A student processes information and learns in different ways. There are three major styles of learning: Auditory, Visual & Tactile. Usually people have a mix of various learning styles but one is more dominant than the others. Some students process information by seeing and visualising, some by hearing and repeating and some by doing.
There are many theories that say a student learns best if taught in a method which fits his style. When a mismatch occurs between the learning style of a student and the teaching style of the teacher, a student ends up being bored, inattentive in class and does badly in tests. However, regardless of a student’s dominant style, it is best to improve the other styles, so as to achieve his complete potential.
An auditory learner learns by hearing and listening. Information is stored by the way it sounds. Memorising is usually done by reading out loud.
Here are some ways to improve the auditory learning style to learn better:
- Sit where you can hear clearly
- Use flashcards with summarized information to read them out loud
- Record lectures and then listen to the recording.
- Read test questions out loud.
- Study new material by reading it out loud
- Discuss topics in your study group
A visual learner learns and remembers by reading or seeing pictures or videos. Understanding is best done by visualising the information in the head.
To improve learning through the visual learning style, you can:
- Learn by watching a demonstration, look at graphics or read
- Try to visualize things that you hear or things that are read to you.
- Turn notes to pictures, charts and graphs
- Make mind maps for concepts
- Watch videos or images of new concepts
A tactile learner learns by touching and doing. Remembering things that are done is easier than remembering things that are seen or heard.
To learn better, tactile learners can:
- Write or draw to improve understanding and remembering
- Use flashcards and arrange them in groups to show relationships between ideas.
- Trace words with your finger while reading
- Take frequent but not very long breaks during reading or studying periods
- Use a computer to reinforce learning through the sense of touch.