashnig's books.
What do Group Profiles cost?
Group Profiles actually do not cost anything, they are currently free to create and in unlimited numbers. Any number of group profiles can be created from 5+ existing individual profiles (for example for subgroups, work groups, electives, project work, new class division in the new school year). Likewise, a new Group Profile can be generated as an update if new students join or leave.
What are Group Profiles?
Group profiles are a mathematically accurate summary of the results of at least 5 LSA individual profiles. It shows percentages of preferences, non-preferences and flexibilities of all group members in graphics, but also the 'combined group strength' with interpretations of the individual style elements that make up this particular strength. In addition, group profiles contain 'individual results' which, in an overview, show the entire LSA profile of each individual group member encrypted.
Finally, each group profile contains a complete list of 'group members' with indications of potential concentration problems and potential giftedness.
Grafic I: Preferences
This graph shows the percentage of students with preferences and strong preferences in their LSA profiles. These style elements are the best way for students to record NEW and/or DIFFICULT content.
Results above 60% are significant and must be considered when planning effective teaching strategies.
Grafic II: Combined group strengths
The importance of the key elements of these combined strengths MUST be respected when students have to learn something NEW and / or DIFFICULT.
If scores are 75% or more, they must be considered by the majority of the class, as it allows students to learn best, especially with multi-sensory teaching methods.
Attention: Flexibilities become strengths (~ preferences) when students are interested, but they deteriorate to non-preferences when motivation and interest disappear. The unpleasant result is often frustration, boredom and indiscipline.
Summary (Interpretation): Combined strengths
This part of the group profile gives an overview of the strengths of each group, arranged according to the elements of the learning style pyramid.
It contains detailed information about students' learning abilities, natural learning needs and flexibilities, as well as their further learning potential when it comes to new and/or difficult content.
For class teachers or group leaders it is an absolute advantage to know what reserve capacities (~ flexibilities) their students have.
Graph III: Non-Preferences
This graph shows the percentage of students with non-preferences in their LSA profile.
Results with 40% and ABOVE are significant. These elements should be AVOIDED whenever possible, but especially when conveying NEW and/or DIFFICULT content.
Exception: in the lower part of Graph III (from 'Motivation' to 'Variety') where it does not mean that these elements should be avoided, it actually means that it doesn't affect these students, that it’s not their way of doing things. And as their teacher you should know and accept that.
Graph IV: Flexibilities
This graph shows the percentage of students with flexibilities in their LSA profiles. Flexible elements can shift to preferences when students are highly motivated and interested in the topic. Then they can learn very well. However, with lacking interest and motivation, these flexibilities can easily become non-preferences. In classes/groups with high flexibility, this can often affect the majority of students.
This overview shows the complete LSA profile of each group member and anonymity is guaranteed through the code numbers. These results give the group leader or class teacher a quick overview of the style preferences of each individual student or group member.
However, the names of the individual students are listed under "Group Members" on the last page.
These results make it possible to detect tendencies in the whole group (e.g. question marks, flexibilities, preferences, etc.) or in individual students.
Last but one Page: What does all this mean?
This page contains detailed explanations about:
- Question marks
- Natural Analytics
- Strongly Holistic students
- Double-tracking in teaching
- Lesson Planning Tips
Last Page: Group Members
This page displays the names of all students in the group, their gender, and the date the LSA Profile was created. In order to use analytical or holistic teaching strategies more successfully, small square or round symbols precede the names of the students who have strong general tendencies in these areas. Students who do not have any of these symbols before their names can therefore be grouped in many different ways.
Other symbols identify students with potential learning difficulties and point out tendencies of possible giftedness.
How to create a Group Profile:
- You must have at least 5 complete individual profiles of the same LSA instrument in your web account.
- Go to 'MY ACCOUNT - Individual Profiling'. Click on 'Manage my past profiles' and on the 'PAST PROFILES' page select/tick the names of the students you want to group together. Click on CREATE GROUP PROFILE to the right under 'Profile Tasks'. You will then see some fields in which you must enter information about the group.
- Once you have entered the required information, click CREATE GROUP PROFILE.
- Then this message appears instantly on the screen: 'Group profile has been successfully created' and it will be saved in your account. To print click on 'Download group profile'. For security reasons and to keep Group Profiles for future use, you should always store a copy on your computer device.