Friday 13 September 2013

Student Strengths Report

When I first started home education, it became obvious that the way I learn isn't the same as that of at least one of my children. It was, therefore, useful to be able to review a Student Strengths Report produced by PeopleKeys.

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Rather than have one of the children to use this, I decided to take the on-line assessment myself. Knowing the details of my learning style, seemed to be a useful move in improving my teaching and an insight into the methods that I use to teach.

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The assessment and report are delivered on line.
Initially, I had to take an assessment. Like similar, assessments that I had taken before, the instructions were to answer the questions quickly and not ponder too long about the answers.

Once the assessment was completed, I received my report by e-mail. This is a 34 page report detailing my results and also the importance of these.

The Student Strengths Report has three sections:

  • personality
  • learning
  • thinking

The personality styles are divided into four using the acronym DISC;

D drive, challenges
I influencing, relationships
S steadiness, consistency
C compliance, constriants

Results are presented as a graph which as I, along with most other people, don't have just a one type dominant personality is helpful. The information is followed by boxes presenting characteristics of each personality type: there are pages showing "personality styles at a glance", "overview of this personality system" and then detailed information about each personality type. The section ends with fill in tables which help the user guess the personality style of others and use this information to build relationships.

The learning styles part of the report is presented in a similar style including a graph, for visual learners! Again, this is followed by information including tips for each style and career suggestions. I felt that further questions to help the student with their own learning environment were particularly useful.

The last section is about thinking style. This is divided into

  • literal
  • intuitive
  • theoretical
  • experiential
The Student Strengths Report is recommended for ages 13 to adult. 

The learning styles section was practical in analysing my teaching and tutoring style. I am an auditory learner but looking at the scores use also use visual cues. I have known for years that I concentrate better if I write notes.

What was interesting were the low scores for kinaesthetic learning. Perhaps the most important lesson, for me, is to remember to include kinaesthetic methods of learning. Certainly, when teaching phonics, this is the aspect of learning that I am most likely to forget or think is not relevant. 

What I liked
It was interesting to have this information and particularly the further thoughts that I can work through. In many ways the suggestions for learning were interesting but perhaps things that I should avoid over-doing when tutoring my children who may have different learning styles.

None of the information came as a surprise to me although this might be an effect of my age and having done similar personality scores whilst I was working. 

What I thought could be improved
In the first section, there appeared to be a fair amount of repetition.
Like all these tests, this information is based on a simplistic definition of personality, thinking and learning style. The graphs help with this but obviously only traits that are included in the questions can be featured in the answers.

The Student Strenghts Report has useful insights and will be particularly helpful for young peope who need to understand more about their strengths and how to build on these. It is important to realise that this is just one way of defining personality.

PeopleKeys sell the Student Strengths Report for $20 (£12.65 today but do check the exchange rate for your self). Discounts are available on larger orders.

My fellow crew members have been reviewing the Student Strengths Report and other assessment tools from PeopleKeys including those that are specifically aimed at career choice.


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