Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences explains in some depth the basic idea that different people learn in different ways. Today, it is generally agreed that there are 8 intelligences: linguistic, musical, logical- mathematical, visual-spatial, kinesthetic, intrapersonal, interpersonal, naturalistic.
In the online classroom we can use a student’s language to help identify student learning styles. When a students says, “I can’t really grasp what you are saying.” The word choice “grasp” identifies that student as likely a kinesthetic learner. If a student says, “I see what you mean,” that student is likely a visual learner. Now, these are very basic examples, and it is best to read or listen for patterns of words and descriptions. By identifying student language choices, teachers can respond to a student using the student’s primary intelligences, which may help the learning process.
Gardner also asks educators to remember that they teach primarily with methods using their own intelligences. Remembering this might help us broaden our techniques in general or remind us to vary them when assisting a struggling student.
If you are interested in identifying your own intelligences, take this fun and short self assessment. Multiple Intelligences Test
How is your classroom practice influenced by the idea of Multiple Intelligences?