Making Sense of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: Distance Learners

For many students, team centred learning is an approach that produces a number of emotional responses.  For some students this approach is exciting and creative, while for other it is exceedingly frustrating and difficult.  As a distance learner there is an additonal challenge of physically being separated from one another, yet expected to work together in a collaborative manner.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument was created by Katherine Briggs and Isabelle Briggs-Myers and was largely based on the work done by Karl Jung in the early 1900’s.  (Barry, Wood, Thornton 2007)  For a century, researchers  have studied Jung’s work and have added to the work completed by Briggs and Briggs-Meyers.   M.H McCaulley (2000) states that performance can be improved by understanding the differences in a team/work setting.

This brings me to the relevancy of participating in the MBTI instument while in a distance educational program.  How we learn, communicate and interact is a very important component to working effectively with one another in an educational or work environment.

The MBTI can be a useful instrument to help individuals understand and at times, validate, their style of learning, communication and actions.  As well, the instrument can be used to make senseof how a colleague or fellow student perceives learning and processes information.  By identifying a team members strengths and weaknesses, communication style, leadership and preferences we can adapt more quickly and be flexible in  how we communicate and work with others in a team environment. 

Today, we had an opportunity to complete and debried the MBTI in our afternoon MALT class.  Through this class we were able to discuss and develop a better insight to the differences that all of us have.  Learning about the effects of preferences on working environments has a very practical application and this was immediate seized upon when our group met after class to discuss the first team “Article Critique” assignment.  This will be discussed in further detail in Part 3 – Assessment of Team Processes


Berry, P. and Wood, C. and Thornton, B. (2007) The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator as a Tool To Facilitate Learning Outcomes For Team Building In The Classroom: College Teaching Methods & Styles Journal – Fourth Quarter  Volume 3, Number 4

 McCaulley, M. H. (2000). Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: A bridge between counseling and consulting. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 52, 117Ð132.


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One response to “Making Sense of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: Distance Learners

  1. The MBTI assessment was a huge eye-opener for me. I was DREADING the team work before I got here. It was probably good that I didn’t know how extensively team work is used at RRU before I applied or I may have chosen a different university. Somehow Hillary was able to clearly demonstrate to me how we are all different and that it is OK. Of course I knew that on a logical level before but she drove the point home. Since that primer I have found the teamwork being the most stimulating and learning-rich experience here at RRU. It is certainly a brilliant piece of work that has stood the test of time!

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