Different Learning Styles & Tips
Learning Style Tips for Kinesthetic
Students with a tactile, kinesthetic learning style want to use their hands while they're learning. They want to touch the clay, work the machine, feel the material, whatever it is. They want to do. If you learn best using your sense of touch, using the ideas in this list will help you make the most of your study time.
1. Do it!
The most important way for a tactile, kinesthetic learner to learn is by doing! Whatever it is you're learning, do it if at all possible. Take it apart, hold it in your hands, go through the motions, do it. Whatever it is. And then put it back together.
2. Attend events
Participating in events of any kind is a wonderful way for you to learn. If you can't find an event concerning your topic of study, consider creating one of your own. Talk about a learning experience!
3. Take field trips
A field trip can be anything from a visit to a museum to a hike in the woods. Many industries offer tours of their facilities. This is an excellent way to learn straight from the experts. Think outside the box here. Where could you go to learn something fascinating about your topic?
4. Express your learning with art
Create something artful that expresses what you're learning. This could be a drawing, a sculpture, a sand castle, a mosaic, anything. A meal! Create something with your hands, and you'll be sure to remember the experience.
If it helps you learn, doodle in the margins of your books and notebooks. Draw pictures that help you remember the material.
6. Role play in a study group
Study groups are great tools for tactile learners. If you can find the right group of people who are willing to learn with you, role playing can be an excellent way for you to help each other. Role playing can seem silly at first, but if you get great results, who cares?
Do you meditate? If so, take a short meditation break, just 10 minutes, and refresh your body and your mind.
8. Make a note of the environment in which you learned
When you make associations, you're most likely to remember whatever it is you're studying. Make a note of the environment in which you learned it--sight, sound, smells, taste, and, of course, touch.
Fidgeting not only helps you lose weight, it can help you learn if you're a tactile learner. Change the ways in which you fidget, and the association will be an element of your memory. I'm not a huge fan of gum chewers, but chewing gum might be a technique you'll find helpful. Just don't annoy your neighbors with snapping and cracking.
10. Keep an item in your pocket
Beads, rocks, erasers, etc. Keep something in your pocket or bag--a small, smooth rock maybe--that you can rub while you're learning.
11. Retype your notes
If you take hand-written notes, the act of typing them can help your review. Remember flip charts? If you happen to have one, or a large white board, writing your most important notes in a large way can help you to remember them.
12. Volunteer for class demonstrations
This can be tough if you're shy, but volunteering to participate in class demonstrations will be an excellent way for you to remember the material. If you're so shy that all you'll remember is the distress, skip this idea.
13. Use flash cards
Holding cards in your hands, flash cards, will help you test yourself on material that fits on cards. This doesn't work for everything, of course, but if the material can be shortened to a few words, making your own flash cards and studying with them will be an excellent way for you to study.
14. Make mind maps
If you haven't drawn a mind map before, you might really love this idea. Grace Fleming, Guide to Homework Tips, has a nice gallery of mind maps, and shows you how to create them.
When you're studying for long hours, make a point to get up every hour and stretch. Moving your body is important to you. Stretching keeps your muscles oxygenated, including the muscles in your brain.
If you're coordinated enough to walk while you're reading, get up and walk a while with your book or your notes if you don't want to stretch.
16. Use Highlighters
The simple act of moving a highlighter in your hand can help tactile learners remember material. Use lots of different colors and make it fun.
Learning Style Tips for Auditory
Do you want someone to talk you through something before you try it? You might have an auditory learning style. If you learn best by hearing information, the ideas in this list will help you make the most of the time you have for learning and studying.
1. Listen to audio books
More and more books are available in audio every day, many read by their authors. This is a wonderful opportunity for auditory learners, who can now listen to books in the car or just about any place, on a wide variety of audio devices.
2. Read aloud
Reading your homework out loud to yourself or anyone else will help you "hear" the information. It also helps readers improve rhythm. A bonus! You'll need a private study space for this practice, of course.
3. Teach what you have learned
Teaching what you have just learned is one of the very best ways to remember new material. Even if you have to teach your cat of your dog, saying something out loud will tell you if you truly understand it or not. More »
4. Find a study buddy
Studying with a buddy can make learning easier and a lot more fun for auditory learners. Just having someone to talk with about new information helps understanding sink in. Take turns explaining new concepts to each other.
5. Associate music with ideas and concepts
Some people are excellent at associating different kinds of music with certain areas of learning. If music helps you remember new things, try listening to the same kind of music every time you learn a certain topic.
6. Find a quiet space if sounds distract you
If music and other sounds are more of a distraction than a help to you, create a quiet study place for yourself at home, or find a quiet spot in a local library. Wear headphones without listening to anything if it helps block out ambient sounds. If you can't get rid of the sounds around you, try white noise in your headphones.
7. Participate in class
It's especially important for auditory learners to participate in class by asking and answering questions, volunteering to moderate discussion groups, etc. If you're an auditory learner, the more you participate, the more you'll get out of class.
8. Give oral reports
Whenever teachers allow, give your reports verbally in class. This is your strength, and the more you practice speaking in front of groups, the greater your gift will become.
9. Ask for verbal instructions
If you would rather have someone tell you how to do something or about how something works, ask for verbal instructions even when you're handed an owner's manual or written directions. There is nothing wrong with asking someone to review material with you.
10. Ask permission to record lectures
Find a reliable recording device and record your classes for later review. Be sure to ask permission first, and test how far away you need to be to capture a clear recording. Susan Ward has a nice list of reviewed voice recorders: Top Digital Voice Recorders.
11. Sing your notes
Make up your own jingles! Most auditory learners are very good with music. If you can sing, and you're somewhere where you won't annoy the people around you, try singing your notes. This could be a whole lot of fun, or a disaster. You'll know.
12. Use the power of story
Story is an under-appreciated tool for many students. It has a lot of power, and it's especially helpful to auditory learners. Make sure you understand the hero's journey. Incorporate stories into your oral reports. Consider getting involved in helping people tell the stories of their lives.
13. Use mnemonics
Mnemonics are phrases or rhymes that help students remember theories, lists, etc. These are especially helpful to the auditory learner. Judy Parkinson includes lots of fun mnemonics in her book i before e (except after c), and Grace Fleming includes a list of common mnemonics on her About Homework/Study Tips site.
14. Incorporate rhythm
Rhythm is a great tool for auditory learners who are likely to be good at music. Incorporating rhythm with mnemonics is especially fun. Our Rhythm Recap ice breaker could be a fun way for students to study on their own.
15. Buy software that reads to you
Software is available that can read material out loud for people, and write for them, too. It's pricey, but if you can afford it, what a nice way for auditory learners to make the most of their study time. Ann Logsdon, Guide to Learning Disabilities, reviewed Read & Write Gold - A Text Reading and Writing Program for us.
16. Talk to yourself
People might think you're a little on the crazy side if you walk around talking to yourself, but used in the right environment, whispering what you're reading or memorizing can help auditory learners. Just be careful not to bother others.
Learning Style Tips for Visual
Visual learners want to see how something is done before they try it for themselves. They learn by watching. They want you to show them how to do something before doing it themselves. If your learning style is visual, the ideas in this list will help you make the most of the time you have for learning and studying.
1. Watch videos
Videos are one of a visual learners best friends! You can learn almost anything from the videos found all over the Internet today. We made a list for you: 8 Places to Find Free Educational Videos.
2. Ask for a demonstration
Visual learners need to see how something is done. Whenever possible or practical, ask for a demonstration. Once you see something in action, it's easier for you to understand it.
3. Make graphs and charts
When you're learning information that can be organized in a graph or a chart, make one. It doesn't have to be fancy. Scribble one in the margins of your notebook. If you're the digital type, learn Excel and become proficient at creating spreadsheets. Seeing information in this form will help you remember it.
4. Create outlines
Outlines are another great organization tool for the visual learner. See your information in headings, subheadings, and bullet points. Create outlines in your notebook as you read, or choose highlighters in different colors and create colored outlines right in your materials.
5. Write practice tests
Writing practice tests as you read is a wonderful tool for visual learners. You'll find information on how to go about it in The Adult Student's Guide to Survival & Success by Al Siebert and Mary Karr, and in Learning to Learn by Marcia Heiman and Joshua Slomianko. Here's another resource on practice tests: Why You Should Write Practice Tests While You Study
6. Use a really great organizer date book
One of the very best tools for any student is a date book that helps you organize everything you need to remember. Several companies offer this kind of tool. Franklin Covey is one: Organize your life with FranklinCovey!
7. Make mind maps
If you haven't drawn a mind map before, you will really love this idea. A mind map is a visual picture of your thoughts. Grace Fleming, Guide to Homework Tips, has a nice gallery of mind maps, and shows you how to create them.
8. Incorporate white space in your notes
White space is important to visual learners. When we cram too much information into one space, it's really difficult to read it. Think of white space as an organization tool and use it to separate information, making it easier for you to see differences and remember them.
9. Draw pictures
I'm not a huge advocate of drawing in books, but drawing pictures in the margins of your material will help you remember. The pictures should be of whatever it is you associate with the learning.
10. Use symbols
Symbols are powerful things. Use them to help you remember information. Marking your notes and your materials with question marks or exclamation marks will help you visualize where that information came from when it comes time to retrieve it from your memory.
11. Envision using the new information
Some people are better than others at applying what they've learned. Visual learners can increase their application skills by seeing themselves using the information or envisioning whatever it is being learned. Become a movie director in your own mind.
12. Use flash cards
Flash cards are a nice way for visual learners to remember words and other short pieces of information, especially if you decorate them with meaningful drawings. Making your own flash cards and studying with them will be an excellent way for you to learn.
13. Diagram sentences
Once you learn to diagram a sentence, you will forever understand what makes sentences grammatically correct. I can't overemphasize what a gift this will be to you down the road. Grace Fleming, About.com's Guide to Homework/Study Tips, has a wonderful article on How to Diagram a Sentence.
14. Learn how to use PowerPoint
Making PowerPoint presentations can be a whole lot of fun for visual learners. Almost all office software packages come with PowerPoint. If you haven't learned how to use it, take a class, just play around with it, or find an online video! You'll love this tool.
15. Avoid distractions
If you know you're easily distracted by movement, choose a seat in the classroom or a place to study where you can't see what's going on outside a window or in another room. Minimizing visual distractions will help you focus on the task at hand.
16. Take detailed notes
It can be difficult for visual learners to remember verbal instructions. Write down everything you want to be sure to remember. Ask for information to be repeated if necessary.