If you want to learn effectively, it is helpful to know more about and understand the learning style(s) that most relate to you. Each of us learns differently and prefers particular techniques and approaches. When you know how you learn best, it’s possible to tailor and adapt the way you learn to maximise the value of your efforts.
Do I have just one learning style?
You may be surprised to know that a mix of learning styles is relevant to each individual. For some, one learning style is dominant and other learning styles are used much less. Other people apply and do best with a true mix of learning styles, and will use different learning styles in different contexts.
Learning styles are also rarely permanent. Your preferred learning styles can change over time. It’s entirely possible to increase your ability in the styles that are less dominant for you, while also strengthening the styles that you use effectively. The bottom line is: no one learning style is ‘best’ or ‘right’.
Aren’t there things that help all learners?
Particular approaches and resources work well for a broad range of people as they learn. Despite incredible technological developments and online opportunities for learning, many learners relish having hard copy training materials, documents and resources to which they can refer, write notes and highlight important information. The use of printed resources is helpful to learners across a variety of learning styles and there are many professional companies, such as The Print Group, which can assist with bulk printing orders.
What are some of the learning styles?
- Visual: Visual learners thrive on learning via pictures and images. Spatial understanding is most significant to their learning.
- Aural: Aural relates to auditory-musical, and if sound and music support your learning, you may be an aural learner.
- Verbal: If your preference is to use words, in writing and in speech, the verbal (linguistic) learning style will be meaningful to you.
- Physical: A preference for learning through your sense of touch, your hands and your body, suggests that the physical (kinaesthetic) learning style is an effective learning style for you.
- Logical: You may know that you have quite a mathematical brain and way of thinking. Those who are logical enjoy the use of systems, logic and reasoning as they work out problems and learn.
- Social: Social learners derive benefit from working with others or in group situations. Interpersonal learning and relationships are pivotal to this style of learning.
- Solitary: In contrast, those who enjoy working alone and studying independently are likely to recognise themselves in descriptions of solitary or intrapersonal learners.
How do I know which learning style(s) relate to me?
You probably recognise elements of yourself and the ways that you like to learn in the descriptions of the various learning styles. To more accurately pinpoint your own learning style, there is a plethora of tests and quizzes that can be taken (many of these are available online).
Understanding the way that you learn and the learning styles that are most relevant to you is valuable. Not only will an understanding of your preferred learning style(s) increase the effectiveness of your learning, it can also hasten the speed at which you learn and how well you engage with and retain information.