Imagine you’re studying for a test, and even after giving continuous efforts in studying you end up scoring a very low grade in the test. Although after all those studying you still got an average grade. Why?
The thing is there’s no one right way to study. One can easily learn through one style but others cannot. In other words, everybody learns differently. However, to make your learning more effective, It’s important to know which style suits you the best.
WHAT’S IN IT
What’s your Learning Style
According to the VAK model, most people are more desirable to only one learning style. However, some people can learn through mixing all three styles. We all start as hands-on learners and choose a dominant style in our early elementary years.
It is also important to note that just because you lean towards one style, you can still learn using the other styles. Although it may be just a little harder and chances are you’ve already had to adapt to your coworkers, professors and even your family members style.
The three types of learners are visual learners, auditory learners and kinesthetic learners also known as the hands-on learners. Generally, visual learners learn through seeing. Auditory learners learn through listening whereas kinesthetic learn through moving, doing and touching.
Learning Style Overview
|See the teacher
|Learn best from visual displays
|A hard time sitting still
|Think in pictures
|Interprets meaning by listening
|Rather demonstrate than explain
You might be a visual learner if you like to think in pictures and often create mental images to retain information, If you prefer written directions for assignments or jobs and if you enjoy looking at maps, charts, pictures. Videos and even watching movies completing puzzles, reading and writing things are also things that you enjoy.
By all means, you might find yourself sketching, painting, constructing and fixing things if you like to sit in front of the classroom. It usually isn’t because you want to be the teacher’s pet, its because you want to see the teacher their nonverbal movements and you want to see any visual item.
You might be an auditory learner if you think in words rather than in pictures. Also have highly developed auditory skills and are generally good at speaking and presenting. You also like verbal directions and you do learn best through verbal lectures discussions.
Talking through things and listening to what others have to say, you are also a good listener, a good writer and a good storyteller. Indeed you may find that you like to read aloud or listen to audiobooks. This way you can hear and then interpret the words.
You might be a kinesthetic or hands-on learner if learn best things by moving, doing or touching. Often express yourself through movements, and you do have a good sense of balance on hand-eye coordination.
You remember and process information by interacting with the world, with space and with the objects around you. You can get fidgety at times and you sometimes just can’t sit still. Hence most of the time you will find yourself experimenting and using your hands to create and build.
Tips for Learning Styles
You know the basics of the learning styles but here are some tips and tricks for each style.
|Walk and memorize
|Use rhymes, tunes or mnemonics
|Listen to music
|Talk it out
|Skim and the reread
As a visual learner, you can use coloured highlighters to highlight the important information and it makes it visually appealing to you. You can draw graphics or mind maps to represent the information that you are learning.
You may read passages then close your eyes to visualize the information you just read. Sometimes if you are memorizing you can memorize the steps of the procedure by picturing the steps in chronological order in your mind. This helps you recall the information visually. When you are taking a test or doing the procedure.
As an auditory learner, You enjoy study groups and retain information from them. You like to recite information over and over because it helps you learn. You also like to use storytelling to get your point across to people in your personal and even in your professional life. Using rhymes or tunes and mnemonic devices help you recall larger pieces of information.
Do you remember the learning the mnemonic VIBGYOR? It was probably back in elementary school, so there might be a chance you forgot it but just in case you did, it is the colours of the rainbow- violet indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red.
As a kinesthetic learner, you need to be moving, touching and doing. Listening to music while working and studying helps you remember and learn. Taking breaks, getting up and moving around helps you use your extra energy, so you easily return to the task at hand.
When reading you can skim the reading material and then reread it later for better comprehension. You can walk and talk out loud as you read to help memorize information
Learning Strategies for Instructors
As an instructor, you can add visual cues throughout your lectures that include pictures, graphs and videos. You can also use coloured dry erase markers or smartboard pens or even chalk if you still have a chalkboard to make the content visually appealing.
When it comes time to assign a task or assignment you can use visual cues along with auditory directions. This can be simple as handing out a printed copy of the assignment and reviewing it with the class.
As an instructor, it can help your auditory learners by engaging in group discussions. Into classroom time you can also give oral instructions for tasks and assignment. It also helps if you show videos that compliment the text or the material you just lectured onto.
For your kinesthetic learner, you can include hands-n activities in your classroom. You also need to make sure you vary the instructional methods to keep them interested in less fidgety. Adding short breaks in between instruction also helps keep them on task. You can also go on field trips where the content can be enhanced with activity visuals and movement.
Learning style is the way a person prefers to learn also known as learning preferences. There is no right or wrong learning style. It deals with how the brain works and stores information effectively. So learning styles is defined as various approaches of taking in, organizing and processing stimuli or information.
You can check out your learning style by giving a simple learning style test available on various websites. You can also observe your past experiences in learning. For most of the people these methods will work best, it’s also possible for a combination of different styles to be effective.
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