What is your learning style?
As a College, we are naturally committed to learning and how students learn, and would like you, our learners, to share our commitment.
Last week’s blog by Ozzie Logozzo, the College’s executive director, stated that “the prospective learner must come motivated and be desirous of doing well while the instructor and the college provide a positive climate for learning.” The College will focus on providing a positive climate for learning and qualified instructors. Now, let’s focus on how to motivate you, the learner.
Motivation is heightened when you are learning successfully. How do you become a successful learner? You must determine what type of learner you are, and understand how you learn. Only then can you develop an appropriate strategy to become a more efficient – and successful – learner.
To understand how you learn, you must first evaluate the way you prefer to learn or process information. Then, you will be able to develop appropriate strategies and become a more efficient learner.
There is an abundance of literature on how people learn, summarized in How We Learn: Closing the gap between andragogy and pedagogy [http://www.oreablog.com/2012/05/how-we-learn/]. For non-academics, these terms may be complicated. Therefore, to determine your learning style, let’s focus on the basic and most widely known learning styles – visual, auditory, or kinaesthetic/tactile. Visual learners learn best by seeing/reading. Auditory learners learn best by listening. Kinaesthetic/tactile learners learn best by moving, touching or doing.
Determining Your Learning Style
Think about a current or past lesson, either in class or online. Did you understand it? Notwithstanding the topic, did you enjoy it? Were you successful? If yes, how was it taught? What activities did the instructor use? What strategy did you use to understand and remember the information?
You are a VISUAL learner if you:
• take notes during lectures to review them later
• make graphs and charts to help you learn
• understand things better by reading than by having someone talk about them
• prefer to learn from a teacher who uses flow charts, diagrams, and slides
You are an AUDITORY learner if you:
• remember best by listening to lectures
• recite material to help you remember
• prefer spoken to written directions/instructions
• enjoy group discussions
You are a KINAESTHETIC/TACTILE learner if you:
• remember best by writing things down several times
• prefer to construct models or practise activities in class
• use gestures a lot when explaining a concept
• make flash cards to record information for review
There is no right or wrong way to learn. And, if you’ll excuse the cliché, your learning style is not written in stone. In fact, learning styles change over time and may change in different situations.
Your goals are to:
• evaluate the way you prefer to learn
• determine your learning style
• use appropriate strategies (as noted above) that fit the learning style
• adapt the instructor’s lesson to your learning style
Tell us your preferred learning style – complete our Facebook survey at http://www.facebook.com/OREAcollege
[Source: Academic Advising & Career Centre, University of Toronto Scarborough]
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