Monday, October 20, 2008

What is your learning style?

‘Visual’, ‘audio’, and ‘kinesthetic/tactile’ are titles that describe certain types of learners. Although we can all potentially be a combination of these ‘modalities’, many of us will have personal preferences for the learning modality that best suits us. Based upon whether you are a visual, audio, or kinesthetic/tactile learner (or some combination of these), you will learn differently and will have different ideal learning conditions.

Visual learners:
-Remember written directions well.
-Need to see material to learn it.
-May be artistic.
-May have difficulties focusing on lectures if there are few visuals.

Strategy for Visual Learners:
-Use visual aids when taking notes/studying (eg.diagrams).
-Look at a person to help you focus on what they are saying.
-Work in a relatively quite location.
-Use colour coding.
-Visualize facts/word spellings when trying to memorize.
-Take clear and detailed notes during lectures.
-Review and write out key points from lectures and readings.
-Skim a reading prior to starting so that you have a general understanding before you begin.

Audio Learner:
-Very good at remembering what they hear.
-May have difficulties remembering things that they have read. Also may have difficulties reading and/or writing.
-Can find it hard to read facial and body language.

Strategy for Audio Learners:
-Record lectures or yourself reading your notes (even just the most important points). Listen to the tapes as one method of studying.
-Study with a partner so you can talk about main ideas of lectures, key points from readings, etc.
-Recite aloud what you are trying to learn so that you hear yourself.
-Create flashcards for studying and read them aloud.
-Before reading, skim the information and tell yourself what you think the reading will be about.
-Read aloud.

Kinesthetic/Tactile Learners
-Need hands-on/active learning (touch and movement).
-Don’t require instructions to assemble something.
-Can have difficulties if have to remain seated for a long period of time.
-May be athletic.

Strategy for Kinesthetic/Tactile Learners
-Take notes for lectures using diagrams when possible.
-Try moving while you read.
-Take advantage of assignments that allow you to do hands-on work.
-Use flashcards that you can move on a table or other surface.
-Read aloud.
-Write information out (on paper, board, etc.) when studying.
-Use colour coding.
-Listen to course information on tape while you move (or recite to yourself).
-Take frequent breaks when working and move/stretch.
-Try studying in a position other than a chair in front of a desk.
-Find a way in which fidgeting allows you to focus on learning.

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