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Learning Styles in Higher Education

Learning Styles in Higher Education

Author: Alison DeRudder
Description:

Identify different learning styles.

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Tutorial

Tutorial Audio

what's covered
This tutorial explores learning styles by emphasizing the significance of recognizing your learning style and explaining the types of learning styles. Here is a list of what’s covered:
  1. Recognizing Your Learning Style
  2. Types of Learning Styles


1. Recognizing Your Learning Style

All students learn in their own ways. They have particular strengths and weaknesses. They have preferences regarding how they best absorb, process, and retain information. Experts in the field of education are increasingly emphasizing the significance of individual learning styles.

Of course, it’s not possible for teachers to individualize classroom instruction to suit each student’s learning style. This means it is up to you to identify your own learning style and proactively look for ways to implement your learning style in your course work by playing to your strengths and utilizing your preferred methods. If you can do that, you can maximize your effectiveness as a student.

term to know
Individual Learning Style
An individual learning style is how a person prefers to learn. Learning styles are important because when students use the learning style they prefer it may improve how well or how efficiently they absorb and retain knowledge. There are four learning styles: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic (also known as hands-on learning). Savvy students incorporate study tactics to leverage their learning style, even when the format of the course or assignment does not cater to their individual preferences.


2. Types of Learning Styles

Scholars in education have identified four major styles for learners:

  • Visual learners: Learn best by seeing, so they favor resources like graphics, charts, and illustrations.
  • Auditory learners: Learn best by hearing, so they retain information from class lectures and discussions well, and may benefit more from recording and listening back to a lecture rather than consulting written notes.
  • Reading/writing learners: Like visual learners, work best with their eyes, but they prefer words to pictures. They retain information from their reading well, they prefer when lectures are accompanied with handouts or key points displayed on a screen, and they study best with the extensive notes they’ve taken in class.
  • Kinesthetic learners: Learn best by being active and doing things; they are commonly referred to as “hands-on” learners. They prefer learning situations that involve practical experience or working with actual objects and materials, rather being asked to sit still and absorb information.

think about it
If you’ve never given any thought to what your learning style is, you might not know how to begin. First, think about positive and negative educational experiences you’ve had in the past.

  • Do the situations in which you were thriving or the ones in which you were struggling have anything in common—for instance, were they bigger classes with lots of lecturing or smaller classes with lots of discussion?
  • Did the instructor use a lot of visual aids?
  • Were there lots of “hands-on” projects or activities?
  • How about exams you did well on and those you did poorly on?
  • What did preparation for them require and how did you study?

If reflecting on your past educational experiences doesn’t clarify things, it’s time to experiment with some new experiences—give different learning styles a try and figure out which is the best fit for you.

summary
Recognizing your learning style' will help you determine a strategic approach to your coursework and learning. There are four types of learning styles: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic.

Terms to Know
Individual Learning Style

An individual learning style is how a person prefers to learn. Learning styles are important because when students use the learning style they prefer it may improve how well or how efficiently they absorb and retain knowledge. There are four learning styles: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic (also known as hands-on learning). Savvy students incorporate study tactics to leverage their learning style, even when the format of the course or assignment does not cater to their individual preferences.