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Helping students succeed through multimodal teaching styles

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to how students comprehend information. Everyone is different, and to be successful in the classroom, they must understand which of the learning styles – visual, auditory, kinesthetic, social, solitary, and/or verbal fits their learning.

6 types of learning
Image credit: This infographic was designed by MacKenzie Ferrell, a communication degree program student and enrollment marketing intern at Saint Leo University.

Most of us predominantly depend on one of our senses to process the information available around us. Understanding which learning style catalyzes information acquisition and retention will help you learn faster.

In the learning process, you might find that you prefer different ways to understand and process information in your mind. You may be already aware; you retain more information when you watch a video or listen to a podcast, or when you build something with your hands.

We use a combination of learning styles to teach kids complex concepts and develop their interest

For instance, in our Mobile Game Development class (Grade 6 and above) and Tinker Studio class (Grade 4 and 5), there are a fair bit of Newtonian Physics concepts that need to be understood by students. Our deeply trained curriculum experts have developed lesson plans that convey these concepts with each learning style in mind. Let’s take a look at an example.

pinball game
Pinball game

One of the projects in the Mobile Game Development class is to develop a mobile pinball game. The ball is launched with a spring-based trigger, it bounces around and makes things move, eventually, gravity wins and brings the ball down, and the player has two paddles to kick the ball up again if they can. Of course, this is a mobile game, so there is no real ball, no spring-based trigger, nothing to bounce from, no paddles, and most certainly no gravity. For the game to look and feel realistic though, each of these things — ball, paddle, spring, gravity — needs to be coded in a way that mimics how they work in the real world. How do we do that? We simulate Newtonian physics, also called Newtonian or classical mechanics, directly into our game environment.

In middle schools around the world, Newtonian Physics is taught as a set of equations – and that is B-O-R-I-N-G. We teach our students fundamental concepts and let them program these into their pinball games. From that point on, they can tweak the code to make modifications until the game ‘feels’ right. This process of trial and error allows our students to develop an intuitive feel for how equations model the real world. They don’t feel the need to cram an equation that they don’t understand. The motivation behind learning is not to pass an exam, it’s to build an epic game!

There are other things that you can do in a game environment that are impossible to ‘play with’ in a real-world classroom. Can you reverse gravity in your school’s physics lab? In your pinball game, you can!

And, from what we can tell, our students love it.

Student working on a project

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