Becoming a more effective learner

One of the most important factors when becoming a more effective learner is identifying the learning style that suits you best. We all learn differently - some of us are visual and like working with images, whereas others may prefer to read about a particular topic. Some, on the other hand, may choose to listen to an audio clip or watch a video. Essentially, we all work differently.

A particular learning style may be successful for others, but it may not work for you. Discovering what suits you best will help you learn more efficiently and avoid unnecessary frustrations.

How do you learn best?

It’s likely that you’ve barely considered it. With busy lives to manage, there is often little time to sit down and figure out how best to learn - we just do it without thinking about it.

Learning is an important process, crucial for our personal and professional development. It is a reflective activity in which the individual looks back on past experience in order to evaluate their present situation and challenges. By doing this, they are able to grow, shape their own future and gain new knowledge. As you can see, there is great value in becoming a more effective learner and understanding what works for you.

Over the years, throughout our education and working lives, we develop certain learning preferences - you may not even realise it’s happening. However, take a look at the following recognised styles and see which one best describes how you work:

Whatever your preferred learning style, you should always be open to adapting and trying something new. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. In certain situations, for example, an open-minded activist may be more productive than a more tentative reflector. However, it works both ways – and in a different situation the roles could be reversed. Learn to adapt to your situation and you may surprise yourself by realising how productive you can be.

Of course, most of us are likely to have a profile containing more than one of these styles. People continually change and develop so no style will suit them forever. The advantage of effective e-learning is that it caters for all of these learning styles, incorporating a mix of text, images, diagrams, audio, video and/or interactive elements. Learning material is transformed into something fresh and engaging, through a rigorous design process. At the heart of this, is the learner.

About the author

Lisa joined RWA in 2014 as an e-Learning Assistant, designing training material for the Aviva Development Zone e-learning platform.

Her role as Head of Content and Communications involves the editorship of RWA Insight. It also includes reviewing e-learning content as well as providing proofreading, copywriting and standards support across the business.

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