4 Learning Styles and Habits That Can Support Them
The way we learn differs from one person to another. Some people remember best the things they see, others find it easier to learn the things they hear, there are those who have the need to read or write something in order to remember it and there are those who learn best through practice and movement, by actually doing the things they’re supposed to learn. No matter what your learning style is, in the end, you can always make things a bit easier on yourself by forming some helpful habits. If you’re not completely sure what habits those are, here are a few starting points for learners of each style.
If you’re one of the many students who learn most efficiently through hearing something, you need to find various study sources that will allow you to listen to what you need to remember. First of all, you should take advantage of what your teachers are telling you, as listening to them talking in the classroom may sometimes be enough for you to learn something. Pay special attention to other students who are presenting their school assignments and listen attentively to all the debates in your classroom. Feel free to ask as many questions as you want. Some people consider it embarrassing to speak up in a room full of their peers, but embracing your learning style is crucial for your academic success, so don’t hesitate speaking when you have a question for your teacher or any of the other students. When at home, look for audiobooks and online lectures on your topics of interest, which you can replay several times if one isn’t enough. In addition, joining or forming a study group with other auditory learners would probably be very beneficial for you, since that way you could help each other by talking through any lessons you need to learn.
In case reading written text or writing something down is how new information sticks with you, you’re what’s called a reading/writing learner. The optimal way of learning for you is from a book or a transcript. You’ll successfully remember much of what you read from the blackboard or any sort of written presentation in the classroom. Taking your own notes will stimulate you, but you might also be happy to learn from other people’s notes. You may occasionally find keeping up with the lecturer and even jotting down your own notes challenging, which is why students at certain universities have turned to the internet for assistance. For example, students attending the University of New South Wales exchange their notes on the internet. Finding comprehensive UNSW notes online is easy, and you can use them for free if you’re ready to contribute by uploading your own notes. Of course, these are checked for quality, which means that you can use them without questioning their content. Write essays on topics you’re having trouble remembering or rewrite notes several times and don’t worry if you can’t answer your teachers’ questions straight away. Writing down the question and then the answer in short points will possibly do the trick.
When doing a test, if you remember precisely what color you highlighted the answer you’re looking for, or the tiny flower you drew right next to it, you’re most likely a visual learner. Logically, you’ll memorize things you see fastest and you’ll thrive when you turn your notes into something of an artwork or you put them into charts or graphs. Another good piece of advice would be to draw and use mind maps or small sketches that would represent the data you need to remember. You should color-code the significant parts of your notes using highlighters and pencils in different colors and doodle when you feel like it for learning more effectively. You can even make your own flashcards or posters, draw various maps when studying subjects such as history and geography, or even represent different scientific processes through illustrations. Inside the classroom, pay attention to your teacher’s gestures and facial expressions while he or she talks about a subject, since that will make it easier to remember what they’re saying. Finally, avoid working or studying in cluttered spaces, as too much visual input may distract you from what you’re trying to learn.
In case your mind responds well to you demonstrating something in order to remember it, chances are that you’re a kinesthetic learner. It’s doing things physically, practically that makes knowledge remain in your head. Merely moving your body as if you’re performing an action can be observed as a tool for memorizing what you’re hearing or seeing. This is because, in your mind, the movement will combine with what you’re trying to learn. You’ll excel in various experiments and demonstrations and you’ll enjoy witnessing first-hand how something is done. This is why you’ll want to go to all of the field trips at your school, you’ll make use of actual props and you’ll gain a lot from acting out historical events or works of literature. Your main problem could be trying to sit still during a lecture, as you’ll have the need to fidget, but you can solve this by sitting somewhere where your stirring won’t bother anybody and trying not to be loud or distract your classmates. Finally, if studying gets too demanding, try doing it in a string of short blocks, so that you don’t get too exhausted and frustrated by it.
Whichever learning style you find closest to your own, make sure you do what’s in your power to maximize the result of the effort you put into it. By following the tips for each of the styles, you’ll be able to adopt some good habits that will make learning more manageable and pleasant for you.