WHAT IS YOUR LEARNING STYLE?

5 Aug 2020 | Student Advice

Every student has a different way of gathering, interpreting, organising and obtaining information that is best suited to them. If you’re unsure about what type of learner you are, then this blog should help you find out which learning style will work for you.

There are many different styles of learning but the main four are known as: Visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinaesthetic. These learning styles are known by scientists as the ‘VARK model’. In context, Neil Fleming, an educator, developed his theory of the VAK model by adding one additional area, the read/write learning style which created the VARK model. Each learning type responds best to a different method of teaching, which you can read more about below!

Visual learners

These types of learner prefer to see use pictures or images in order to visualise the ideas presented. For example, if there is an image that represents the topic, visual learners will be able to remember that specific image linking to the topic. “It must be more than mere words in boxes that would be helpful to those who have a Read/write preference” (Fleming, 2017). Being a visual learner myself, I find it easier to remember things at university by re-watching lectures, watching videos on YouTube, and drawing diagrams that link to the subjects.

Top Tip: Mind maps with images can be extremely helpful for visual learners and I personally find it the most best way to learn when revising a specific subject!

Auditory learners

Auditory learners will memorise information best after narrating it back to someone, or simply by listening to information. They prefer audio and have a higher ability for auditory recall. Some people can mistake auditory leaners for not paying attention, when they are in-fact hearing and understanding everything that is being said.

Top Tip: Record yourself using the voice memos app on you phone and then listen back.

Reading and writing learners

These individuals prefer infromation displayed as words. This learning style is most used by teachers who prefer ‘traditional styles’ of teaching. When revising a module, Reading and writing leaners find it best to rewrite notes off of a PowerPoint/lecture presentation posted by the lecturer. The text allows the learner to gather and to share information.

Top Tip: Organise diagrams or graphs into statements.

Kinaesthetic learners

Kinaesthetic learners will jump at the chance to participate in a more physical activity that relates to what information they need to grasp. They will recall things easier with events or information that is attached to an experience. Kinaesthetic learners learn best through trips, physical activity and manipulating objects. They tend to have high difficulty in sitting still and may need regular breaks when learning information.

Top Tip: Visit a museum or place that’s connected to your course material.

Whilst most of you will find that you easily fit into one of these types of learner, some may be a combination of two or more of these. For these people, the best advice I have is to vary your learning style! This might seem time consuming but it is possible to combine these styles into your study sessions. For example, if you’re a combination of reading/writing and auditory, you could write out your study notes onto flash cards and read these aloud to a friend.

Another common type of learner, that isn’t included in the VARK model, is the social learner. Participating in group work is a great way for social learners to learn and recite information for short exams that have been set in your module. Social learners love being around the company of people and working in groups. Social learners love sharing their knowledge with others but also love listening to their peers.  This can make social learners a real powerhouse when it comes to group work as their peers can benefit from elevating each other’s work.

University libraries, as well as the study room facilities available at Fusion Students, are great for social learners. These facilities are also brilliant if you’re looking for somewhere other than your studio room to study. Many of the different types of learner can take advantage of these spaces in order to study in their most effective way.

By Kieran Singh

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