How Do You Learn?
When I was in junior high and high school I really had to work
hard to earn good grades. Then my freshman year in high school I
made a marvelous discovery. I learned how to study.
I had been practising good study habits for years, but the
problem was that the methods I had been taught were not the most
effective for my particular learning style. When I discovered,
quite by accident, the methods that were the best match for my
individual learning style the difference was immediately
apparent. My grades increased and I had to spend a lot less time
studying to achieve those better results!
Discovering your own individual learning style can have just as
dramatic an impact on your ability to learn. Chances are you
already have some idea of what your learning style is, but many
students simply blame themselves or their teachers for their
failure to learn and/or succeed in the classroom. In truth the
blame can often be placed on a mismatch of learning style and
There are several different dimensions that impact each person's
individual learning style (preferences for temperature, light,
food intake, biorhythms, working with others, deep and surface
approaches) but one of the primary factors is the way we process
information -- both taking it in and giving it out.
There are five basic groups that most learners fall into:
Visual learners learn best by sight. They learn best from
graphic elements such as pictures, videos, posters, slides,
graphs, and charts. Color also helps them learn. Visual learners
also get the most of lectures that involve graphic elements and
textbooks that include diagrams and pictures.
Visual learners gain understanding by studying the spatial
arrangements and connections (flow charts and time lines, for
example) of their study.
Aural or auditory learners learn best by hearing. They learn
best from lectures and discussions.
Learning is actually a two-step process for Read-Write Learners.
They learn from reading written material but only when paired
with writing. Writing is key to the learning and processing of
information and includes writing ideas, definitions, and notes
into the learners' own words.
Kinesthetic learners learn by doing and experiencing. It is a
much more hands-on approach to learning than the other methods.
Multimodal learners either have no strong preference and can
learn with any method or have a strong preference for more than
If you'd like to learn more about these learning styles and
which type of learner you are then you can take this online
Learning about your preferred learning style and tailoring your
study habits to meet the needs of your unique learning style can
have a dramatic impact on your success as a student.