The Accelerated Learning Style:
Is it Right for You?
by Tony L. Bell
the ever-increasing advancements in information and
technology, continuing education has never been more
important. With these advancements, concepts in learning
styles are also evolving, including the Accelerated
Learning Style (ALS), a relatively new concept in
education based on the work of Dr. Georgi Lozanov (a
professor of psychiatry and psychotherapy) in the 1970s.
learning is a combination of principles and techniques
that allow learners to use their brains more efficiently.
Potential students often misunderstand the concepts
and requirements of an ALS program.
The attraction of completing a bachelors or masters
degree in as little as fifteen months is very alluring.
Often overlooked, however, is that the volume of information
covered in the ALS program is no less and often more
than traditional programs. And the pace at which the
information must be absorbed is very fast and not viable
for everyone. Strong skills in reading comprehension,
critical thinking, and articulating your thoughts in
oral speech and in academic papers are necessary for
Traditionally, academic subjects are taught through
lectures and logically formatted textbooks and courses,
using rigid multiple choice, true or
false, and short essay testing to evaluate the learning
outcomes. The subject matter is normally delivered in
small blocks and taken one step at a time.
You independently attend the lectures, study the textbooks,
and take the exams.
In contrast, ALS subject matter normally covers large
blocks of information in great detail. The ALS places
the responsibility of learning squarely on you, the
student. After learning objectives and research materials
are presented, you must prepare to participate in classroom
discussions and demonstrations using the knowledge gained
from the research materials and past personal experiences.
The ALS actively involves you, using open classroom
dialogue. All classmates bring differing perspectives
and insights to the discussions and are expected to
participate, creating a dynamic forum for learning.
Failure to prepare quickly becomes apparent to everyone.
Often classes are divided into small groups and each
is given a unique project concerning the main subject
and a deadline. As a team they must prepare and deliver
a thorough presentation of their project to the entire
class. As a team member you must complete your part
of the project.
Learning outcomes are evaluated by class participation
and synthesis papers, in-depth papers written about
the subjects that answer the questions:
This technique demands a thorough understanding of
the subject and concise recollection; it demonstrates
critical thinking and competence in your ability to
articulate thoughts and understandings to others.
- What have I learned?
- How have I learned it?
- What difference does it make to me?
- How have or will I use what I have learned?
Research has revealed that three personality characteristics
are essential to success in the ALS environment: motivation,
determination, and responsibility. You as an ALS student
must have a level of motivation that will sustain the
desire to complete the program, the self-discipline
necessary to complete the requirements, and a determination
to deal with all of lifes distractions and stresses
that invariably develop. You must be responsible.