Learning Styles and Personality Tests


Understanding personality preferences and learning styles has always interested me. My daughter, Toni Rothpletz, and I wrote about personality assessments in our book It’s Not You It’s Your Personality.  However, in that book, we discussed more personality-related tests rather than learning style tests.  In my book for online students, I do discuss styles of learning to some extent.  Here are just a few of the learning style sites that you might find interesting to see where you fit with your learning preferences:


The site http://www.learning-styles-online.com/overview/ offers a nice overview of their breakdown of learning styles including:

VARK:  (Visual, Aural, Read/Write, Kinesthetic)

I currently teach for several online universities where they administer different personality and learning style tests.  One of those tests is the VARK questionnaire.  The creators of VARK claim “This questionnaire is designed to tell you something about your preferences for the way you work with information.”  This test is copyrighted. To receive information about it, you can email flemingn@ihug.co.nz.  The results of this test suggest that you adjust your studying to be more like your style.  These styles include:

  • Visual
  • Aural
  • Read/Write
  • Kinesthetic

KOLB’s Experiential Learning Theory ELT

Another important learning styles test is David Kolb’s KOLB  Learning Style.  Kolb also 4 styles or preferences.  They base these preferences on a four-stage learning cycle.  These four stages include:

Stage 1: Concrete Experience (CE)

Stage 2: Reflective Observation (RO)

Stage 3: Abstract Conceptualization (AC)

Stage 4: Active Experimentation (AE)

There are two levels to this model . . .after going through the above stages of experience, reflection, conceptualization and experimentation, there are four styles of learning that a person may prefer:

  • Diverging (CE/RO) – ability to see things from different perspectives – like brainstorming, interested in people and work well in groups.
  • Assimilating (AC/RO) – logical, like concepts – like clear explanations, do well in science-related careers.
  • Converging (AC/AE) – problem solvers – practical – like technical tasks, do well in technology-related careers.
  • Accommodating (CE/AE) – hands-on person, likes a good challenge – rely on gut instinct, do well in teams requiring action.

To find out more about KOLB learning styles click here.

To learn more about learning styles for the online student, check out The Online Student’s User Manual .  To learn more about personality styles and understanding personality assessments check out It’s Not You It’s Your Personality.