Our last article looked at different learning strategies, however, not every strategy suits every type of learner.
Today, we’ll discuss the first three learner types and give you some insights on their individual leraning strategies.
We generally distinguish between four types of learner: visual, auditory, tactile / kinesthetic, and communicative. All four learner types have their own specific characteristics, as well as preferences on how to learn effectively.
Visual learners and learning techniques
Are your papers covered with notes and colored highlighting? Are you often able to recall images from the whiteboard or vocabulary lists? Do you reconstruct them in your head to find the right answer?
Visual learners store information in their memory visually. If you are a visual learner, it is especially important to organize and structure your notes well so that you know exactly where to find information and how to recall it in your mind.
Using colored markings and post-it notes can help you to highlight key information. Learning techniques such as mind maps, the method of loci, or the memory palace are effective for visual learners.
Videos and diagrams can also be a useful way to acquire additional knowledge. Have you ever tried creating your own sketches and diagrams? This enables you to combine visual and tactile learning techniques, and can help you to memorize information even more effectively.
Auditory learners and learning techniques
Do you sing along to the latest hits without difficulty or find it easy to learn poems by heart? Auditory learners are quickly able to grasp what they hear. If you fall into this category, then your first step towards effective learning should be paying careful attention during your lectures. Just listening well will already set you on a path towards successful learning.
Podcasts are also an ideal learning method for you. If you can’t find a relevant podcast online, then why not record your lectures on your mobile so you can listen to them again later? For auditory learners, reading texts aloud can also help the learning process.
Kinesthetic learners and learning techniques
Do you hate sitting still for long periods and find teacher-centered lectures a nightmare? Do your thoughts frequently shift from one topic to another? Or perhaps you have even been described as hyperactive.
As a kinesthetic / tactile learner, you may struggle with long, monotonous lectures. You prefer to be active and need space, even when you learn.
Kinesthetic learners concentrate better if they are able to move around freely while learning, so why not walk around the room while you read your notes?
‘Learning by doing’ is another key element for tactile learners. You need to be confronted with what you are learning and to apply your knowledge in practice. This could be by repeatedly writing down your notes or creating learning aids such as index cards.
Role plays can also be helpful. So how can you turn your study material into a role play? Try to put yourself in your teacher’s position and create your own lecture from your notes. Your friends or family can play the role of students, and you can teach them what you need to learn.
Now you have gained an overview of the first three types of learners and some appropriate learning techniques. Every learner is an individual and will have her/his own preferred ways of learning. Perhaps you recognized yourself in one of the learning style in this article.
Effective learning strategies: which approach is best for me? Part 3
In Part 3 of our ‘Effective learning strategies’ series, we’ll discuss communicative learning styles. You’ll also find more tips on how to identify what type of learner you are and which learning techniques are best for you.
Don’t miss our next article on Friday, May 31, 2019.