The following article was written thanks to Charlotte Chase, our newest GOFISH volunteer.
I think we all remember a time where we’ve struggled to take in information, and then we’ve glanced across to someone else in the room who has stormed ahead in whatever task or lesson we’ve participated in (looking at you Rebecca in my Year 9 science class!) It can be disheartening when you feel like nothing is going in but it’s really important to understand that learning is different for everyone; different in pace, method and environment.
Understanding what type of learner you are and how best to go about learning can really boost your confidence in your ability, whilst also ensuring that you know what revision or practice is going to help you past that exam or assessment you’ve been dreading. Today, I’m going to share with some ways of not only finding out what type of learner you are, but also how to effectively make the most out of your learning time.
There’s a simple test on the Education Planner website that can tell you what your learning style is which I found to be the most straight forward and informative test out there. I’m going to break down the types of learner that you could possibly be.
Firstly we have Auditory Learners. Hearing the information helps you remember it and spoken instructions are much clearer and concise than if you were to read them. Listening to an educational podcast about whatever you are investing your learning into are perfect for an Auditory Learner.
Next we have Visual Learners. Seeing a picture, a video demonstration or data in a graph is the best way to learn new things for these types of learners. Visualising images in your mind improves the clarity of information and watching an engaging video that captures your attention maximises the effectiveness of your learning.
Lastly we have Tactile Learners. As toddlers, touch and interaction are the ways that we are introduced to the world and for these types of learners, this carries on later in life. Finding out how things work, tinkering with what you find interesting and getting “hands-on” is the best way to understand. Instead of simply watching or having something explained, getting involved and interacting can cause a lightbulb moment.
I found out that I am a “Visual Learner”, which is scarily accurate. If I need to take in a lot of information, you best believe I’ll have a collection of confusing mind maps (that only make sense to me) on the go! This particular test also gives you percentages of your auditory, visual and tactile learning styles. For example, whilst I learn best from pictures and reading, I also find listening to be helpful in my learning. We all have a bit of each of these learning styles as humans, it’s just a case of finding which one helps you the most.
The test also provides you with some tips on how to learn more effectively, anything from introducing colour coding to your notes to chewing gum whilst you’re learning to concentrate. Building on from your strengths and implementing them into your learning routine can greatly improve how effective it is.
If you’re in school, college or university, it may also be beneficial to know how best you learn in an environment where your teachers may push you to learn in particular way that just doesn’t work for you. Coming to an understanding with your teacher, tutor or mentor about how best you learn is a two-way benefit as they can also adapt their teaching to help you make the most out of your time with them.
You may not even need to take a test to know how best you learn. If something works for you, then it works for you. All you need to do is keep at it to ensure that you produce the amazing results that you’re capable of!