Learning Style Analysis Students
Physiological brain processes determine the combination of personal learning style elements in each human being. In order to simply describe and represent these complex processes and relationships this pyramid model was created.
The LSA Pyramid consists of 49 elements that are clearly arranged in six layers according to brain function and behavior - with brain dominance at the top. This left/right brain dominance is the most important area because brain processes generally affect all other subordinate style elements.
The upper four layers contain biological/natural (congenital, relatively stable) style elements and the two bottom layers include acquired/conditioned/learned (frequently changing) style elements.
How important are biological/natural style elements?
They are particularly active in the process of concentration when reading difficult study texts, doing homework, are involved in the acquisition of new and/or difficult learning content and are grouped into the following layers:
1. Brain Dominance:
Here strategies for analytic as well as holistic information processing are visible plus preferences for a reflective as well as an impulsive/spontaneous thinking style; also showing general analytical or holistic/global tendencies of someone’s personal overall learning style.
2. Sensory Modalities:
This group is divided into auditory preferences (hearing, listening, speaking, inner dialogue); visual (reading, looking/watching, visualising/imagination), tactile (manipulating, touching) and kinesthetic (doing, feeling) preferences.
3. Physical Needs:
These include preferences for movement (stationary or movement needed); food intake and oral stimulation (chewing, eating, nibbling, drinking); and for certain times of day (individual bio-rhythm).
Preferences for sounds and music (silence or noise); light (dim or bright); room temperature (cool or warm); and study area (formal or informal/comfortable) are being described here.
These preferences and non-preferences (dislikes) grow from childhood onwards, are usually difficult to influence and remain generally stable over a life time. Non-preferences become weaknesses when they have to be used in learning situations over longer periods of time. This can lead to frustration, concentration problems, low motivation, learning difficulties, and underachievement.
For lasting school success it is vital that the biological learning needs are met most of the time. Preferences then become personal strengths when they can be used in difficult learning situations and significantly contribute to developing a positive attitude towards learning. When students are allowed to learn THEIR way, they will enjoy studying more and their academic performance will improve.
The significance of conditioned/learned/acquired elements:
The lower two layers of the LSA Pyramid contain acquired or conditioned style features. These are particularly relevant when young people have to come to terms with rules and regulations at school and at home, to collaborate with classmates, to interact with teachers, to do homework or have to learn something new and/or difficult.
They are grouped in the following way:
5. Social Aspects:
These show whether the young person prefers to work alone, in a pair with a classmate, in a peer group or in a team; with or without an authority figure (teacher, parent or another adult) present.
This is about motivation for learning (internal/external), persistence (high/systematic or fluctuating/low), conformity (high or low/rebellious), responsibility (high/strong or low), need for structure/guidance (other or self-directed) and variety (need for routine or desire for change).
The results in this area reveal the acquired learning attitudes, the reactions of a student/a young pupil to 'the system' as a whole and show in which social setting someone can learn best. However, these elements are not stable, they change several times in the course of someone's live and often in the shortest possible time. Often they depend on the circumstances and sometimes they are even influenced by the actual mood, time of day or state of mind.
What is the meaning of question marks in the Graphs?
The more QUESTION MARKS are visible in a personal profile, the more it is likely that this student:
a) is under stress,
b) is currently experiencing confusion or is undergoing change in these areas,
c) has reading problems, or was confused about the questionnaire (occurs very rarely).
This can lead to behaviour problems, loss of motivation, learning difficulties, underachievement, and ultimately dropping out of formal education. It is important that teachers and parents talk to the student about these areas in the student's LSA profile and attempt to find out the reasons for these inconsistencies. It is also recommended to redo the analysis in 2-3 months' time when the situation has settled down.
How to interpret question marks?
Since question marks usually point to problem areas, they are reliable signs of stress, which the young person concerned is currently experiencing. When thinking strategies of a youngster are changing or there are profound upheavals in their environment (family turmoil, moving house, an addition to the family or a death of a close person, severe stress, neglect or even abuse), then the number of question marks increases.
The more question marks, the higher is uncertainty, confusion or stress.
Therefore, a useful tip for teachers:
Begin to discuss with your students those style elements that are showing question marks. You will be surprised what problems come to light, because children (particularly teens) often do not talk about problems, because they are afraid, or nobody asks them, or because they are not aware of them.
However, discussing is not enough, actions must be set that are possible in class and at home. You will be surprised how even small changes (for example, in the learning environment) can lead to behavioral changes both in your students as well as in yourself. Eventually this brings about less stress for you and an overall improvement in academic performance of your students.
Show the LSA profile to your colleagues where there are difficulties and discuss how this student's learning style needs could be matched. For this, use the Teacher Version.
But as long as these personal problems persist, there will be problems at school, especially when students have to work on something requiring concentration. In such a situation, the support of the parents, councellors and other trusted adults is most important to the well-being and educational success of young people.
When parents and educators work together following LSA recommendations, problems have been solved and learning stress has been reduced, we recommend to let the student do another LSA Profile. You will notice that the number of question marks has been reduced or they have disappeared altogether. Such a profile is now fully valuable in its explanatory power, which remains valid for about two years, until learning needs change in a natural way.
The Significance of an LSA profile
If you do not recognize your students in some areas and are surprised by the results – maybe even disappointed, that does not mean that this profile is inaccurate or even wrong! It rather means that during the first responding to the questionnaire the conditioning, meaning the influence of adults is still very strong on a child’s learning and has become an ‘acquired’ learning style. The drama is this: ‘well-intentioned’ learning advice from school teachers and parents have shaped this ‘acquired’ learning style - unfortunately, very often in contrast to the actual, natural learning needs of a student. In this case too, there will be lots of question marks as our experience with thousands of LSA profiles shows.
Therefore it is important to let students do the LS Analysis every two years, because the younger a child is, the greater the changes are. And as a teacher you should always be up to date on the latest learning style needs of your students - it will make your daily work much easier!
Really important to know:
An LSA Profile is no intelligence test but the results reveal a student's learning potential, even if there are problems in academic subjects, the student might misbehave at school, refuses to do homework, and finally no longer wants to go to school.
You know that generally students are not stupid, they are interested in many things outside school, they actually want to learn, often try hard but still do not show constant, good learning performance in some subjects. You may have also told parents that their son or daughter “could do much better” - but is simply “lazy and inattentive/distracted”. These are statements teachers often make about underachievers because the real reasons for poor school performance - a style mismatch between learning and teaching - remain in the dark.
BUT: Because of the LSA results educators now know much more about the true learning potential of every single student and how to help them achieve academic success.
What do you do in such a situation?
✘ Take the first step: let your students answer the on-line questionnaire for the the age-appropriate LSA instrument.
✘ Then download the LSA Profile and discuss the results with your class - that is usually a real eye opener for you all!
✔ See finally black on white, that some students indeed have a learning style that does not fit the teaching methods of some (a few) teachers, maybe yourself included!!
✔ Mismatched style is the true reason for discipline problems and learning difficulties.
✔ So, you finally have proof in hand that your students can learn and want to learn, but in their OWN way, if you just let them or allow it.
✔ In the LSA-Teacher Version you’ll find enough advice (perhaps surprising for you) on how to improve the situation in class. With new methods, the learning is no longer a chore for your students - it's fun because the human brain always wants to learn!
✔ However, you are surely aware that it's not enough to use matched instruction and creating a better learning environment at school, thsat the home is also an important factor in achieving learning success. This is exactly why there is also a full report for parents in the LSA-Parent Version.
✘ Now take the bold second step: there is nothing to lose but everything to gain!
✘ Talk to your colleagues about the learning styles of your underachieving students, make an appointment with their parents, take the LSA-Parent Version and point to the problem areas in the LSA profile. Ask them to pay attention particularly to their child’s strong, natural learning needs so that their son or daughter can learn more effectively at home for achieving better learning outcomes. Also share with them how you and other teachers are now supporting their child’s learning in class, using the LSA results.
✔ An honest talk among all concerned, based on LSA results, mutual respect and understanding will always bring the desired success.
Our instruments are arranged by age groups and reading skills. Select the analysis tool that best fits the abilities of your students.
Available in: English, German, Swedish, Danish, Turkish
Condensed version of LSA-Junior, with an easy to read questionnaire but in-depth results. For younger students 5-10 years old.
BONUS: Parent & Teacher versions included. more info
Available in: English, German, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Spanish, Turkish, Russian
Gives detailed information about a student's unique learning needs with specific information for parents & teachers. For learners aged 7-13 years. more info
Available in: English & German
Condensed version of LSA-Senior, with a fun questionnaire but in-depth results. For students 14-17 years old.
BONUS: Parent & Teacher Versions included. more info
Available in: English, German, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Spanish, Turkish, Polish
A great help for high school students to achieve better academic results. For students 16-18 years old.
BONUS: Parent & Teacher Versions included. more info
LSA Interpretation Manual
In-depth explanations of students' learning style combinations.
Recommendations for teaching diverse student groups, improving learning motivation and creating the most appropriate study environment at school. more info