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4 Types of Learning Styles: How Do Students Learn Best?

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Every student has a strategy they use to remember information more efficiently while studying. Some of them take notes; some make diagrams; some prefer to listen to lectures, etc. Since no learning style fits all students, scientists have conducted research in order to understand the way students learn new information best.

Let’s look at the different types of learning they have distinguished.

What Are the Four Types of Learning in Education?

We mentioned before that scientists have for years tried to understand the best ways students learn through research. One of the popular theories, to this day, is the VARK model. This model identifies four types of learners: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and reading/writing.

Most people are a combination of these four styles, but more times than not, they have a predominant style of learning. Each of these styles has a complementary way of teaching. Now, let’s see the characteristics each of these styles entails and how best to make use of them.

Visual learning style

visual-learning

Visual learners are individuals who prefer to take in their information visually—be that with maps, graphs, diagrams, charts, and others. However, they don’t necessarily respond well to photos or videos, rather needing their information using different visual aids such as patterns and shapes.

The best way to present to visual learners is by showing them the relationship between different ideas visually. For instance, when explaining a scientific process, it can be done by using a flow chart.

Auditory learning style

auditory-learning

Auditory learners are individuals who learn better when they take in information in auditory form when it is heard or spoken. They are prone to sorting their ideas after speaking, rather than thinking ideas through before. Since, to them,  saying things out loud helps them understand the concept.

Auditory learners learn best when information is presented to them via strategies that involve talking, such as lectures and group discussions. They can benefit from repeating back the lessons, having recordings of the lectures, group activities that require classmates explaining ideas, etc.

Kinesthetic learning style

kinesthetic-learning

Kinesthetic learners are individuals who prefer to learn by doing. They enjoy a hands-on experience. They are usually more in touch with reality and more connected to it, which is why they require using tactile experience to understand something better.

The best way to present new information to a kinesthetic learner is through personal experience, practice, examples, or simulations. For instance, they can remember an experiment by recreating it themselves.

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Reading/Writing

taking-notes

Reading/writing learners consume information best when it’s in words, whether that’s by writing it down or reading it. To them, text is more powerful than any kind of visual or auditory representation of an idea. These individuals usually perform very well on written assignments.

There are different ways to get a reading/writing learner to engage and understand a certain lesson. For instance, it would be best to have them describe charts and diagrams by written statements, take written quizzes on the topics, or give them written assignments.

How Do Students Learn Best?

Given that everyone has a unique learning method, it would be wrong to say that a specific learning style is the best way to go. However, understanding your own style of learning is very important to your studies.

Since the way someone best consumes information can be a deciding factor in their academic success, understanding what kind of learner they are is vital. You can do this by trying all four methods of learning, and then decide which one helps you remember best. Once you know what kind of style fits you, you can tailor your studies to fit your needs.

There are many factors that affect how someone learns best, including the environment, cognitive and emotional factors. However, understanding your learning style can help you learn more easily. According to the VARK system, there are four types of learning styles—visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and reading/writing. We hope this article helped you understand in which category you fall into!

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