Passive media serving diverse Learning Styles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper


This abstract concerns research in progress. The context is the following. With "Where do the Heavens end?" (Cornelis, 2006) the authors tried out a new way to present cosmological insights for twelve-fourteen year olds. Through innovative lay-out and content, assignments, self evaluation, and special attention to examples (Beishuizen, 2003), we aimed at greater motivation, sceptical insight, and methodological comprehension. The next publication "Did the first Human Being had a Name?" (Cornelis, 2009) concerning anthropogenesis, conceived and presented following the same lines, is now subject to scientific validation and developed with research in mind. The purpose of the project is verification, respectively triangulation of all aspects of this ventured approach.

The topic concerns passive media (workbooks) and learning styles in secondary education. The question at stake is whether the approach of (Cornelis, 2009) combined with an ambulant exhibition (see further, parallel to the book) is useful to all individual pupils and effective as a tool for complex knowledge transfer. The text of (Cornelis, 2009) will be implemented as follows: as a source for educational material (primary and secondary education), as a source for a travelling exhibition, as the accompanying book for teachers using the educational material based on it, as the guide to the exhibition, and as a stand-alone introduction to evolutionary theory. The text through its different presentations aims to be accessible to all learning styles.

The objective is to measure the relevance of passive media like textbooks and exhibitions with regard to all learning styles (in particular in the context of secondary learning): is it possible to motivate, teach, instruct individual pupils through a combination of different (passive) media at the same time?

About 200 teachers will use the textbook, visit the exhibitions with their classes and use the workbooks (within public school system in Belgium). The verification/triangulation proceeds through surveys and interviews; preliminary results will be presented at the conference. Pupils, teachers and parents will be questioned and the results will be juxtaposed.

Methodologically, three phases can be discerned. Firstly the learning style of the subjects (registered pupils) will be determined using ILS (Vermunt's Inventory of Learning Styles) and LSP (Jackson's Learning Styles Profiler). (O'Connor, 2008; Veenman, 2003) Subsequently the subjects will use (Cornelis, 2009) in a classroom context, and visit the exhibition. Thirdly, surveys/interviews will be held among them to assess comprehension and competences.

Outcomes include the validation of this new 'passive media' publication method and verification/falsification of several other suggestions (e.g., Beishuizen's ideas on examples). The efficiency of the different ways of presentations will be confronted with respective learning styles. The results will be useful to optimize passive media in teaching and contribute to textbook development ("one book suits all": textbook, guide, workbook) as well to the improvement of travelling exhibitions. This project is original by the approach of (Cornelis, 2009) itself, the evaluation by all 'stakeholders' (developers, teachers, pupils, and parents) and the mix of passive media based on one text.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th annual conference of the European Learning Styles Information Network
EditorsCharlesworth Z.m. Evans C. Cools E.
PublisherTribun EU CZ
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-80-7399-782-3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 21 Sep 200925 Sep 2009

Publication series

NameLearning in higher education - how style matters


ConferenceFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet

Bibliographical note

Charlesworth Z.M. Evans C. Cools E.


  • learning styles
  • passive media
  • evolution theory
  • model based inquiry

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