Do you often struggle with learning, finding it boring, and as a result having difficulties in retaining information? Then maybe you just haven't found a type of learning style that works for you yet.
There are different kinds of learners; some of which utilize different forms of learning styles, understanding what works for them, whereas, others have been put into boxes with the way they were taught on how to learn. You probably being in the latter category, have been finding learning difficult because you haven't been learning or studying in a style that best suits you.
It is certainly true that there are different types of learning styles and variety of learning methods people respond to. However, in this article, you will get to find out types of learning styles for students, and practically understand which of them should be most useful to you.
What are learning styles
4 main types of learning styles
10 types of learners
Importance of knowing your learning style
Related: 12 Effective Study Techniques.
What are Learning Styles?
Everyone is different in regard to what mode of instruction or study that is most effective for them. We all exhibit cognitive and physiological behaviors that serve as indicators of how we perceive, interact with, and respond to the learning environment. Therefore, learning styles refers to a range of theories or a set of factors that facilitate and provide direction to learning for an individual in a given situation.
It can be theoretically proposed that humans can be classified according to their styles of learning, but differ in how the proposed styles should be categorized and assessed, because we are all different types of learners. Every individual is born with certain tendencies to particular learning styles, but these biological characteristics are influenced by society, culture, personal experiences, maturity level, and development.
4 Main Types of Learning Styles
Different learners have their different preferences when it comes to learning styles, especially across subject matter and activity. However, It is important to know that not all learners fit exactly into one learning category.
The different styles of learning carried out by different types of learners can be classified using the acronym VARK - visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic. Now let us take a look into these four types of learning styles, and how to recognize them.
1. Visual Learning Style
Visual learners are individuals who prefer to take in their information visually. They are able to retain this information using visual aids or when presented to them in a graphic depiction, such as arrows, charts, diagrams, symbols, etc. The best way to present to visual learners is by showing them the relationship between different ideas visually.
How To Recognize Visual Learners:
The visual or spatial learners like to see and observe the things that they are learning about; using pictures, diagrams and written directions to access information. In order to interact with and process information, visual or spatial learners might draw, make lists or take notes to achieve this.
2. Auditory Learning Style
Another type of learning style is auditory learning style, which is sometimes referred to as aural learning. Auditory learners are individuals who learn better when they take in information in auditory form when it is heard or spoken. Saying things out loud or repeating what they hear helps them understand and retain information faster.
How To Recognize Auditory Learners:
Auditory learners learn best by listening and relating information to sound. They prefer when information is presented to them via strategies that involve talking, such as lectures and group discussions. These types of learners can benefit from repeating back the lessons, as well as recording lectures and group activities which require classmates explaining ideas.
3. Reading & Writing Learning Style
The reading & writing learning style is a different form of learning where these different learner types succeed with written information on worksheets, presentations, and other text-heavy resources. These learners take notes and perform strongly when they can reference written text.
How To Recognize Reading & Writing Learners:
It can be said that the reading and writing learning style is similar to that of visual learning, because reading & writing learners like to learn using the written word, which may seem like visual learning. However, reading & writing learners can be discerned as those who express themselves through writing, and enjoy making research from journals or articles for knowledge.
4. Kinesthetic Learning Style
Kinesthetic types of learners are individuals who prefer to engage in a physically active role. They enjoy a hands-on experience, and thrive when engaging all of their senses during course work. They are usually more in touch with reality and more connected to it, which is why they require using tactile experience to understand something better.
How To Recognize Kinesthetic Learners:
Kinesthetic or tactile learners can be recognized with the way they use their hands and bodies as learning instruments, acting out events and using hand gestures when talking.
The best way to present new information to a kinesthetic learner is through personal experience, practice, examples, or simulations.
Students who are particularly good athletes or dancers may be kinesthetic learners because they are adept at following the directions of a game or a dance using their body.
10 Types of Learners
We have brought to your notice that there are different kinds of learners, each of whom master at least one or two learning styles.
While some learners like to study in a quiet environment, other types of learners exhibit a learning habit that sees them listen to music when reading. Also, some learners are addicted to reading and writing, while others prefer to listen to recordings from tutorials.
This section of this article will expose you to ten different types of learners. Read on to see if you fall into any of these categories.
1. Natural Learners
Natural learners are people who can learn in any natural way, and in any environment they find themselves. These learner types can retain information by reading alone, studying in groups, listening to music or even going on field trips. They also tend to retain data and information best through experimentation.
2. Reading & Writing Learners
As explained before, these kinds of learners are comfortable with written words as they gain knowledge and information by going through text materials and journals. The old traditional method of learning through course books, revising & repeating the same process works well for this type of learning style.
3. Visual or Spatial Learners
A visual or spatial learner gains information when they visualize ideas from charts, diagrams, maps, pictures & other drawings. This learning practice allows spatial learners to easily absorb and retain the information much better for a longer time.
4. Auditory or Aural Learners
When information is verbally spoken, aural learners capture data faster than any other type of learner. Auditory learners enjoy listening to lectures and participating in discussions, conversations, and debates. They tend to retain information faster when they do this.
5. Kinesthetic Learners
Kinesthetic learners can be called "weird" by some people who do not understand them. These types of learners learn best while performing things on their own. Engaging in physical activities can do better for them in remembering things as their minds retain data faster when they do this.
6. Logical Learners
Logical learners like to classify or categorize data in order to understand a particular subject. They can also be called mathematical learners because they understand patterns, numbers, and equations better when compared to other people. These types of learners would perform very effectively in disciplines like science, engineering, and mathematics.
7. Interpersonal Learners
These learners establish great rapport and camaraderie with all age groups. They love working in teams, groups, sharing information and comparing ideas, and these types of learners have great leadership skills and are team players.
8. Intrapersonal Learners
As opposed to interpersonal learners, intrapersonal learners are those who love to learn and handle tasks alone. These types of learners are most likely to be in industries that allow them to work alone without supervision as they don’t like working in teams or groups.
9. Linguistic Learners
Linguistic learners exhibit two or more learning styles, as they learn best through different linguistic skills like reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Their learning practices include reading books, listening to recorded lectures, as well as making their own notes for reference purposes.
10. Musical or Rhythmic Learners
These types of learners can learn anything using background music, rhythm, beats, or even background noise. To them, sound is not a distraction, but is seen as a means of facilitator to assimilate information faster.
Read: 30 Udemy Free Courses 2022.
Importance of Knowing Your Learning Style
Finding out your preferred learning strategy will give you an advantage both as a student and during your career. Once you have found a learning style that helps you easily understand information, learning will become an enjoyable activity instead of a time-consuming task. As a result, your mind will stay sharp and ready to tackle problems.
If you are not sure about your learning style yet, it is worth taking the time to figure it out because there are several benefits to discovering how you best retain and process information.
Here are three key benefits of knowing your learning style:
1. Educational benefits
Knowing your learning preference will benefit you academically and will ensure that you;
Maximize your learning potential
Succeed in school
Receive customised techniques to get good and excellent grades
Learn through your own best strategies
Overcome the limitations of poor instructors
Have wonderful learning experiences
Expand your existing learning and studying strategies
2. Personal benefits
Using your knowledge for personal improvement involves you knowing how to make the most of different learning opportunities. Therefore, understanding your learning preference will provide personal benefits such as;
Increase in your self-confidence
An improvement in your self-respect
Understanding your strengths, weaknesses, and habits
Enabling you to enjoy any learning process
Inspires greater curiosity and motivation for lifelong learning
Showing you how to take advantage of your natural skills and inclinations
3. Professional benefits
Learning doesn't end in the classroom. Infact, there is always a challenge or obstacle to face everyday as humans, and that also involves our professional careers. This means that you must invest into your knowledge and skills throughout life, and this will as well provide you with professional benefits such as;
Enabling you to stay up-to-date professionally
Giving you an edge over your competitors
Opening doors for you and exposing you to more career opportunities
Helping you to manage teams more effectively
Helping you deliver effective presentations to diverse audiences
Improving your persuasive and sales skills
Helping you improve cooperation among colleagues
Knowing your learning style or preference is not meant to limit you, but to help you grow into a more effective learner, because how effectively we learn isn’t just affected by the medium, but the content too. Also, there is no wrong way to learn, all you need to do is understand your strength and maximize your learning potential.
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