This week we focused on the functions of the brain and how this impacts our learning. I found the following website very interesting as it discusses the right and left hemispheres of the brain and how each processed information. Understanding how your brain processes information gives you the opportunity to make adjustments to your thinking processes. It is important for instructional designers to understand this process as we need to be able to target all our students and it helps if we understanding the different ways our audience will interpret information.
For example, a student who predominately uses their left-side of the brain will think in a more logical manner; step-by-step in order ending with the conclusion. The left-brain student will require more structure and approach assignments or task with a plan. While the student who predominately uses their right-side will be more random looking for the big picture and then stepping back to understand the steps to get there. This student will also be more fluid or spontaneous with their process and less task oriented.
I would encourage you to complete the Which Side Do You Use test. It is a short list of questions which will help identify if you are a right, left, or both-sided brain. I took this test and was not at all surprise by the results: 16 responses to the right, and 2 to the left. I had already concluded from the article that I was dominant to the right-side of my brain.
For myself, learning more about the right and left hemispheres has cleared up a lot questions in regards to how I learn and steps I need to take to fully understand or sometimes buy-in to a subject. As a right-brain dominant learner, I am very visual I focus on visualizing how I can utilize material I am learning. I also tend to focus on the big picture and the overall results. As stated in our reading this week, the side left side tends to handle the details better while the right side looks for the overall big picture. (Ormrod et al, 2009). Most people will use both sides of the brain; however, some are dominant to one side or the other. As you read from my results above, I am right-side dominant. A fun fact: my husband is left-side dominant. Does this reinforce the saying “opposites attract”? Maybe…..
Another site which discusses the dominant hemispheres and also talks about how effective teachers work with both left and right side dominant students. http://gaininginsight.com/blog/archives/569 This information reinforces this week’s reading which states that teachers should vary their presentations, materials used, student activities, and so on. (Ormrod et al, 2009).
Ezine Articles. (2011). How Effective Teachers Teach to Both Hemispheres of the Brain. Retrieved on November 13, 2011 from http://gaininginsight.com/blog/archives/569
Intelegen Inc. (2009). Left vs. right which side are you on?
Retrieved on November 12, 2011 from http://web-us.com/brain/LRBrain.html
Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and
instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York: Pearson.