Learning Style

Felder-Silverman Learning Style Model

People take in and process information in different ways based on their individual preferences. Richard Felder and Linda Silverman developed a model to depict different and preferences.

Felder and Silverman developed their learning style model for two reasons:

  1. to capture the learning style differences among engineering students, and
  2. to provide a good foundation for engineering instructors to design a teaching approach that would address the learning needs of all students.


Although the study was focused on engineering students, the model can be helpful to understand the various learning styles.

The Felder-Silverman Model denotes four areas of personality that contribute to learning. The model creates four dimensions of learning styles. These dimensions can be viewed as a continuum with one learning preference on the far left and the other on the far right. They are active or reflective, sensing or intuitive, visual or verbal, inductive-deductive, and sequential or global. A combination of these styles makes up the individuals learning preferences.


Felderman Silverman Model

NOTE: The original model had another dimension; the inductive/deductive dimension. This dimension was later dropped in 2002 by Dr. Felder.



The Four Dimensions

This model classifies individuals along the following dimensions:

Sensing-Intuitive continuum determines how you prefer to perceive or take in information.

Visual-Verbal continuum determines how you prefer information to be presented.

Active-Reflective continuum determines how you prefer to process information.

Sequential-Global continuum determines how you prefer to organize and progress toward understanding information.


Felder-Silverman model



Felder- Silverman Learning Preferences

Type of Learner Preferences
sensing Prefers concrete thinking, practical, concerned with facts and procedures
intuitive Prefers conceptual thinking, innovative, concerned with theories and meanings
visual prefers visual representations, pictures, diagrams, and flow charts
verbal prefers written and spoken explanations
active Prefers to try things out, working with others in groups
reflective Prefers thinking things through, working alone or with familiar partner
sequential Prefers linear thinking, orderly, learns in small incremental steps
global Prefers holistic thinking, systems thinkers, learns in large leaps


Additional Learning Styles

4MAT Learning Style Model

Gregorc mind styles model

Kolb Learning Style Model

VAK Learning Preference

Honey Mumford Learning Style

Felder-Silverman Learning Style

Herrmann’s Brain Dominance HBDI

Left-brain and Right-brain Preferences

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator MBTI


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