Each person has different learning preferences. Some modalities may work better for some people than others. Some may even find they have a dominant learning preference. Others use different learning modalities depending on what’s being taught. According to Carissa Gray, understanding your learning preference allows you to employ the proper techniques to improve the quality of your learning.
Carissa is an Associate Professor of English at Georgia State University-Perimeter College. Having served in higher education for 19 years, Carissa notes that students need to discover their learning preferences to help teachers develop learning techniques that suit their needs.
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Understanding Different Learning Preferences
Humans use various senses in their brains to receive and process information. Some can be more effective at capturing information; others may be better at retaining it, and others are best at processing it. The senses that process information in your brain may not always be the same for everyone.
That’s why you need to discover how you process information to formulate strategies that will help you learn and retain information better. According to Carissa Gray, parents should help their young children identify their learning preferences to promote proper learning and understanding at a young age.
Types of Learning Preferences
It’s pretty frustrating to sit in a classroom and not understand why you don’t get a particular concept. It’s also worrying when your child is unable to perform well in some areas and does excellent in others. Carissa Gray says it’s best to get a closer look at your learning preference if you’ve noticed patterns like this. Here are the most common types of learning modalities.
Visual learners: Learn best by seeing. Visual learners use diagrams, pictures, maps, charts, and other diagrams to understand. They also learn better by watching videos. They remember things based on the image their mind created, such as what the study material looked like.
Auditory learners: Learn best by hearing. Auditory learners thrive in discussion groups, speaking, and verbal repetition. They can also interrupt a speaker for clarifications as they heavily depend on every spoken word to understand. They read notes aloud to internalize them, record lectures and turn up the volume when watching a movie.
Reading and writing learners: Learn best by reading and writing. Such people will likely carry notebooks and pens whenever they go. They rely on what they read or write to understand a concept.
Kinesthetic learners: Learn best by doing and moving. They’re more active and vibrant when it comes to practical or hands-on activities.
Identifying Your Learning Preference
The first step to determining your learning preference is taking a few short assessment tests online, notes Carissa Gray. It’s crucial to understand that your dominant learning modality doesn’t have to be the only one you use to learn. However, it can be the most effective if properly implemented, says Carissa. Once you know which modality you use most, you can explore the available strategies to get the most out of it and become a successful student.