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 technique. 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 ~ Aural ~ Read/Write ~ Kinesthetic ~ Multimodal Visual 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 Aural or auditory learners learn best by hearing. They learn best from lectures and discussions. Read/Write 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 Kinesthetic learners learn by doing and experiencing. It is a much more hands-on approach to learning than the other methods. Multimodal Multimodal learners either have no strong preference and can learn with any method or have a strong preference for more than one style. If you'd like to learn more about these learning styles and which type of learner you are then you can take this online questionnaire: . 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.