Everyone is different, and so are their learning styles. Whether you work best alone or with a group, being familiar with your particular learning style can dramatically help you absorb information and improve the quality of your learning. I learned this during the first few semesters of my college career. Naturally my attention would drift elsewhere while my professors would stand in front of the classroom and teach. I felt horrible about myself when I seen other students successfully leave the classroom retaining more information than I did. However, I would always make up for it when I went home or to the library. I would isolate myself from the world and make very detailed notes- that was the best way for me to learn. Even though I knew what methods worked best for me, I couldn’t help but dwell on the thoughts on why I learned differently the majority of my classmates. Did I have a learning impairment? Maybe some type of attention deficit disorder? The answer came to me when I took a “Global Education” class. In this class, the professor stressed the importance of traditional classroom settings not being necessary for students to learn. He reassured us that learning differently according to our individual learning style must not be ignored. He encouraged us to step outside the box to truly understand our individual needs. Comparing ourselves to others will only make us dwell on our weakness, not out strengths. This was all the reassurance I needed to stop thinking of myself as an academic outcast. I finally understood that my individuality is extremely important if I want to be successful in life.
Learning styles are methods that one uses to acquire information that naturally works best for them. Visual, aural, verbal, kinesthetic, mathematical, interpersonal and intrapersonal are some of the different learning styles.
Which one are you?
Visual– learning through assessing pictures, graphs, maps and diagrams. If you find visually stimulating pictures helpful and informative, you may be be a visual learner.
Aural– Learning information through listening. If you catch yourself listening more than reading or writing, you may be an aural learner. Bring a tape recorder with you to class. This can be extremely helpful on days you need to study!
Verbal– Talking about the information being presented to you. This method can be helpful in that you are really testing your own knowledge on information you just learned. Form a study group and take turns talking about what you just learned.
Kinesthetic– Touching or feeling objects to assist in understanding the technical workings of things- using a hands on approach. This usually applies to people who work with their hands or even children. Using concrete objects definitely helps these learners to truly understand things.
Mathematical– In other words, using a logical approach to situations. These learners tend to be very realistic and black and white about solving problems. If you like computing or using common sense, you may be a mathematical learner.
Interpersonal- These learners works best with groups; interacting, socializing and communicating with a large amount of people.
Intrapersonal– Working best alone. This is my personal favorite method since I know that if I’m around others, I’ll want to chat and have fun instead of completing my work! Isolating oneself to retain information can help some really comprehend the material they are trying to learn.
Understand that your individuality is extremely important for your success. Be you and embrace what makes you different. Do this and you’ll see how far you can really get!
(Image taken from atthechalkface.com)