Talking to the sensing-feeling

Donald R. Woods, professor emeritus of chemical engineering at McMaster University, has done quite a lot of research into what different MBTI types consider to be good exam questions.  Don is perhaps most widely known as a pioneer of McMaster’s distinctive learning strategies: inquiry and problem-based learning. I ran across a reference to his article, Models for Learning and How They’re Connected–Relating Bloom, Jung, and Perry, which was published in the Journal of College Science Teaching, v22, n4 p250-54, Feb. 1993.  After spending half an hour hunting around on ERIC and in various university libraries, I could not find a source, so I dug up his email address on the internet and just contacted him directly.

I’m working with the learning aspects of our travel web site. I was interested to know how to correlate MBTI types to the levels on Bloom’s Taxonomy . I had the idea of associating the categories I came up with to differences in the types of questions people might have when they come to the web site.

Don promptly responded with helpful information.

Sensing/Thinking (ST), which is 30% of the US population, includes ISTP, ESTP, ESTJ, and ISTJ. They ask questions on the Knowledge/Remember level of Bloom’s taxonomy. Questions like, What does it cost to check a bag? What is an e-ticket?

Intuiting/thinking (NT), which is 10.4% of the US population, includes ENTJ, INTJ, ENTP, and INTP. They want to Understand (Bloom’s second level), and appreciate questions that ask them to compare and contrast.

Intuiting/Feeling (NF), which is 16.3% of the US population, prefer Evaluation questions (what if?)

Most interesting to me is the Sensing/Feeling group, which comprises 43.4% of the US population. They want to know, “How would I feel if…?” and this is not usually the type of question that is addressed in a scholastic exam or on a travel web site:

  • How would I feel if I choose this trip A compared with trip B?
  • Would I be at ease in this hotel room?
  • Would I be happy if I choose this car?
  • How comfortable would I feel if I choose this airline seat?

However, the use of sensory information such as rich media, video, sound, images, diagrams and visualizations of data speaks powerfully to this type of sensing/feeling person, which, if you give credence to this type of analysis, comprises a huge chunk of any potential audience of learners.

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