What Type Of Learner Are You? Find Out Now
Learning is something you’ve done from the time you were a wee babe in the playpen.
And how you go about it says a lot about the type of learner you are.
We each have a favourite approach to learning fresh facts from our courses. For you, it might be to retreat to your room and bury your head in a text book. For your best friend it might be to listen back to a recording of a lecture and take more detailed notes. And for the guy or gal down the hall it might be to apply the new information in practical scenarios.
The best known academic model* identifies three learning styles: auditory, kinaesthetic and visual. So what type of learner are you? Perhaps you have a dominant learning style. Or perhaps you take a variety of approaches to learning, depending on the particular challenge? Take the quick quiz below to find out.
Q1. When learning a new skill I like:
- Someone to explain it thoroughly to me
- To get stuck in and have a go
- To watch someone demonstrate how to do it
Q2. When distracted, I usually:
- Hum or whistle to myself
- Fiddle with things
Q3. I would prefer to:
- Listen to an audiobook
- Act out a story
- Read a comic strip
Q4. My attention is more likely to be grabbed by:
- A radio advert
- In-store promotions where I can interact with products
- A magazine or TV advert
Q5. I can often be found:
- Listening to music or podcasts
- Being active, playing sport, hiking, dancing etc.
- Watching a film
Q6. In lessons I respond best to:
- Teachers who give detailed explanations
- Teachers who get me to do things
- Teachers who use lots of diagrams
Q7. I am most likely to remember:
- Names of people and places
- How to perform intricate actions, such as tying knots
Q8. The game I am best at would be:
- Name the tune (players hum/whistle tunes and must guess what the song is)
- Charades (players act out scenes from films, books, plays and must guess the title)
- Pictionary (players draw images and must guess what they are)
If you chose mainly…
1s, you are an auditory learner
This means you find it easier to solve problems and remember new information by listening to lectures, following spoken instructions and repeating things out loud. During lectures you like to listen carefully to what the speaker is saying and how they are speaking. You sometimes like to use visual study aids when they are accompanied by some form of audio information, such as a recording of a lecture.
Learning tip: When writing essays, record yourself speaking through your ideas before putting pen to paper.
2s, you are a kinaesthetic learner
This means you find it easier to solve problems and remember new information by physically and mentally exploring the world around you. During lectures you prefer to participate in interactive activities. You tend to dislike sitting and listening for long periods of time during talks and discussions.
Learning tip: Check out online tools for creating 3D models, surveys, quizzes, games and activities for bringing your learning alive.
3s, you are a visual learner
This means you prefer to learn through observation and visualisation. During lectures you like to create detailed notes of what is being said, while carefully observing the speaker and your learning environment. Visual aids are so key to your learning that you often drift off in lectures when they aren’t used.
Learning tip: To solve problems and remember new information, make use of a range of visual aids, such as written notes, hand-outs, mind maps and videos.
A final thought
With everyone having their own approach to learning, it’s important that universities make course material accessible in multiple formats, so that every student can reach their potential.
Sonocent makes software which enables students to take better notes. Learning-style definitions were provided by Colleen Godhino, an assistive technology trainer who helps students with note taking, revision, research and other study strategies.
*Barbe, Walter Burke; Swassing, Raymond H.; Milone, Michael N. (1979). Teaching through modality strengths: concepts and practices. Columbus, Ohio: Zaner-Bloser.
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