The way we learn something can have a huge impact on our ability to understand and retain the information. This is because we all have different learning styles that can vary depending on what type of thing we are learning. Often, an individual doesn’t fit into one learning category and a mix of styles helps them to learn whereas others may have a dominant learning style.
In this post, we take a look at the different types of learners to help you identify which camp or camps you fit into. We will also provide some learning tips to help you make the most of your learning ability.
What are the 4 different types of learners?
A visual learner is someone who finds it easier to interpret information from a picture or a diagram rather than a long piece of text. This type of learner, also referred to as a spatial learner, is a person who learns well from what they see and can comprehend information better when it is presented visually. You may find yourself doodling during moments of quiet and that you have good spatial awareness (including map reading).
Learning tips for visual learners:
- Color-coding information is a great way for you to distinguish information in a big text or to group information when you’re revising.
- Drawing pictures to accompany the information you’re learning is a good way of helping you to recall the information later.
- Watching a documentary or video clip on the concept you’re learning will also be helpful to enhance your understanding.
Another type of learner is the aural learner. This might sound familiar if you find that using sound is where you’re most comfortable when learning. You may prefer to listen to a lecture or podcast to help you learn rather than read something. It is also likely that you are good at vocalizing your thoughts and opinions.
Learning tips for aural learners:
Oral repetition is a great technique for an aural learner. Practice reading out concepts to yourself and repeat them to help retain the information.
Invest in a dictaphone so that you can record lectures and play them back. You can also use a dictaphone to record yourself reciting information that you would prefer to learn aurally.
Use songs to help you learn and remember concepts and take every opportunity you can to read material aloud.
A verbal or linguistic learner loves words. Whether it be writing them or reading them aloud words are certainly their thing. A verbal learner will also be good at languages and will have a wide vocabulary.
If you are a verbal learner, it is likely that you are also confident speaking out loud thanks to your command of language and you are very good at expressing yourself. Fun for you would be grabbing a dictionary and learning new words to add to your extensive vocabulary.
Learning tips for verbal learners:
To help you retain information, it is a good idea to rewrite written texts in your own words or to write a summary version.
Listening can also be helpful for a verbal learner, so reading your study notes out loud to yourself is a great way of helping you to retain the information.
As you’re so good at vocalizing your thoughts and opinions, lookout for opportunities to attend a debate or conversation group to really make the most of your learning style.
A kinesthetic learner learns by doing, which is another type of learner. If you find yourself restless in a classroom or lecture theatre it is likely that this is the learning style that you fit into.
Kinesthetic learners love getting stuck into the action and will often be first to volunteer to do any activity that requires movement. Acting out scenarios help kinesthetic learners to gain insight into ideas and concepts. Kinesthetic learners are also usually good at activities such as dance and sport and will also benefit from working in a group.
Learning tips for kinesthetic learners:
For kinesthetic learners, they will often find that traditional study spaces are not always suitable for their learning style. As a tactile learner, you might need to be in a space where you are free to move around and not be conscious about making too much noise. Try a café, co-working space or even your own bed rather than a space that requires complete quiet like a library.
Learning by teaching others is also a helpful learning device for kinesthetic learners. Through teaching, it helps you to engage with the material and retain the information for later use.
Taking regular breaks is essential for a kinesthetic learner as sitting still is a challenge. Try a run around the block during your break to burn off some energy and get those creative juices flowing.
These 4 different learning styles are certainly not rigid and you may find that the way you learn best crosses a few of these types of learners.
It may also be that your learning style changes over time and what used to work for you is no longer as relevant. It’s important to remember that there is no ‘correct’ way of learning. Any good teacher will ensure they incorporate a variety of different learning styles in their classroom for the benefit of all of the types of learners.
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