In designing learning materials there is often the assumption that all trainees will learn in a similar manner. This approach ignorees the important issue of individual differences in cognitive style. Cognitive style may be defined as an individual’s consistent approach to organising and processing information during thinking. Style does not appear to be related to intelligence and reflects qualitative rather than quantitative differences between individuals in their thinking processes. Here the authors argue that conventional training design methodologies (whilst acknowledging learning style) appear to lack the theoretical and empirical bases to acknowledge the important role played by cognitive style in determining learning performance. The aim of the article is to consider the relationship between learning performance, learning strategies and cognitive style and to suggest ways in which human resource development practitioners may accommodate individual differences in style in order that the effectiveness of training and development interventions may be improved.
International Journal of Training and Development – Wiley
Published: Sep 1, 1997
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