Have you ever wondered which learning style works best for you? Identifying your preferred learning style is not only beneficial for academic settings, but having this information can also be put to use in your professional life as well. In any environment where you are prompted to learn new skills, it’s important to recognize certain steps you can take to maximize your knowledge retention. Read on for examples that help pinpoint what your learning style may be, and for tips for you to make the most out of your learning experience.
Auditory learners retain information by hearing and listening. Your brain stores information by the way it sounds, so hearing information is far easier for you to understand than reading it. Note taking is not typically worthwhile for you, since it causes a disconnect between what you hear and what you write, and can lead to distraction.
Auditory learning often coincides with verbal communication, because it allows you to talk through your thought processes. Even reading written work aloud can benefit this particular learning style. Due to the success attributed to working through materials vocally, the auditory listener typically works well in group environments.
Tips for auditory learners include:
Reading textbooks, assignments, and flashcards out loud
Recording yourself reading study guides, and then listening to that recording
Positioning yourself in the classroom where you can clearly hear the instructor and maintain undivided attention
Get a study group together and working through assignments through discussion
Creating verbal acronyms or tongue twisters to remember bits of information
If you’re a visual learner, you would prefer to watch someone work through a process in front of you rather than reading the steps one-by-one or being verbally told what to do. Visual learners also typically respond well to charts, arrows, and diagrams. It’s best to see all of the information as a whole, rather than breaking it up into sequential slides or separate pieces.
A subgroup of a visual learner includes knowledge retention through reading and writing. When reading a section of text, it’s beneficial for the learner to translate the words they read into pictures in their head. Oftentimes writing down key bits of information or facts can help a visual learner remember what they need.
Tips for visual learners include:
Making flashcards or re-writing notes
Ensuring you have a clear view of the presentation, black board, etc.
Drawing pictures or diagrams
Creating a mental picture of what you read or hear
If you’ve ever been told that you’re a “hands on” learner, that typically means that your learning style is described as “tactile” or “kinesthetic.” It’s much easier for you to retain information by physically working through the process with the instructor by your side walking you through it. Kinesthetic learners required participation and a physically active role when it comes to learning new information. While “tactile” often refers to the sense of touch, kinesthetic learners tend to engage all of their senses when learning a new skill.
Kinesthetic learners generally prefer building, drawing, touching or moving to achieve their best academic outcomes. These types of learners are often characterized by talking with their hands, while their need for movement can sometimes cause difficulty in a typical classroom setting.
Tips for kinesthetic learners include:
Try and transform projects and assignments into hands-on activities such as drawing or acting them out
Type your notes to associate movement with information
Allow yourself to move or walk while reading or note taking
Chew gum, use a stress ball, or tap your foot while working
Arrange your flashcard by category or groups
Like most things in life, learning styles are not mutually exclusive. It’s common to identify with multiple learning styles at the same time. Work through this list of tips to see what helps you study and retain knowledge. Having an idea of what works for you can help you understand new concepts and skills quicker than before. Here at Legion Collegiate Academy, we understand that not all students take the same approach to learning. Our small class size allows for educators to work with students to make sure they are getting the most out of their class time. To learn more about our academics, visit our website here.