With the Semester 2 Break in full swing, learning might be the last thing on your mind, but as in life, there are opportunities to learn presented to us everyday, and as you decide when ( and even whether ) to purchase your textbooks for Semester 2, the type of learning style that you adopt can help you make decisions about what sort of resources can best help you through your studies.
What is Learning Style?
When we talk about Learning ‘style” we are talking about the way in which individuals absorb, process and understand information. This can vary widely from student to student. Albert Einstein famously said: “Everyone is a genius. But you if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” Fish may not be able to climb trees but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn about trees. Or climbing. At the end of day ability comes in all shapes and sizes, and knowing how best to learn can optimise your learning experience.
Types of Learning Styles
There are four main types of learning styles: visual, auditory, read-write and kinaesthetic. Essentially, while students might learn using a variety of these models, there is generally one method that is usually dominant.
Visual learners tend to retain and understand information best when they see something, and learn best when knowledge is accompanied by pictures, diagrams, films, videos or demonstrations. Visual learners generally remember what they see rather than hear. They tend to like art rather than music and sometimes tune out when trying to pay attention. Visual learners would benefit from taking written notes in class, using colours to highlight important points, and pay attention to diagrams, charts and pictures in text books.
Auditory learners tend to learn best from spoken word either through lectures or other students. They tend to like hearing someone explain and explaining to others. The also tend to enjoy music rather than art. Auditory learners would benefit from studying in groups, saying things aloud to retain information and listen to podcasts of lectures.
Read Write Learners
Reading/Writing learners are most at home with written material. They comprehend and remember what they read, and they often enjoy writing. Most traditional university are designed with these types of learners in mind. They will benefit from taking notes in most classes and reading them as a method for study.
Kinaesthetic or active learners prefer to being involved and in some cases have a physical element to their learning activities. They need to apply the information and make it their own by constructing something or practising a technique or skill. They will memorise by walking and seeing and often prefer hands on activities and group interaction. These type of learners can enhance their learning by applying it or transforming it to another form. They will also do well in study groups and relating facts and theories to their own experience.
Do you know what type of learner you are? Take our quiz next week to find out!