Finding a Learning Style that’s Right for You

We make a conscious decision of what information we are going to take in on a daily basis – but how do we retain this information? How is it that learning something one way helps us remember more about a subject compared to taking in the same information in a different way?

Everyone is different when it comes to finding a learning style that works best. Some of us are visual learners and like working with images, whereas others may prefer to read about a particular topic, listen to a podcast, or watch a video. One learner may be happy to learn about developments by working from detailed notes, whilst another might prefer to get stuck in and try things out by themselves with minimal guidance, learning what works through trial and error.

The case is just the same for the people within your team, with a rich mixture of personalities and learning styles that often combine to find the best solutions for your clients. Learning is not a one-size-fits-all exercise, so it makes sense that a team will find their own methods that suit them best.

Understanding how we learn can help us develop a strategy that is right for us, helping us to learn more efficiently and avoid any unnecessary frustrations, as well as boosting our confidence in an academic setting.

To do that, we must consider the four key learning styles:

  • Visual – for visual learners, a picture really can tell a thousand words. Infographics, diagrams, images, and videos all help to set out a visual learning map.
  • Auditory – this is sometimes referred to as “aural” or “sound” learning, where information is presented vocally. Learners who prefer this style retain information better through lectures, group discussions, podcasts, and audiobooks. Even discussing the subject and reciting it out loud can have its merits.
  • Kinaesthetic – some learners work best through tactile activities i.e., ‘learning by doing’ as we mentioned earlier. For example, it is one thing to read instructions on how to ride a bike, but a deeper understanding comes from actually riding the bike itself.
  • Reading and Writing – arguably the most common style of learning, this style involves studying text-heavy resources, taking notes, and reading definitions of key terms to gain a broader understanding of a subject.

This is not to say that everyone will fit neatly into one method over another. People continually change and develop, so no singular style is going to suit you forever. For instance, someone might have favoured learning through visuals in primary school but may prefer a more hands-on approach in later years. It’s possible that a combination of two or more styles can help us to reach our full potential.

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.

Whatever your preferred learning style, you should always be open to adapting and trying something new. Now is a great time to explore new ways of engaging with different learning styles and developing even richer training and development experiences to unlock your full potential.

About the author

Jessica joined RWA in 2018, having graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Film Studies. Her role as a content designer involves developing new and engaging e-learning modules as well as assisting in the creation of articles for Insight. 

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