> Identifying learning styles (Essay)

Everyone has a preferred style of learning, even though most of us can
learn using all the senses. This can vary in different contexts.

Working out your learning style the quick way

Remember a lesson you enjoyed and then remember some of the information from the lesson. In what form was the information: did you see it, hear yourself or someone else talking, or was the information in another form. In your mind check through other times that you have learnt and see if your preferred method is the same as in the beginning exercise.

Quite often this is a good indicator of how you like information to be presented
to you.

Another important piece of information is how many times you need to go over the information before you have understood it. for most people this is 2 or 3 times. Where possible, always link the information to what you already know.

Once you know whether you like to see, hear or do and how many times you need the information presented, then you can work out the best methods for revising and why learning
some things can be difficult for you. The following table shows some suggestions for revising / learning information.

Seeing Hearing Doing
Write in different colours Tape the information and listen to the tape Draw a mind map
Mind Maps Saying the information in a specific rhythm Write things out, even if you then don’t use it.
Flash cards Rhyming or mnemonics Read, cover up and then write it down & check
Picture information in your mind. Put the information into a rhythm Post it notes
Post it notes Music with no words, that represents the topic

It is equally important to check what you have learnt as it is to memorise the information. Covering the work and then writing out what you can remember is a good method.There are seven different types of intelligence: intra-personal, interpersonal,musical, visual / spatial, mathematical / logical, linguistically and bodily/ physical ( proposed by Howard Gardener). Neuroscience has shown that the same parts of the brain light up for different intelligences and that from their perspective the intelligences don’t exist. From my experience of working with people I would say that they have a learnt or innate ability to work in this way. This knowledge can be used when teaching or facilitating a learner.

Some of these give similar learning techniques to those in the above table. Here are the other options :

  • Intra-personal; quietly reflect on the subject. How does
    it fit in with what you know or the your past experience?
  • Interpersonal; teach the information to someone else
    or compare notes.
  • Logical; Produce step by step notes, flow chart or diagrams.
  • Linguistic: Read aloud. Form questions, find the answers
    and read aloud.
  • And lastly the more FUN you can make revising the better
    you will remember

When students have found their preferred learning style

What next? Knowing their preferred learning style allows students to:

  • Try out revision methods that fit their main preferred sense. Note practice
    makes perfect as with anything else.
  • (multi sensory methods are more effective as different triggers will
    help the same memory to be recalled.)
  • Allows them to seek strategies to absorb information when it is not given
    in their preferred mode.
  • Allows them the possibility of seeking clarification in a specific way,
    i.e. if you could draw a picture I will understand more easily.
  • When doing a summary mind maps work for visual and lists for auditory.
    Kinaesthetic learners make a map or a list & then ignore it.
  • Knowing their preferred sense gives them the knowledge to use their
    strengths and minimise their weaknesses when learning.
  • With some training use the language of the senses to empower their communication
    and understand others.
  • Use the eye accessing cues to create and then store information

Note: most students can use seeing, hearing and doing to learn. It is important
for students not to be labelled as a specific type of learner as this can
limit them – they can try to live up to the label.