Early in my graduate studies, I took “The College Classroom”, a semester-long course that was a mix of learning theory and teaching techniques. I had vaguely heard of Learning Styles before, but this was the first time I was formally taught about it. If I remember correctly, we even gave mini-lessons attempting to teach to different styles. I more or less accepted this as fact and I even had a sentence or two in my teaching statement about how I recognize students have different learning styles and try, when possible, to present important concepts in multiple ways.
Learning Styles are a myth, and there is a large body of research confirming this.
Patrick’s note, October 17, 2021: Though this post still represents my experience and thoughts, the Shu et al. (2012) paper cited below has been retracted due to evidence of fabricated data. I have addressed this in a subsequent post.
My Academic Integrity Baseline
My first academic teaching position was at Middlebury College, a small, prestigious liberal arts college in Vermont. During freshman orientation, students pledge to follow the school’s honor code. Faculty are expected to provide clear instructions and expectations regarding citation practices, collaboration, etc., and students are expected to follow these policies without faculty policing. When a Middlebury student submits an assignment or exam, they write and sign the honor pledge on that work.
“I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this assignment.”
This made part of my job as a faculty member quite easy, as it was the students’ responsibility to follow and enforce academic integrity. If fact, faculty are not even allowed to proctor an exam without special permission of the Dean of the College.