Modality Table


The following table provides an informal means of assessing the student's preferred approach to learning.          






Preferred Learning Style

Learns by seeing or watching demonstrations.

Learns through verbal instructions from self or others.

Learns by doing and direct involvement.


Recognizes words by sight; relies on configuration of words.

Uses a phonics approach; has auditory word attack skills.

Often is a poor speller; writes words to determine if the "feel" right.


Likes description; sometimes stops reading to stare into space and imagine scene; intense concentration.

Enjoys dialogue and plays; avoids lengthy descriptions; unaware of illustrations; moves lips or subvocalizes.

Prefers stories where action occurs early; fidgets while reading; handles books; not an avid reader.


Tends to be good,   particularly when young; spacing and size are good; appearance is important.

Has more difficulty learning in initial stages; tends to write lightly; says strokes when   writing.

Good initially but deteriorates when space becomes smaller; pushes harder on writing instrument.


Remembers faces but forgets names; writes things down; takes notes.

Remembers names but forgets faces; remembers by auditory repetition.

Remembers best what was done, not what was seen or talked about.


Vivid imagination; thinks in pictures; visualizes in detail.

Subvocalizes; imagines things in sounds; details less important.

Imagery not important; images that do occur are accompanied my movement.


Generally unaware of sounds; distracted by visual disorder or movement.

Easily distracted by sounds.

Not attentive to visual or auditory presentation so may seem distracted.

Problem Solving

Deliberate; plans in advance; organizes thoughts by writing them; lists problems.

Talks problems out; tries solutions verbally or subvocally; talks self through problems.

Attacks problem physically; impulsive; often selects solution involving greatest activity.

Response to Periods of   Inactivity

Stares or doodles; finds something.

Hums, talks to self, or talks to others.

Fidgets or finds reasons to move; holds up hand.

Response to New Situations

Looks around or examines structure.

Talks about situation; discusses pros and cons of what to do.

Tries things out; feels or manipulates.


Somewhat repressed; stares when angry; cries easily; beams when happy; facial expression is a good index of emotion.

Shouts with anger or joy; blows up verbally but soon calms down; expresses emotion verbally through changes in tone, volume or pitch of voice.

Jumps for joy; hugs, tugs or pulls when happy; jumps, stamps, or pounds when angry; stomps off; general body language is good index of emotions.


Quiet, does not talk at   length; becomes impatient when extensive listening is required; may use words   clumsily; describes without embellishment; uses words such as see, look, etc.

Enjoys listening but cannot wait to talk; descriptions are long but repetitive; likes hearing self and others talk; uses word such as listen, hear, etc.

Gestures when speaking; does not listen well; stands close when speaking or listening; quickly loses interest in detailed verbal discourse; uses words such as get, take, etc.

General Appearance

Neat, meticulous; likes   order; may not choose to vary appearance.

Matching clothes no so important; can explain choices of clothes.

Neat but soon becomes wrinkled through activity.

Response to the Arts

Not particularly responsive to music; prefers the visual arts; tends not to voice appreciation of any kind, but can be deeply affected by visual displays; focuses on details and components rather than the work as a whole.

Favors music; finds less appeal in visual art, but is readily able to discuss it; misses significant detail, but appreciates the work as a whole; is able to develop verbal association for all\ art forms; spends more time talking about pieces than looking at them.

Responds to music by physical movement; prefers sculpture; touches statues and paintings; at exhibits stops only at those pieces in which he/she can become involved; comments very little on any art form.