Unsurprisingly, research shows that everyone learns differently. When you think about all our other differences, it would be naive to believe that our brains all work in the same way.
The more you know about your own learning style the more you will succeed; it tells us how we process new information, use it and retain it. Everyone’s learning speed differs and as we get older we may notice it takes longer. Knowing your learning style can help speed up the process.
There were historically four common learning styles but new research suggests there are now seven.
- Visual learners benefit from seeing an image, cue or something written down to follow. They are usually good map-readers and can have art skills that are better than the norm. The best way for a visual learner to learn is by using pictures and a traditional mind map to write and create ideas.
- Aural learners naturally respond well to music and sound. They can use songs and rhymes to remember ideas, spelling and processes. Learning environments that have loud noise will distract an aural learner.
- Verbal learners use words to their benefit, through writing and hearing. Verbal learners are usually good readers and can learn from reading an instruction manual aloud – or by listening to someone else read it – better than others. A good tip for verbal learners is to write down what they want to learn a few times, like the traditional punishment – I will learn… I will learn… I will learn!
- Physical learners are usually practical people who enjoy outdoor activities. They learn best by doing instead of trying to listen or write. Physical learners should try to draw diagrams to visualise and remember. If you are struggling to get your head around something, go for a run to clear your mind then try again.
- Logical learners do not usually understand something until they have further details on the science, maths or reasons behind it. Logical learners enjoy ordered lists that they have created in order to come up with a clear plan and solution. Logical learners should look for the bigger picture behind a new skill to gain the understanding on the system it follows.
- Social learners benefit from group work and feedback from peers. They can listen and share information well in order to understand the concept. Social learners should use this to their advantage and find peers to work with in order to discuss new learning points.
- Solitary learners are the opposite of social learners. They prefer to sit quietly alone without distraction in order to have the time and space to retain information. These learners should try keeping a log of their personal learning to set aims for the future.
You could have a combination of styles but the more you know about your personal style the more prepared and equipped you are to learn a new skill, idea or concept. There is no wrong way, so use your strengths and get learning!