A week ago I attended the Meet&Greet of Kluwer. The keynote speaker was Manon Ruijters, and she talked on learning trends, and her research/tool on learning styles. You can find her presentation (in Dutch) here.
I know, I also read the end of the learning styles debate on Donald Clark's blog - even if they would exist, no research shows that designing training for it actually produces better results than just ignoring it alltogether. It doesn't stop learning styles from showing up about everywhere you look.
Manon's styles are not about visual or auditive or whatever channels. It's not about anything that comes to you. Her 5 styles are based on the learning behaviour people have when they face a learning need. She distinguishes (in my own rough translation):
- the copycat : finds out what worked before, and does that - eg pair them with those who successfully done it. eg managers frequently have this preference
- participating: collaborative, self-steering groups of professionals. eg healthcare personnel
- knowledge finding: it's all about knowledge and expertise. eg lawyers, technical professions
- exercising: and learn from mistakes. eg education
- exploring: creativity, growth, serendipity . eg consultants
She made the exercise for everyone in the audience, and contrasted the Belgian with the Dutch audience. She also keeps score of typical preferences for groups of a certain profession, or for particular companies. For what it is worth, it's a nice exercise to do.
In my 'Homo Competence' thinking, you need to find out how you learn best. If this is a useful tool for you, use it. If you think styles don't matter, ignore it.
Here is a link if you want to score yourself on these dimensions: