Using design thinking to address the issue of students’ learning styles

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I discovered the issue of not taking into consideration student learning patterns and not taking into account that each learner has a pattern, talents, and skills that vary from one learner to another via my work in the educational sector and my expertise in the field of teaching.In the sphere of education, these discrepancies are seen as a challenge for the instructor.

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When teaching strategies and classroom activities do not accommodate the diversity of students according to their educational patterns, it can have a detrimental effect on learners’ performance in terms of how they handle knowledge.

Using design thinking to address the issue of students’ learning styles

There have been many researches and studies that report the existence of this problem, including: what was confirmed by the Kandil Study (2018) entitled “A proposed strategy based on the learning patterns of Primary School students to develop cognitive achievement and motivation to learn science”.

Which proved the insufficiency of traditional methods used in teaching primary school students, which are limited to the verbal presentation method only without taking into account the learner’s preparations and learning style, which leads to difficulty understanding the content of the study material.

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The study put forward several solutions, including:

diversity in teaching strategies and methods to suit different learning styles of students. Preparing study modules in the curricula according to different learning styles and rebuilding them in a way that takes into account different learning styles.

According to Yassin’s (2010) study entitled “Taking into account the learning styles of Middle School Mathematics textbooks in the kingdom of Arabia,” most teachers focus on one educational method in school learning, and this has a negative impact on students, and requires the teacher to diversify the methods and the physical environment that the teacher can prepare to suit the learning styles of students.

Among the proposed solutions are:

Attaching software and tapes for students with visual style, paying attention to the manifestations of the auditory learning style to meet the needs of the auditory students, paying attention to the work of research, leaflets and worksheets for students of the reading/ writing style, and using technology (calculator and computer) to take into account the students of the practical learning style.

According to the al-Hayali Study (2018) entitled “Learning and thinking patterns and their relationship to the absorptive capacity of students of the Faculty of physical education and Sports Sciences”, which proved that teachers find it difficult to know that the information and knowledge provided to the learner has been absorbed, hence the problem arises in the teacher’s failure to take into account the learning and thinking patterns of learners and not knowing the absorptive capacity of students.

The study put forward several solutions, including:

the use of appropriate teaching methods and methods for students of the Faculty of physical education in order to contribute to improving their absorptive capacity. Organizing and diversifying the educational content and teaching methods to improve the absorptive capacity of students.

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As a result, I want to apply the Design Thinking process to come up with solutions that would enable the instructor to consider the different learning styles of the students and deliver the material appropriately.

Using design thinking to address the issue of students' learning styles
Using design thinking to address the issue of students’ learning styles

I’ll follow the characteristics of design thinking and how we may use them to come up with original ideas based on the design thinking model:

Processes (stages):

the methodology of design thinking goes through several stages, namely: identifying the problem by empathizing with students and understanding their role to determine their needs and know their feelings, and then a stage of filtering the information we have collected to determine the problem for which we will put forward solutions, and then comes the stage of searching for ideas using brainstorming to reach creative solutions that meet the needs and desires of students, then the stage of preparing a prototype by choosing the best feasible ideas and then planning to publish the idea or solution, and finally the implementation and testing stage so that students experiment with the idea or solution, evaluate it and provide some suggestions for modification with their needs.

Framework (human):

The beneficiary is the cornerstone of the design thinking concept. To fully understand the beneficiary’s needs and problems, we must put ourselves in their shoes. Only then can we thoroughly identify the issue at hand and come up with a creative solution that meets the beneficiary’s needs while also resolving the issue.

The beneficiary here in the problem is the student at all educational stages, each student has his own pattern, the visual pattern learner has special needs that differ from the auditory pattern learner and the motor pattern learner learns differently from the read/ written pattern learner. It is necessary to understand the characteristics of each Style, know all its needs, empathize with it, and find a solution to provide educational content that fits all styles to improve the student’s educational experience.
Tools (motivating): tools help us to collect more information about the beneficiary and discover him and through them can inspire us to reach innovative solutions that fulfill the wishes of the beneficiary (student).

By using tools like personal interviews with students, it is possible to learn about their needs and wants, understand their opinions, and learn how to help them absorb the study material. By giving students personal tests, we can learn about each student’s pattern and assist them in learning about their own patterns. We can also use other motivating tools that help us to sense the observed issue to learn about the student’s behavior, and the extent of his absorption of the subject matter.All of this data might motivate us to think creatively about how to address the issue of accounting for students’ different learning styles.

Mentality (thinking style):

at this stage, we practice brainstorming to put forward limitless ideas and invent the most creative solutions, write down all these ideas and solutions in a list and then filter them to the most creative, best and easiest ideas to apply.

Many studies have put forward solutions to the problem of taking into account learning styles, including a variety of teaching strategies and methods to suit different learning styles among students, all solutions may be difficult for the teacher in providing teaching equipment from the teaching board and educational boards, and this may be due to the weakness of the material capabilities, and thus the teacher is unable to apply As if it is directed to each student individually, so that the content is presented in more than one way according to the learners ‘ learning style, the content is prepared in the auditory way to present it to students with the auditory style, and the same content is prepared in the visual way to present it to students with the visual style.

Integrative (practical):

At this stage, we use the design thinking integrative approach to examine the issue from all angles and present integrated and comprehensive solutions that are derived from the needs of the beneficiary in order to accomplish the desired objectives and move on to the implementation stage.

t the stage of proposing solutions, we looked at the problem of taking into account learning styles from the students ‘ point of view and finding out the effectiveness of the educational strategies and methods used during teaching, were they effective or not From the teacher’s point of view, in terms of the difficulties that he may face in taking into account patterns, using traditional means and strategies that may take a lot of time, effort and money, and putting forward the idea of designing an adaptive environment was one of the solutions that actually emerged to the needs of students, sensitive to their feelings and sympathetic to Smart Sparrow is a simple application that helps the teacher to present educational content and activities in a professional manner suitable for each style of students.

Using design thinking to address the issue of students' learning styles
Using design thinking to address the issue of students’ learning styles