By: Jennifer Gossett, Coordinator Notetaking Services and Student Support
Many of you probably have taken some type of learning style assessment in your lifetime. Do you know your learning style? If you do know how you learn best, do you apply that in your study techniques?
Many people know there learning style, but don’t know how to use it. The subject of today’s blog is to talk about specific ways you can utilize your learning style to pump up your study techniques and hopefully increase your success in the classroom.
What is your learning style?
Have you heard of the VAK? The VAK stands for a learning style inventory that determines whether you are a visual, auditory, or Kinesthetic learner. The VAK is only one type of learning style inventory/assessment out there and there are a myriad of learning theories that have been used to determine learning styles. Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_styles.
I recommend the Building Excellence (BE) Survey available at http://www.learningstyles.net/. The survey is a great assessment tool to find out what learning preferences you have. The BE explores how the time of day, whether or not you are eating or drinking, room lighting, and many more variables might can affect your ability to learn.
How can learning your learning style help you?
So…after you learn your learning style what’s next? The BE survey results give specific recommendations on how to study. It might also be helpful to employ study techniques designed for multiple learning styles.
If you have the luxury of choosing types of courses and professors within your major it may be helpful to take into consideration your learning style along with the professors teaching method and course structure.
Visual Learners (learn best by seeing/reading)
- Use diagrams or visual representations to help you remember processes, events, timelines, etc.
- Make outlines.
- Watch videos or movies related to the material.
- Take notes and copy diagrams from the board.
- Color code your notes or readings using different colored pens or highlighters.
- Underline or circle important words in your notes or book.
Auditory Learners (learn best by hearing/listening/speaking)
- Hear it, say it, write it. This will help you remember important information.
- Record and replay your lectures
- Watch videos or movies related to the material
- Participate in class discussions or discuss information in a study group
Kinesthetic Learners (learn best by doing/touching)
- If you are struggling with complex information it may help to break up study sessions into shorter periods of time
- Learn how information can be applied in real world situations
- Repeat or practice hands-on tasks like science labs multiple times
- Use flash cards
- Participate in class discussions and study groups
- Teach others the information in a study group
- Visit places related to the material (i.e. museums)
It’s important to remember that applying different study techniques will increase the chance that the information will “stick” and you’ll be able to remember it for that 8:00 a.m. exam.
For more study techniques based on your learning style you can make an appointment for Academic Coaching! DAS students should contact a DAS staff member for an appointment by calling 541-737-4098.