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One of the challenges of traditional student learning, from an instructor's perspective, involves achieving an understanding of how students learn. Q-method is an effective approach to improve understanding of human subjectivity, and, as this research suggests, it is an appropriate tool to assist educators to better understand how students learn. In particular, Q-methodology provides the educator with a robust tool to assess student learning styles. This paper adapted an existing learning style instrument to a Q-method analysis in an introductory geographic information system class. The analysis resulted in three learning groups: lone pragmatist, explorer, and synergistic. These three learning groups are described. The paper concludes that the use of Q-method can deepen understanding of students' learning skills and improve instruction through more balanced and learner-focused curricular approaches.

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This document was originally published by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers in Journal of Geoscience Education. This work is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Details regarding the use of this work can be found at: DOI: 10.5408/12-301.1

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