Southern Drift: The Learning Styles of First and Third Year Students of the Built Environment

  • YEAR
    Tucker, Richard
    2006 Conference Papers
    The Education of Future Architects


ABSTRACT: This paper focuses on learning processes across the design curriculum of Deakin
University School of Architecture and Building (Australia) through the recognition of the four learning
styles – ‘accommodating’, ‘diverging’, ‘assimilating’ and ‘converging’ – that are defined in the
Experiential Learning theory of Kolb. The research has been conducted to evaluate the effects of
learning style preferences on the performance of built environment students from diverse backgrounds
and cultures in projects across a range of learning situations. The results of the research are being
used to inform andragogical refinements that will be tested in design studio and technology lecture
units studied by students of Architecture and Construction Management. The paper will focus on the
results of a cross-curriculum learning style survey. The survey was conducted as part of a Strategic
Teaching and Learning Grant funded project currently running at Deakin as a reflexive research
program aimed at resolving the learning difficulties of students collaborating in multi-disciplinary and
multi-cultural team assignments. By addressing the issues of multidisciplinarity, cultural inclusiveness
and the internationalisation of higher education, the research program aims ultimately at the education
of graduates who are able to bring leadership to multidisciplinary design collaborations co-operating
across international boundaries towards a global sustainable future.


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