Learning styles are preferred ways of learning new information or material. Common learning styles including visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and multimodal. Consider how you prefer to learn new information:
- Would you rather see, hear, or “try out” the information?
- Do you repeat it to yourself; visualize it; draw a diagram or table?
- Are you a good "story-teller"? Do you prefer to write down information? Do you prefer to work with your hands?
Most people like to use a variety of these learning styles, but many of us have a preferred way of learning. Understanding if you are more of a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner can help you study and prepare for exams more effectively.
Visual learners prefer to use images, pictures, colors, and diagrams to organize information and communicate with others. Visual learners can benefit from creating and using charts, graphs, images, and pictures to learn information. Also, underlining and using color highlighters can enhance information processing.
Auditory learners prefer to access information through listening to stories, information, music, and so forth. Auditory learners may benefit from reading notes aloud, recording themselves and listening to it, and imagining themselves teaching information to others.
Kinesthetic learners like to learn by doing. Walking around when studying, making graphs or models of concepts, and putting steps or information onto 3x5 cards and arranging them in sequence can be helpful for Kinesthetic learners.
Multimodal learners prefer several different ways of ingesting information. Combining different methods for learning information can be helpful for a multimodal learning style.
Learning Style StrategiesTry out some of these strategies when you are studying to help enhance your preferred way of learning.
- Oregon State University Academic Success Center
- The University of Western Ontario Student Development Services