This activity provides students the opportunity to:
(1) apply the results of a self-administered brain-dominance inventory to the concept of information processing, and
(2) determine personal learning style characteristics.
This exercise therefore serves a double function since it can used as an activity to illustrate lecture material on information processing as well as a tool to identify the student’s own predominant learning style. In addition, if the student uses both sides of the brain equally this also provides the student with important additional information.
Type of Material:
The activity can be used to support a lecture in consumer behavior on perception and information processing, or it can be used as an introductory exercise at the beginning of the semester, to assist students in identifying their own learning style.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The module author has identified three clear learning objectives for the student: (1) Identify their individual learning style/brain dominance, (2) Investigate how brain dominance influences information processing and (3) Identify differences in information processing, based upon brain dominance
Target Student Population:
This exercise can be used in high school or college. The exercise is ideal for an online class. The professor can post the assignment accompanied by an external link and instruct the students to complete the inventory, and determine their brain dominance, left or right brain (or both). They can then conduct additional research to explain, based on their results, the way they process information. As a supplement to actual coursework, this exercise is best linked to consumer behavior, integrated marketing communications, advertising, etc. where students explore how consumers process marketing information.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic understanding of left- vs. right-brained abilities would be helpful but is not necessary. Students are provided with some explanation upon receiving their results to the interactive exercise.
Evaluation and Observation
This module is well-designed and fits into a multitude of class uses. It is rooted in basic human biology, making it relatable to all students, and provides resources for expanding that self-knowledge into not only one’s approach to any course (whether a traditional or online classroom) but also one’s understanding of essential marketing concepts. It is a relevant topic that is informed by scholarship, and is an interesting activity to incorporate into the classroom. It provides a complete explanation of the following topics: Linear vs. Holistic Processing Sequential vs. Random Processing Symbolic vs. Concrete Processing Logical vs. Intuitive Processing Verbal vs. Non-verbal Processing Reality-based vs. Fantasy-oriented Processing
Concerns are few, as this is a well-developed activity. Links are provided to the left- vs. right-brain dominance quizzes, as well as some resulting explanation of this topic once the test is completed. The connection to marketing concepts isn’t as clearly established, however the author does provide very good notes for doing so.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This module is an excellent teaching tool on multiple levels. Students can learn something about themselves, can learn something about others in the classroom and can learn something about consumers' information processing (if in a marketing course). It is an immediate, easy-to-apply activity that is laid out well by the module’s author, including discussion questions for both the basic activity (what a student’s personal result means) and course material on perception/cognitive processing. The module can be utilized either as homework on in-class discussion, and would be highly educational for students to experience.
Instructors may wish to include additional and/or different questions for thought in the assessment portion of this module. This, however, should not be a time-consuming preparation.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Due to its applicability on many levels, the ease of use for this module is extremely high. It is interactive (takes a few minutes to complete the assessment), is very engaging for students and is simple to conduct. The module author has made multiple recommendations for its use in the classroom, so very little outside preparation would be needed, if any. Students should find any resulting personal outcome and class discussion immediately relevant, and should therefore be both engaged and entertained in the process.