The term learning style is often used concerning different ways in which students learn. Learning style, therefore, refers to an individuals preferred way of absorbing, processing, comprehending, and retaining information. Studies have shown that there are seven learning styles: aural(auditory-musical), visual(spatial), verbal(linguistic), social/interpersonal, physical(kinesthetic), logical(mathematical), and solitary (intrapersonal) (Learning-styles-online.com, 2016). An individual whose learning style is visual/spatial prefer using spatial understanding, images, and pictures while one whose learning style is auditory prefer using music and sound. Individuals whose learning style is verbal prefer using words, both written and spoken and one whose learning style is physical prefer using the sense of touch, hands, and body. A persons learning style is said to be logical/mathematical if such a person prefers reasoning, logic, and systems while ones learning style is referred to as social/interpersonal if that person prefers learning with other people or in groups. Students whose learning style is solitary/intrapersonal prefer self-study or working alone.
Over time, I have realized that there are situations which favor my ability to learn. Although I have more than one learning styles, there are learning styles which are more dominant than others. I have also realized that the nature of learning style or technique used at any given time depends on the circumstances. The most dominant learning styles I use are visual, social, and solitary. I would understand a topic or subject better if I can see (pictures, colors, graphics, videos, images, and pictures) what is being discussed. For example, if a teacher is explaining classification of animals in a biology class or rocks in a geography class, I would understand better if I see the animals and the rocks. I have also found out that holding a discussion or brainstorming in a group is one of my favorite learning styles. Group discussions help me to get others views on the subject. However, when I am studying a difficult subject for the first time, I would prefer a self-study before discussing it with anyone.
Students can apply learning styles to advance their careers as well as school goals. To succeed in learning something new in school or their careers, students ought to identify their learning styles or find out learning styles which they have found to be favorable to particular situations. A student might find that to understand a topic, he/she need to discuss with others in a group. The best thing such a student can do is to look for other students who prefer learning as a group. After forming a group, the students can then discuss the topic. If a student prefers solitary learning style, he/she can avoid group discussions. The same approach also applies to careers. One may find that he/she needs to present a certain topic to a group of audience. To help the audience grasp the contents of the presentation, one may need to evaluate peoples learning styles. Instead of giving a speech, one may choose to use a PowerPoint presentation to help the audience whose learning style is visual. The presenter can also use sounds for that audience who prefer the sound. Alternatively, the presenter can employ a mix of approaches such as visuals and sounds so that it can help a great percentage of the audience to understand the subject.
There are quite some ways in which one can do to improve his/her learning style. The method of improving depends on the nature of the learning style. For visual learners, they can improve their written and verbal information by practicing note taking as well as looking for opportunities where they can explain formation to others by use of words. This is because verbal and written information remains the main mode of delivering information in many cases. Verbal learners can learn to understand information presented in graphical forms such as sketches, diagrams, flowcharts, and so on by looking for opportunities where they can learn visuals and audio through audio-visual presentations such as Webcasts and CD-ROM. However, sensory learners can look for opportunities to learn more about theoretical information and then come up with facts which either negate or support the theories. Those who prefer self-study also need to seek opportunities where they can discuss with others. They should make sure they contribute in discussion groups by asking questions or giving own views.
Learning-styles-online.com. (2016). Overview of Learning Styles. Retrieved from: http://www.learning-styles-online.com/overview/
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