Learning StylesThere are many methods of taking in new information. Although you are able to learn from many different styles of presentation, you probably have a preferred learning style. Understanding more about your preferred style can help maximize learning in many different settings.
Having a preferred style doesn't’t mean this is the only way you can learn. You should be able to acquire knowledge from any style of presentation. It is not reasonable to expect instructors to change teaching styles to fit your learning preferences, nor should you “blame” a presentation style when you don’t maximize information intake. Instead, you must shape your learning to different methods of presentation methods to your advantage.
This page is a basic introduction to three types of learners: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic, along with some learning suggestions for each style. There are many types of learning styles, and many theories of learning. We encourage you to discover how you learn best and how to develop effective learning strategies.
The Academic Enhancement Center offers a “Learning Styles Inventory” which can help you determine your preferred learning methods. Make an appointment to take the inventory then meet with an academic counselor to discuss strategies to strengthen your learning.
You may also want to attend one of the College Success Assessment Seminars offered as part of the Academic Success series. You will evaluate study skills and learning styles, and review resources available on campus to help you succeed.
- Learn more from reading than from lecture?
- Find graphs, charts and diagrams helpful and interesting?
- Remember people’s faces but forget their names?
- Take lots of notes during lectures?
- Like to watch videotapes and demonstrations?
Then you may be a visual learner. Seeing things, including reading and watching demonstrations, helps you master new information.
TIPS FOR VISUAL LEARNERS
- Be sure to read your text before class lecture.
- Take complete notes during lecture to review after class.
- Make flash cards for reviewing information before tests.
- Create your own outlines, charts, tables, or other visual representations of the information you are learning.
- Prefer to sit where you can hear, rather than see, what’s going on in class?
- Choose to study with some noise in the background?
- Learn more from lecture than from reading?
- Remember names but forget faces?
- Like to listen to explanations?
Then you may be an auditory learner. Hearing information, including listening to lectures and participating in discussions, is the best way for you to learn new material.
TIPS FOR AUDITORY LEARNERS
- Use class lectures as background material, and then reread your assignments after class.
- Get together with other class members to discuss information covered.
- Read out loud both your textbook and notes.
- Create review materials by reading your notes onto a tape.
- Think labs are the best part of science classes?
- Try to use equipment (VCR, etc.) without reading the instructions?
- Prefer jobs that let you move around a lot, rather than sitting at a desk?
- Like participating in activities where you can use your hands?
Then you may be a kinesthetic learner. Being physically involved with new material is the best way for you to take in information.
TIPS FOR KINESTHETIC LEARNERS
- Move around when you study. Walk back and forth with your textbook.
- Copy notes onto a flip chart or wipe-off board. Write big; be active while you do this.
- Make audiotapes of material and listen to them through headphones while walking.
- Create models of review material. Use objects such as pens and paper clips (or licorice and M&Ms) to represent major concepts, then arrange them in outline order.