The way subjects are taught these days is vastly different to the way they were taught 50 years ago. This is partially due to the fact that teachers are more aware of the various types of learners there are, and as such have taken steps to ensure that their classes are always catered for.
Yet sadly this increased focused is not always enough…
The problem is – there are simply too many learning types for teachers to contend with. And with every person – in every class – learning in their own unique way; it can be difficult for them to create the ideal learning environment for every type.
What can be done?
Whilst you may feel that you lean towards a particular learning type, you may find that it is not always applicable to every situation. In fact, you may discover that in certain situations you are one type, whilst in others you are another.
And as you can imagine – this can make teaching students even harder.
So what can you do? How can you ensure that you get the best out of your studies?
Step One: Work out what type of learner are you?
This sounds like a simple enough question, but you also need to take into consideration the type of course you are enrolling onto, as well as the circumstances surrounding your learning.
By understanding yourself and the best way to help you engage in the subject; you can then utilise the recommended learning tips for that particular learning type and apply them to yourself (refer to our last post on Learning Types).
Now if you’re struggling to identify which type of learner you are, then you may need to test yourself. This can be done in one of two ways. First you can utilise one of the many online quizzes that are designed to help you recognise your type. Whilst they are not always 100% accurate, they can help point you in the right direction.
Alternatively, you can try creating a mix of study approaches to see where your preferences lie. Subconsciously, you probably already know what you lean towards. However, if you feel that you fit into more than one type, then you can create a test scenario to help narrow it down.
Example: try creating a scenario where your goal is to learn a topic. Next try applying each of the recommended learning tips for each learner type, and see which you best respond to in that situation.
Step Two: Consider your course.
As mentioned above, the course you choose will affect your learning style. For instance, if it a practical course, then you will need to consider the best ways to achieve this practice whilst keeping yourself motivated.
Step Three: Where is your course located?
Do you plan to enrol onto a distance learning course or do you want to attend a college?
You wouldn’t believe it, but the actual location of your course can affect the way you learn.
Now one of the advantage of enrolling onto a distance learning course is that there is no one set figure guiding or dictating how you learn. Instead, you can take complete control of your learning environment and mould your course to better suit your learning type.
This same flexibility cannot always be applied to a classroom, as here the teacher will control how information is presented to the class. As such, you will need to consider which of these two options best caters to your learning type.
Step Four: Improve your learning.
In our previous post we highlighted some of the key ways that you can improve your learning experience (depending on the type of learner you are). This is important, as each of these tips can help maximise your retention.
For this reason, don’t be afraid to draw diagrams instead of writing a paragraph (or vice versa) or be embarrassed about reading your notes out loud. Embrace what helps you to learn best and use it to your advantage.
As you can see, it is one thing to recognise the type of learner you are, and another to put it into practice. So if you are interested in enrolling onto a new course, why not bear the above points in mind? After all, once you can confidently recognise your learning type, you can feel the immediate satisfaction of knowing that you’ll always be able to get the most out of your course.