Dec 8, 2010

What Is Your Learning Style?

learning style hearing
Reading and Listening Photo credit: chitrasudar

Learning is acquiring new knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences. The ability to learn is possessed by humans, animals and some machines.

Human learning may occur as part of education, personal development, or training. It may be goal-oriented and may be aided by motivation. There is 3 styles of learning:

1. Auditory Learning

Auditory learning is a learning style in which a student/person learns through listening. An auditory learner depends on hearing and speaking as a main way of learning. Auditory learners must be able to hear what is being said in order to understand and may have difficulty with written instructions. They also use their listening and repeating skills to sort through the information that is sent to them.

They may struggle to understand a chapter they've read, but then experience a full understanding as they listen to the class lecture. Auditory learners may have a talent for identifying the true meaning of someone's words by listening to audible signals like changes in tone. When memorizing a phone number, an auditory learner will say it out loud and then remember how it sounded to recall it.

Auditory learners make up about 20% of the population.

2. Visual Learning

Visual learning is a learning style in which ideas, concepts, data and other information are associated with images and techniques.
Visual learners prefer to have information presented in graphs or graphic organizers such as mind maps, plots and illustrations. Visual learners are said to possess great instinctive direction, can easily visualize objects, and are excellent organizers.

In a study entitled “Graphic Organizers: A Review of Scientifically Based Research” The Institute for the Advancement of Research in Education at AEL evaluated 29 studies and concluded that visual learning improves student performance in the following areas:

Critical Thinking
Graphic organizers link verbal and visual information to help students make connections, understand relationships and recall related details.

According to research, students better remember information when it's represented and learned both visually and verbally.

Students better comprehend new ideas when they are connected to prior knowledge.

Students can use diagrams to display large amounts of information in ways that are easy to understand and help reveal relationships and patterns.

Visualizing Data
When working with data, students build data literacy as they collect and explore information in a dynamic inquiry process, using tables and plots to visually investigate, manipulate and analyze data.

3. Kinesthetic Learning

Kinesthetic learning (also referred to as tactile learning) is a learning style in which learning takes by the student/person actually carrying out a physical activity, rather than listening to a lecture or merely watching a demonstration. People with a kinesthetic learning style are also commonly known as do-ers.

According to proponents of the learning styles theory, students who have a predominantly kinesthetic learning style are thought to be natural discovery learners: they have realizations through doing, as opposed to having thought first before initiating action. They may struggle to learn by reading or listening.

Kinesthetic learners make up about 15% of the population.

Mixed Learning

You don’t have to be 100% auditory, visual or kinesthetic learner. You could be a mixed learner. For example, you could be 50% visual learner, 30% auditory, and 20% kinesthetic learner.
It’s more effective to mix the 3 learning styles and implementing them all at once.

You can do a “mixing senses” exercise in which you try to mix 2 or more senses together. For example, try asking yourself ‘How does the color red smells?’ Or ‘How does metal music feel like?”
Try this exercise 20 min each morning to ensure that all of your senses are opened and ready to suck up new information.

So what style of learning do you prefer?
Do you enjoy listening to a podcast, watching a documentary, or doing an experiment by yourself?
Or maybe you prefer the “mixed senses” theory?
Please share in the comments.