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Discovering Your Learning Style

Tailoring your studies to your needs can improve your educational experience

Lectures. PowerPoint presentations. Hands-on case studies. Open discussion. Video tutorials. Countless teaching methods are used in a typical classroom setting, and the reason why is…

Everyone is different.

Some people can absorb information easily just by listening or reading, while others need to physically apply the teaching to their lives. By understanding your learning style, you can use it to greatly improve your PathwayConnect learning experience.

Discovering Your Learning Style

The term “learning style” refers to the sense and methods by which an individual can best learn new information. Learners in each style are commonly described as visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners, or in other words, those who learn best by seeing, hearing, or doing, respectively.

Not sure what your learning style is? Take this assessment to find out!

For some learners, identifying what style fits them best is a matter of trial and error and life observation. For example, many students are visual learners, which means they learn best through graphics, presentations, and readings, while others benefit more from hearing lectures or by taking part in practical demonstrations or experiments. Generally, learning styles are tied to the senses of touch, sight, or hearing. 1
Barbe, Walter Burke; Swassing, Raymond H.; Milone, Michael N. (1979). Teaching through modality strengths: concepts and practices. Columbus, Ohio: Zaner-Bloser. ISBN 0883091003. OCLC 5990906.
And while a combination of the three can be used, learners typically have a strength or preference that can be used to their advantage.

Taking Advantage

The following are tips for each type of learner with information pulled from the content teams of LearningRx and .

pencil and paper visual

Tips for Visual Learners
Visual learners better remember and comprehend what they see rather than what they hear or do. If you are engaged most by graphs, assigned reading, illustrations, or by seeing demonstrations, then you are probably a visual learner. Visual learners should look for material that shows rather than tells. Handouts filled with visual representations of information are the best study material for this learning style. When taking notes, visual learners should consider recording information written on boards and using diagrams to connect information visually. Color, highlights, and circled words or phrases increase the amount of information visual learners can retain.

headphones and MP3 player

Tips for Auditory Learners
Auditory learners learn best by listening. Transcripts, textbooks, and other readings may not be as effective; so auditory learners need to find lectures or presentations with a verbal component. It is also helpful for auditory learners talk to instructors and hear answers from them directly. Auditory learners can also learn through word association and benefit from discussing the lesson out loud with others.

birdhouse nails and hammer

Tips for Kinesthetic Learners
Kinesthetic learners learn best by touching and doing, not sitting around watching and listening. They might feel especially under-served by common classroom lessons, but that only puts more responsibility on the student to tailor his or her own learning. Those who learn best from doing can make their own activities. Writing flash cards, for example, gives the information a physical quality that helps kinesthetic learners. Transforming learning into games can also make a huge difference, especially when playing and studying with others who learn similarly.

The Learner’s Responsibility

Overall, because everyone learns differently, it can be difficult for teachers to meet the individual needs of all their students. By understanding these learning styles, students can adjust their learning activities to best fit their personal needs.