Knowing my Learning Style and using it with my College Courses

You may have heard about the term “learning style” but didn’t really know how to apply to your everyday education. Knowing your learning style and how it can work for can take the frustration out of learning new material. Read on to decide your learning style and how it can help you succeed at college.

Primarily the basic learning styles are auditory, visual, and kinesthetic.*  Auditory learners learn best by hearing the information. Visual learners need to see information to best retain it. Kinesthetic learners, must “learn by doing.” The information can not just be heard or seen, for the kinesthetic learner. Movement or using their body parts helps the kinesthetic learner to internalize information.

As an auditory learner in college, you should sit near the front so that you can easily hear your professor or guest lecturer. Also, use a tape recorder to record the lectures that the professor is giving. If the professor has incorporated web conferences into the curriculum, then be at the site when the lecture is being presented. The more you hear information, the faster you will learn it. Consider creating a song or using a mnemonic device to help you in your studies. Repeating that catchy phrase will burn the information into your brain.

Note-taking is a must for the visual learner. Create charts or graphic organizers to help you learn the information presented to you. Use different color highlighters to code your lessons or code details within your lessons. (A note of caution: highlight sparingly! If you mark up every sentence in your notes or textbook, you will not be able to distinguish critical details that are mandatory to learn versus subordinate ideas.) Try this tip: highlight the information that you think you are least likely to remember. You should review all files or instructions given at the Blackboard* site for your course. 

If you are a kinesthetic learner, you may find it more challenging to learn information as the professor lectures. In most cases, you will not be able to get up and move around during a lecture. Yet, you too can highlight information. You should make good use of highlighters just as the visual learner should. But in your case, it will be feeling the highlighter move across the page, not seeing the colors, that will stimulate learning for you. Take all opportunities to answer questions or volunteer to demonstrate a principle. Engage in student discussions: that is, give feedback and post comments at the Blackboard site for your course.

Now that you know more about your learning style and how you can use it to increase your learning, use it to do what needs to be accomplished most. Learn as much information as you can!

* Note the reader can learn detailed information about learning styles or multiple intelligences through Howard Gardener’s book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences.

 *  Blackboard  – is a  widely used education system from Blackboard Inc., Washington, D.C. Part of the company’s Blackboard Academic Suite, it includes course management, content authoring, collaborative discussions, virtual classrooms, as well as testing and grading. See www.blackboard.com