Kolb's Experiential Model Best Fit Self Assessment

What is a Learning Style?

 

Your Kolb Learning Style describes the unique way you spiral through Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle. There is no right or wrong way on how a learner spirals through the experiential learning cycle and each person has their own preferred path.  How a learner enters the cycle of learning depends on his/her individual preferences to learning. Research has shown learning styles are influenced by a person’s culture, personality type, educational specialization, career choice, and current job role/tasks (Kolb & Kolb, 2005).

Through Kolb’s research, he discovered four patterns of learning as they relate to the Experiential Learning Cycle:

  • Accommodating Style, which falls between AE & CE (feeling & doing)
  • Diverging Style, which falls between CE & RO (feeling & watching)
  • Assimilating Style, which falls between AC & RO (thinking & watching)
  • Converging Style, which falls between AC & AE (thinking & doing)

Remember that learning is a continuous process grounded in experience and you move through the cycle integrating action, observation, concepts, judgment (Dewey, 1938). Also, your learning style is not a fixed psychological trait but a consistent pattern of transactions between the individual and his/her environment. 

Watch Kolb's Learning Styles Video or Kolb's Learning Cycle Video for brief overviews. 

Complete Your Best-Fit Self-Assessment

 

Best-Fit Self-Assessment

To determine your preferred Kolb Learning Style, review the descriptions below and RANK the learning styles according to which fits you best (1) and which fits you least (4) so all four Learning Styles have a ranking between 1 and 4.

________Accommodating Style, which falls between AE & CE (feeling & doing)

________Diverging Style, which falls between CE & RO (feeling & watching)

________Assimilating Style, which falls between AC & RO (thinking & watching)

________Converging Style, which falls between AC & AE (thinking & doing)

Think about why you ranked the learning styles the way you did. 

Download the Kolb Learning Styles Best-Fit Self-Assessment if you want to use it your students.

 

Accommodating Style

 

Learners with this style like to work in teams and their approach to learning is more trail and error. When learning, they ask themselves “What if” type questions.

  • They like Concrete Experience (feeling) and Active Experimentation (doing) as dominant learning abilities
  • People with this learning style have the ability to learn primarily from hands-on experience
  • They enjoy carrying out plans and involving themselves in new and challenging experiences
  • They have a tendency to act on gut feelings rather than logical analysis – rely more heavily on people for information than on their own technical analysis
  • Learners with this style gravitate to action oriented careers such as marketing or sales, business, social work, educational psychology, law, educational administration, architecture, psychology, education, medicine
  • As a formal learning style, these learners prefer to work with others to get assignments done, set goals, do field work, and test out different approaches to completing a project

 

Diverging Style

 

Learners with this style like to work in teams as well, but their approach to learning is about observing others and everything around them. When learning, they ask themselves “Why” type questions.

  • They like Concrete Experience (feeling) and Reflective Observation (watching) as dominant learning abilities
  • People with this learning style are best at viewing concrete situation from many different points of view
  • Labeled “diverging” because a person with it performs better in situations that call for generation of ideas, such as a brainstorming session
  • People with this style have broad cultural interests and like to gather information
  • Are interested in people and tent to be imaginative and emotional
  • Learners with style gravitate to - dramatic arts, language, music, art, journalism, library science, philosophy, sociology, home economics, political science, anthropology, physical education careers
  • As a formal learning style, these learners prefer to work in groups, listen with an open mind, and receive personalized feedback

 

Assimilating Style

 

Learners with this style like to work independently (solo). They like to work on abstract concepts and prefer a logical approach.

They like to plan and do research and like inductive reasoning. When learning, they ask themselves “What is there to know” type questions

  • They like Abstract Conceptualization (thinking) and Reflective Observation (watching) as dominant learning abilities
  • People with this learning style are best at understanding a wide range of information and putting it into concise, logical form
  • People with this style are less focused on people and more interested in ideas and abstract concepts
  • They find it more important that a theory have logical soundness than practical value
  • Learners with this style gravitate to - science, geography, physiology, botany, agriculture/forestry, biochemistry, chemistry, mathematics, physics, economics careers
  • As a formal learning style, these learners prefer readings, lectures, exploring analytical models, and having time to think things through

 

Converging Style

 

Learners with this style like to work independently (solo). They like to work on problems, for example technical tasks and theories and they like deductive reasoning. When learning, they ask themselves “How” type questions.

They like Abstract Conceptualization (thinking) and Active Experimentation (doing) as dominant learning abilities

  • People with this learning style are best at finding practical uses for ideas and theories
  • People with this style have the ability to solve problems and make decisions based on finding solutions to questions or problems
  • They prefer to deal with technical tasks and problems rather than with social and interpersonal issues
  • Learners with this style gravitate to technology, business, ecology, engineering careers
  • As a formal learning style, these learners prefer to experiment with new ideas, simulations, laboratory assignments, and practical applications

Remember, Learning style is not a fixed psychological trait but a consistent pattern of transactions between the individual and his/her environment. You likely leverage all learning styles to different degrees based on the situation.