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Learning to learn: what type of learner are you?

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30th Mar 2015
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Hot on the heels of a very energetic #chat2lrn, comes this piece from Monique Craig about learning styles. Which rings true for you, if any?

Before you face another learning task, it's a good idea to determine what kind of learning you prefer and which one is in line with your natural capabilities. This awareness can only help you to create a learning environment that fosters your engagement with the learning content and makes memorising it significantly easier. Here's an overview of the major learning styles featuring indications to help you detect what kind of learner you are and tips on using this knowledge to your advantage.

Visual

If you often find yourself using pictures and images to accompany your learning or excel at spatial understanding, you're probably a visual learner. In order to make the most from every minute of learning, use visual media, such as pictures, colour and images, arrange your learning materials in a specific spatial organisation and layout to help you develop visual associations and visualise your learning content by means of structured mind maps.

Aural (auditory and musical)

If music and sound is your thing, you're probably an aural learner. Using sound, rhyme and music in your learning will help you get the hang of your learning material. Another interesting technique is based on introducing a background noise for easier visualisation. If you're having trouble remembering some content, set it into a song by adding your favourite melody or rhyme.

Physical (kinaesthetic)

Some learners rely on their sense of touch, using their bodies to get a sense of the learning materials. If the physical learning style appeals to you, use physical objects to complement your learning, practice role-playing to polish specific skills and test certain behaviours. Remember that writing and diagram-making are also physical activities that can help you to retain knowledge.

Verbal (linguistic)

If you like working with written or spoken material and easily remember words in both speech and writing, you're probably a verbal learner. Try learning techniques involving speaking or writing or word-based techniques like assertions or scripting. Reading content aloud is a great idea as well – especially if you make it varied and dramatic.

Logical (mathematical)

There are learners who like to employ their reasoning, logic and other systematic modes of thinking to understand the learning content in the bigger picture. Logical learners should try to understand the reasons behind the content, create lists by extracting key points from their materials and remember that irrational associations can sometimes be stronger than those dictated by logic.

Now that you realise what kind of learner you are, you should consider the social aspect of learning. Some people like to learn new things in groups, others prefer self-study. Which one are you?

Social (Interpersonal)

Social learners make the most from a learning environment shared with other learners. If you're a social learner, try to work with other people as much as possible. Use role-playing to quickly learn the material, work on your associations and visualisations with others, share your key assertions with others and work in groups to understand the content and its possible variations.

Solitary (Intrapersonal)

Those who prefer the solitary learning style usually like to use the technique of self-study to aid their learning. If you're this kind of learner, you mostly rely on your thoughts, which usually have a significant influence over your performance, you basically drive your motivation through the way you perceive yourself internally.

Among techniques appreciated by solitary learners are: aligning learning objectives with personal values and interests, modelling or visualisation, as well as creative role-playing focused on the thoughts and sensations associated with the content. Choosing the right learning technique is important. It improves your knowledge retention, helping you to make the most from every minute you spend studying. And in today's increasingly fast-paced reality, that's something every learner values.

Monique Craig is an Australian blogger and marketing specialist who works for Oneflare, an online marketplace which connects customers with local service providers.

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