This file discusses briefly (1) the four dimensions underlying the Colors
inventory you just took, and (2) several teaching approaches that will appeal
to different Color Profiles. Let’s give some credit where credit is due.
George Nelson of BYU is the creator of the Colors Personality Inventory.
The following summary is adapted from Georgia State University Master
Teacher Program: On Learning Styles.
Extraversion (E) versus Introversion (I)
This preference tells us how people "charge their batteries." Introverts find
energy in the inner world of ideas, concepts, and abstractions. They can be
sociable but need quiet to recharge their batteries. Introverts want to
understand the world. Introverts are concentrators and reflective thinkers.
Their motto is: Ready, Aim, Aim, ..... For the introvert, there is no impression
Extraverts find energy in things and people. They prefer interaction with
others, and are action oriented. Extraverts are interactors and "on-the-fly"
thinkers. Their motto is: Ready, Fire, Aim. For the extravert, there is no
impression without expression.
The majority of undergraduate students are extraverts. Based on data from the
Center for Applied Psychological Type (CAPT) between 56% and 58% of
over 16,000 freshman students at three state universities were extraverts.
Interestingly, over 83% of college student leaders were extraverts, while
over 65% of Phi Beta Kappas were introverts. Our own data base indicates
that over 65% of business students are extraverts. It is not surprising that
almost two-thirds of undergraduate business students are extraverts. Students
may major in business administration because the business world appreciates
and rewards action which coincides with the extraverts' strength.
The majority of university faculty are introverts. CAPT reported that almost
55% of 2,282 faculty are introverts. Our own data base for business faculty
indicates that over 60% are introverts..
Teaching Extraverted Students
Extraverted students learn by explaining to others. They do not know if they
understand the subject until they try to explain it to themselves or others.
Extraverted students have told us that they thought they knew the material until
they tried to explain it to a fellow student. Only then did they realize they did
not understand the subject.
Extraverted students enjoy working in groups. Consider in-class or outside-
of-class group exercises and projects. We recommend the
· Thinking Aloud Paired Problem Solving (TAPPS) method and
· Nominal Group Method.
Both support learning through explaining, but provide quiet time for
· Teacher poses question and provides quiet time for
· Teacher designates the explainer and listener within each
· Explainers explains ideas to listeners. Listeners can (1) ask
questions of clarification, (2) disagree, or (3) provide hints
when explainers becomes lost
· Teacher critiques some explainers' answers and provides
Nominal Group Method
· Teachers pose question and provide quiet time for students.
· Each team member shares ideas with others in a round-
· Teams discusses ideas and reaches closure.
· Teacher critiques some team's answers and provide
Teaching Introverted Students
In a seminal study, George Miller noted that people can hold 7 + 2 chunks of
knowledge in their minds at any given time. If each knowledge chunk contains
a specific fact, then the amount of knowledge possessed is limited. But if
each chunk contains many interconnected facts, a network or framework of
facts, then the amount of knowledge is almost unlimited.
Introverted students want to develop frameworks that integrate or connect the
subject matter. To an introvert, disconnected chunks are not knowledge,
merely information. Knowledge means interconnecting material and seeing
the "big picture."
Faculty should teach their students how to chunk, or group and interconnect,
knowledge. Introverted students will appreciate it, extraverted students may
not. Nevertheless, cognitive psychologists tell us that through chunking,
students master the material. We recommend that faculty teach students how
to build a compare/ contrast table, flowchart, or concept map.
Sensing (S) versus Intuition (N)
Some of us choose to rely on our five senses. Some prefer taking in
information through our "sixth" sense. Sensing people are detail oriented,
want facts, and trust them. Joe Friday from the TV show Dragnet epitomizes
the extreme sensing detective. All he ever wanted was "just the facts".
Intuitive people seek out patterns and relationships among the facts they have
gathered. They trust hunches and their intuition and look for the "big picture."
The quintessential intuitive was Albert Einstein whose fanciful thought
experiments revolutionized the 20th century. He could see patterns where
others saw randomness or chaos.
The majority of undergraduates are sensing students. Based on data from the
Center for Applied Psychological Type (CAPT) between 56% and 72% of
over 16,000 freshmen at three state universities were sensing students.
Interestingly, almost 83% of national merit scholarship finalists and 92% of
Rhodes Scholars were intuitive students. Our own data base indicates that
over 65% of business majors are sensing students.
The majority of university faculty are intuitive. CAPT reported that almost
64% of 2,282 faculty are intuitive. We obtained the same percentage from our
business faculty data base.
Teaching Sensing Students
Sensing students prefer organized, linear, and structured lectures. We
recommend three methods for organizing a lecture: (1) the what must be
known organizing strategy, (2) the application-theory
-application organizing strategy and (3) the advance organizer.
In the what must be known (WMBK) method, we first ask: What is (are) the
topic's most essential general principle(s) or goals? Place the answer in a
goal box. We then ask: What topic(s) must be known such that students could
achieve the goal? Place these subgoal boxes below the goal box and show an
arrow leading from each subgoal box to the goal box. Continue to ask WMBK
questions until you interface with material previously covered. You would
then present the lecture by starting at the bottom of the diagram and work up
towards the goal box.
The A-T-A method begins with a faculty member presenting an (A)pplication
(problem or mini-case) to the class. The students attempt to analyze and solve
the case or problem without the benefit of the upcoming chapter's theory or
ideas. Applications motivate sensing students to learn the material.
Applications answer the question that sensing students often ask, "why am I
learning this material?" After the class has struggled with the problem (and
sometimes emerged victoriously), the teacher presents the chapter's (T)heory
or ideas, and then applies it to the original application. Afterwards the
teacher presents additional (A)pplications and has the students apply the
An opening application problem or mini-case should (1) be familiar to
students, (2) engage their curiosity, (3) be almost solvable from previous text
material or student experiences, and (4) be baffling, or counter-intuitive, if
possible. A familiar problem assures sensing students that their experiences
have prepared them to address the problem. The third attribute minimizes
students' frustrations. The application should be "just beyond a student's
reach". However, previously learned material or experiences should help
students make a reasonable solution attempt. An application that is too
significant a leap will cause frustration, and the feeling that the teacher is
playing games with the students.
David Ausubel's advance organizer is a brief lecture or demonstration during
the introduction of the lecture that provides a mental scaffolding to anchor
the new material. The advance organizer provides a set of highly general
concepts that subsume the material about to be learned. An advance organizer
taps into students' existing knowledge structures. It helps cross-list new
information with already existing information and thus aids learning and
knowledge retrieval. It makes the unfamiliar more familiar; it makes the
abstract more concrete.
Note how the following advance organizer taps into existing knowledge that
the students should have already acquired.
· Subject:------- Gandhi's march to the sea
· Organizer:---- King's march on Washington mini-lecture
· Audience:---- African-American high-school students
· Goal:-----------Connects Indian history to an existing civil rights
The advance organizer is not an overview. An overview would have
introduced the students to the lecture's key ideas: Gandhi, salt monopoly,
British policy, boiling sea water, etc..
The advance organizer provides a familiar setting to anchor new, and
potentially strange, material. The organizer works because at a very general
level, the marches of King and Gandhi dealt with charismatic leaders in a
struggle against oppressive forces. For an African-American audience, the
MLK organizer transformed an abstract lecture into a familiar and more
Faculty can develop advance organizers by answering the following
· 1. What do students know that at a very general level is similar to
the subject matter about to be taught?
· 2. How can I demonstrate the connections between what is known
and what is to be learned?
Teaching Intuitive Students
Intuitive students prefer either the traditional Theory-Application-Theory
approach or the A-T-A approach using discovery learning. We illustrate the
A-T-A approach using discovery learning in teaching the central limit
theorem in a basic statistics course. The teacher selects 50 numbers from a
random numbers table, and develops a frequency histogram. The data are not
bell-shaped. The teacher then selects 30 samples of size eight numbers
(replacing each number after it is drawn) from the 50 numbers, computes the
30 means, and develops a frequency histogram for the means. The histogram
is now roughly bell-shaped. The teacher concludes the demonstration by
asking why is the histogram of means nearly bell-shaped. Using the discovery
method, students hopefully will discover the reasons underlying the central
The discovery method, or the why method, will appeal to intuitive students
and will teach sensing students how to uncover general principles. In using
this method, sensing and intuitive students should be combined in learning
groups. The intuitive student can help the sensing student to discover the
theory; the sensing student can help identify and marshal the facts of the
Intuitive students must have the big picture, or an integrating framework, to
understand a subject. The big picture shows how the subject matter is
interrelated. Intuitive students can develop reasonably correct concept maps
or compare and contrast tables. Fortunately, sensing students can be taught to
do the same.
Thinking (T) versus Feeling (F)
Some of us choose to decide things impersonally on analysis, logic, and
principle. Some of us make decisions by focusing on human values. Thinking
students value fairness. What could be fairer than focusing on the situation's
logic, and placing great weight on objective criteria in making a decision.
Mr. Spock, science officer of the starship Enterprise, had an extreme
preference for thinking.
Feeling students value harmony. They focus on human values and needs as
they make decisions or arrive at judgments. They tend to be good at
persuasion and facilitating differences among group members. Dr. McCoy,
Spock's colleague aboard the Enterprise, demonstrated a preference for
Unlike the two previous sets of preferences, CAPT reports that on this
dimension, the proportion of males and females differ. About 64% of all
males have a preference for thinking, while only about 34% of all females
have a preference for thinking.
Our own data base indicates that over 70% of male and female under-
graduate business students are thinking students. It is not surprising that the
majority of business majors are thinking students. Business is, after all, the
domain of logic and analysis.
The majority of university faculty have a preference for thinking. CAPT
reported that almost 54% of 2,282 faculty are thinking. Seventy percent of
business faculty have a preference for thinking. Thus, on the thinking versus
feeling preference, business faculty and students are similar.
Teaching Thinking Students
Thinking students like clear course and topic objectives. Clear course or
topic objectives avoid vague words or expressions such as "students will
appreciate or be exposed to." Rather, objectives are precise and action-
oriented. By precise we mean that teachers can write objectives at three
meta-levels of learning: rote, meaningful and integrated, and critical thinking.
By action oriented we mean that the verbs describe what students must do,
not what faculty will do. The Bloom et al. taxonomy provides guidelines for
writing clear and meaningful objectives.
Teaching Feeling Students
Feeling students like working in groups, especially harmonious groups. They
enjoy the small group exercises such as TAPPS and the Nominal Group
Method. To promote harmonious groups, we sometimes provide students with
the following guidelines on how to facilitate small group meetings inside or
outside of class
· 1. Make process suggestions to regain session focus.
· 2. Keep individuals from personally attacking one another.
· 3. Monitor time remaining within a session and gently remind
· 4. Encourage equal participation among members in discussion
· 5. Demonstrate collaborative-seeking (WIN-WIN) behaviors.
· 6. Assure that recorder writes legibly.
· 7. Respond to group member's questions to you by restating the
question and asking other group members to respond (the boomerang
· 8. Recognize that all the objectives and goals within a session may
not completed. Get group to do the possible given the time
· 9. Use light-hearted (or self-deprecating) humor to break tension.
· 10. Keep group enthusiasm high and sell ideas to members.
Judging (J) versus Perceptive (P)
Some of us like to postpone action and seek more data. Others like to make
quick decisions. Judging people are decisive, planful and selfregimented.
They focus on completing the task, only want to know the essentials, and take
action quickly (perhaps too quickly). They plan their work and work their
plan. Deadlines are sacred. Their motto is: just do it!
Perceptive people are curious, adaptable, and spontaneous. They start many
tasks, want to know everything about each task, and often find it difficult to
complete a task. Deadlines are meant to be stretched. Their motto is: on the
other hand ... .
The majority of undergraduate students are judging students. Based on data
from the Center for Applied Psychological Type (CAPT) between 46% and
60% of over 16,000 freshmen at three state universities were judging
students. Interestingly, almost 64% of Rhodes Scholars were perceptive
students. Our own data base indicates that over 70% of undergraduate
business students are judging students.
The majority of university faculty also have a preference for judging. CAPT
reported that almost 65% of 2,282 faculty prefer judging. We obtained the
same percentage from our business faculty data base.
Teaching Judging Students
We have found that the following hints on note taking and test taking help
judging students learn more effectively.
Most students can learn speedwriting in several minutes. Just omit all (or
most) vowels. Or develop your own shorthand method. For example, mst
stdnts cn lrn spdwrtng in svrl mnts. Jst omt ll or mst vwls.
Draw a line down center of a notebook page. On the left-hand side, record
the lecture (use speedwriting or your own shorthand notation). After class,
write a commentary on the right-hand side. Include restating ideas in your
own words, finding sources of confusion, identifying key points, looking for
links to earlier learned material, and asking what does this mean to me (the
Use different colors to record ideas presented in class and found in the text or
readings. For example, use blue to code major ideas and green to code links
to previously learned material.
In answering an essay question, first Analyze the question and jot down key
ideas, Organize the ideas into a logical sequence, and only then write the
To review an essay question, first read your answer. Then construct a essay
question based on your answer. Now compare your question to the teacher's
question. If different, revise your answer. This strategy ensures that students
answer the teacher's question.
Treating Objective Questions as Essay Question
Read the question's stem (the portion that contains the question) and write a
brief answer. Then compare your answer to the four or five choices, and
select the answer most similar to your mini-essay.
Your universities' learning resource center is an especially good source for
additional hints on note and test taking. Include several hints in each course
syllabus. Spend a few minutes explaining these hints in the first class period.
Occasionally remind the students of the hints (especially before the first
Judging students often reach too-quick closure when analyzing cases. Thus
we recommend a second-look meeting. After completing the case, the group
reviews their analysis. A student plays a "gentle" Devil's Advocate (DA) and
challenges the group's conclusions. The DA should be prepared to
recommend an alternative solution. This will force the group to consider the
pros and cons of both approaches. The DA can also ask team members to
state assumptions about stakeholders (those who are affected by or will affect
the case solution) which must be true for the group's solution to be effective.
The DA can then challenge the group to provide evidence that the
assumptions are true. Guidelines for a second-look meeting should be
included in the case preparation hints provided to students.
Teaching Perceptive Students
Perceptive students often postpone doing an assignment until the very last
minute. They are not lazy. Quite to the contrary, they seek information to the
very last minute (and sometimes beyond). We recommend decomposing a
complex project or paper into a series of sub-assignments and providing
deadlines for each sub-assignment. The deadlines may keep the perceptive
students on target.
Decomposing a major project into sub-assignments provides the opportunity
for continuous feedback to the student. Have students hand-in an audio tape
with their sub-assignments. The teacher can then provide detailed audio (we
speak faster than we can write) comments on content and grammar. When we
have used the audio feedback approach, final papers are clear and readable,
and thus less aggravation to read. Moreover, without the teacher's interim
feedback, students lose an opportunity to improve their writing skills during