George Mason University
Community College Doctoral Program
EDCC 802: Community College Teaching through Learning Styles

Professor: Barbara K. Given, Ph.D.

Course Description:
Prerequisties: Admission to the DACC program or permission of instructor. Focuses on the theory of multiple styles of learning and various ways in which individuals demonstrate ability. Emphasized are alternative instructional approaches to enhance and m easure learning of community college students at risk for failure. Emphasis is placed on study, analysis and application to teaching in the community college. Classroom format emphasizes participation and application of course content to community colleg e teaching.

Required Text:
Claxton, L. & Murrell, P. (1987). Learning styles: Implications for improving educational practices. College Station, TX: Texas A & M University Department of Educational Administration.

Major Optional Texts (* indicates expected reading):

Course Objectives:

  1. Students will demonstrate knowledge of current literature regarding learning styles brain behavior, consciousness, and learning as outlined on the course evaluation rubric.
  2. Students will demonstrate application of course concepts for at-risk community college students by selecting a topic from a community college teaching assignment or anticipated assignment and developing student lesson plans as outlined on the rubric f or this class.
  3. Students will develop one conceptual or factual learning game/activity to accompany their lesson plans.
  4. Students will present a 45-50 minute segment of their plans to the class.
  5. Students will demonstrate self-evaluation of knowledge construction by submitting a portfolio.

Course Evaluation/Grading:

  1. Students will follow the course standards for completion of assignments and indicate their levels of accomplishment.
  2. The professor will review the assignments and self-evaluations then provide external evaluation based on standards criteria.


  1. Package of 3"x 5" file cards for class reviews.
  2. Wide-backed notebook for article reproductions and Quick Copy packet.
  3. Materials for lesson plan development and presentation.

Tentative Class Schedule:

(Subject to revision to fit class needs)

  1. Aug 27 Course orientation. Student portfolios. Course standards and rubrics. Syllabus review. Text books & reading list. Individual course goals. Affinity diagram. Medicine Circle & Learning Stories Distribute PEPS HW: Study syllabus and rubrics and bring questions to class. Complete PEPS. Begin reading books and articles. Keep notes/questions/ideas for class discusion. Read: Claxton & Murrell pp. iii-55 and Given "The potential of learning styles."

  2. Sep 3 Book/article sharing (15 minutes). Submit PEPS. Sign up sheet for presentations. Power Point presentation and Psychogeometrics HW: Complete reading Claxton and Murrell and be prepared for class discussion.

  3. Sep 10 Book sharing (15 minutes). PEPS brain behavior; Global/Analytic; hemisphericity. Five learning systems. Teaching roles. Single word descriptors. Psychogeometrics continued + pleasure & pain principles HW: select one learning style instrument and begin reviewing research articles about its use. Also, read critiques of its rigor in Tests in Print or other source.

  4. Sep 17 Article sharing (think about taking about 4 minutes/student). Analysis of LS instruments: Curry's onion model. If time Kolb Learning Styles Inventory HW:Continue reading assignments. Include Goleman's Emotional Intelligence.

  5. Sep 24 Book and article sharing. Chaos, brain behavior and learning styles: A PowerPoint presentation. Marilyn King: Dare to Imagine learning habits. How do we develop them? HW: Identify topic, concept or set of skills to teach freshmen. Begin outlining or mapping lesson plans that will honor the five learning systems. Read from Roueche & Roueche and/or Jordon.

  6. Oct 1 Characteristics of at-risk students. Lesson plans, authentic assessment, standards, and board games. HW: Begin developing a board game or activity for concept attainment or skill development. Begin reading Diamond, and Calvin & Ojemann

  7. Oct 8 Reactions to class, mid-term evaluation and syllabus adjustment. Mid-term catch up. Video: Preparing Students for the Work Place. (Short version) HW: Work on lesson plans and board game. Continue reading from course texts and LS articles.

    Oct 15 Columbus Day Recess

  8. Oct 22 Two 40-45 minute student presentations. Reactions to the Video. Blooms Taxonomy. Who Owns the Goat? and other games and activities for college level skill development. HW: Begin developing a game to accompany/support your lesson plan concepts or skills. Read Gardner's Frames of Mind.

  9. Oct 29 Two 45-50 minute student presentations. Multiple Intelligences. HW: Bring a bottle of drinking water to class next week. Wear casual, comfortable clothes for agile movement.

  10. Nov 5 Guest presenter, Judy Metcalf and/or Carla Hannaford re: PACE and Brain Gym. HW: See you at the LDAV conference. Crystal City Marriott. Nov 7 noon-5; Nov 8 all day.

  11. Nov 12 Three 45-50 minute student presentations. HW: Catch up on your reading. See you at the conference.

    ***Nov. 15-16 Center for Honoring Individual Learning Diversity (CHILD) Conference*** Johnson Center (formerly the Southeast Learning Styles Honoring Diversity Conference)

  12. Nov 19 Three 45-50 minute student presentations. HW: Prepare portfolios.

  13. Nov 26 Three 45-50 minute student presentations. HW: Complete article and book summaries. Submit portfolios.

  14. Dec 3 Two 45-50 minute student presentations. Application of course content to community college teaching.

  15. Dec 10 Catch up. Course Review and Evaluation.


EDCC 802 Evaluation Rubric

Marginal (B-/C) Meets Expectations (B/B+) Outstanding (A-/A)
Books & Articles Critiques indicate superficial overview of obvious content. Minimum of 3 books and 5 articles. Critiques show new knowledge construction. Minimum of 5 books with at least one each pertaining to learning style, consciousness, learning, and brain behavior and 8 articles read. 2-3 page critiques highlight salient points & student reactions to them. Writing conventions are accurate. Critiques demonstrate new knowledge construction & insightful relationships across readings. Syntheses are clear, articulate, & representative of strong doctoral thinking & writing skills. Minimum of 5 books & 8 articles read in depth plus scanning of additional references.
Lesson Plans Plans include: clearly stated objectives, content for reaching objectives, grading criteria, plans for student involvement, time schedule, list of needed materials for 3 50 minute classes. 1+ 2+ Full syllabus with outline of course topics and at least a five-book reference list. Inclusion of a conceptual learning game.
Presentation Duplicates plans for 3 class sessions, explains them & answers questions. 1+ brainstorming ideas for the semester's teaching with ideas for each of five learning systems and evaluation. Teaches a 45-50 minute class segment, provides handouts appropriate to the topic if needed, & provides class with a schedule of classes demonstrating where the selected lessons are embedded. Offers constructive critique of plans & presentations by self. Includes a course rubric. 2+ Quality of presentation is high. Students are actively engaged in higher order thinking. Purpose & content of lesson are clearly conveyed. Five learning systems are honored.
Portfolio Submits portfolio of coursework that represents personal learning. Answers self-reflective questions: -Which shows the most growth? Why & how? 1+ Answers: *From all assignments, course activities & interactions which were most helpful to me? How were they helpful? Portfolio is well-organized, includes a Table of Contents and reflects a strong interest in learning. 2+ Portfolio is attractive assemblage suitable for job interviews. It makes a visual statement about the sense of self as an effective professor for adults. A personal philosophy about teaching & learning is included.

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