Measure employees' preferred style of learning on a self directed basis with the Learning Styles Questionnaire.
The Honey and Mumford Learning Styles Questionnaire was developed by Peter Honey and Alan Mumford. It has been used extensively within the industry and academia for over 35 years. A highly cost-effective self-development instrument, the Learning Styles Questionnaire (LSQ) is designed to measure learning preferences in individuals aged 16+.
The LSQ is based on David Kolb’s Learning Cycle theory which looks directly at how individuals learn, rather than their tendencies to learn.
The questionnaire is available in 40 or 80-items and is designed to stimulate individuals and groups into thinking about how they prefer to take in information and learn from experiences; it follows the learning cycle (do; review; conclude & plan).
Once an individual’s preference for learning style has been identified, they are better placed to choose learning experiences that suit their predominant style(s). Helping them learn more easily and more effectively from a range of different learning opportunities.
Learning and development teams can use the Honey and Mumford test to:
● Match learning opportunities with how you learn best – this makes your learning easier, more effective and more enjoyable.
● Become an all-round learner – increasing your versatility to learn from a wide variety of different experiences; some formal, some informal, some planned and some spontaneous.
● Improve your learning skills and processes – increasing your awareness of how you learn opens up the whole process to self-scrutiny and improvement.
Thousands of organisations globally have benefited from staff completing the Learning Styles Questionnaire by discovering which style of learning they prefer, then attempting to improve less preferred styles.
The LSQ questionnaire is a highly cost-effective self-development instrument. LSQ is a useful tool for supporting the learning and development of individuals.
There are two versions of the Learning Styles Questionnaire, the 80-item which is the original questionnaire and 40-Item which was developed in 2000. Both are available online or in print.
The test can be completed supervised or unsupervised. There are no time limits to these questionnaires. Individuals should answer the statements as accurately as possible; there are no wrong answers.
The survey contains or either 80 or 40 statements, which relate to behaviours representing each of the four different styles of learning: Activists, Reflectors, Theorists and Pragmatists.
Each statement you agree with counts as one point to the related learning style. The more statements you agree with relating to each style, the higher your preference for that type of learning will be. The results are available immediately upon completion.
The 80-item questionnaire –
● Takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.
● Consists of 80 statements with 20 items per style of learning.
● Ideal for those wanting a comprehensive questionnaire.
● Suited for longer sessions where styles and recommendations can be discussed.
● Appeal to professionals who are familiar with the original Honey and Mumford Questionnaire.
The 40-item questionnaire –
● Takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.
● Consists of 40 statements with 10 items per style of learning.
● Ideal as an initial introduction to individuals or groups starting to think about how they learn.
● Time-efficient as this questionnaire is shorter to complete and score.
● Ideal for keeping groups focused on next steps. The report is clear and concise with suggestions to action.
The aim of the Learning Styles Questionnaire is to equip you with the skills needed to be an all-round learner in all four phases of the learning cycle – experiencing, reviewing, concluding and planning.
Once someone knows their learning style preferences, they are better equipped to choose learning experiences that suit their predominant style(s). This helps them learn more easily and more effectively from a range of different learning opportunities.
The LSQ measures an individual’s preference for a particular type of learning style: Activists, Reflectors, Theorists, and Pragmatics. The highest score indicates the type of learner you are which corresponds to your learning preference.
The output report provides your results as a Raw Score (amount of statements you agreed with), percentile score (comparing your raw score to a group of others who have previously completed the LSQ), and visual graph (indicates the strength of your preference for each style).
Type of Learner
|Activists||Hands on||Trial and error|
|Reflectors||Tell me||Briefed before proceeding|
|Theorists||Convince me||Clarity – Does this make sense?|
|Pragmatists||Show me||Likes an expert to demonstrate|
There are numerous ways that managers, teams and individuals – can use the information about learning style preferences beneficially. For example, the information can be used to: The output report also contains ‘suggestions for action’ for each style which will help you identify activities which may help you learn best, and activities which you may prefer to avoid, an overview of the statements you have most disagreed with and a personal development plan to help you improve less preferred, or under-utilised learning preferences.
● Design better blended learning programmes.
● Predict (and identify early) learning difficulties.
● Constitute effective learning groups or teams.
● Allocate roles in role-plays or other participative training exercises.
● Encourage people to produce action plans/personal development plans.
There are four learning styles that describe preferences in learning differences. These are:
○ Activist Learning Style: Activists like to take direct action. They are enthusiastic and welcome new challenges and experiences. They tend to be flexible, open-minded and enjoy getting involved and participating with others.
■ In contrast to other styles, activists will excel at learning when they are allowed to: generate lots of ideas, or are involved with other people to bounce ideas around. However, they may find it difficult to learn when: learning involves a passive role or are asked to repeat the same tasks on rote.
○ Reflector Learning Style: Reflectors tend to be methodical, thorough and careful. They enjoy reading and listening, and undertake a thorough analysis of experiences before drawing conclusions.
■ In contrast to other styles, reflectors will excel at learning when they are allowed to: think or watch over ideas, or are given time to prepare or read the information in advance. However, they may find it difficult to learn when: forced to take centre stage or given insufficient information to draw conclusions.
○ Theorists Learning Style: Theorists like to see how things fit into an overall picture. They are logical and objective learners who adopt a sequential approach to problems. They tend to be rational, analytical and perfectionists.
■ In contrast to other styles, theorists will excel at learning when they are allowed to question and challenge assumptions or are given a clear purpose with which to work. However they may find it difficult to learn when: material provided is not methodically sound, or the activity is unstructured and uncertain.
○ Pragmatist Learning Style: Pragmatists like to see how things work in practice. They tend to be practical, down to earth and realistic. They like “how-to” hints and techniques and the opportunity to try out learning.
■ In contrast to other styles, pragmatists will excel at learning when they are allowed to: immediately implement what they have learnt, or learn by demonstration. However they may find it difficult to learn when: methods and decisions are convoluted and stalling, or there are obstacles to implementation.
A sample of 300 managers shows that it’s common to have one or two strong preferences (59%) and that it’s very unusual to have four strong preferences (2%.)
The learning cycle as shown below is based upon David Kolb’s Learning Cycle, it demonstrates how our learning preferences whilst learned, can change over time – either because we require
them to or due to a change in circumstance (a different job requiring new skill sets).
There are four stages to the learning cycle, each is equally weighted and plays an equal part in the process.
● Experiencing – Experiences may be reactive or proactive, being open to new opportunities your potential to learn expands.
● Reviewing – to learn from an experience it is vital to review what has happened and find ways of changing the circumstances.
● Concluding – Using the raw material from meetings to provide lessons learned, conclusions and answers.
● Planning – Being able to use the conclusions to forward plan and create an action plan moving forward.
Honey and Mumford built upon this model by suggesting there is an association between the learning cycle and learning styles. An individual with a preference for the Reflector learning style may excel in reviewing information but find it harder to provide action plans going forward if the information is incomplete. By engaging in all four stages learners can develop new activities and styles that will enable them to become more effective and efficient learners.
Contact the TalentLens team to discuss how the LSQ can support your team’s learning and development. In the past, we have partnered with Campaign for Learning to offer insight into the
effectiveness of the LSQ for all learners.
“Few trainers with experience will not have heard of the LSQ as it has been used worldwide for many years now, the general norms being based now on 3500 people who have completed LSQs, the most useful people comparison instrument I have used.”
December 2000, Training Zone
“The learning process broke down the problem, and moving through the different styles brought shifting viewpoints, a focus only on what was relevant, the reduction of risk, and the exploration of many ideas – the best of which was scrutinised and applied.
Bob benefitted, the manager benefitted, the team/department benefitted and the organisation benefited too. Far better than a dismissive, ineffective solution to a genuine problem, where no one benefits.”