When you sit in class, you are with a group of students who can all be categorized into some specific learner types – eight in fact. If you struggle in one particular class, or with one specific tutor/teacher/professor, it could well be that they are not delivering the lesson in a way that is suitable to your learner type (and not that you are useless at the subject!). It would be extremely onerous to expect any and every teacher to accommodate all learner types when they deliver a lesson, but if you as a student recognize which learner type you are, you can conduct your own studies in ways that are most beneficial to you. You may even find yourself acing that class you’ve been failing at all year.
1. Visual Learners
Although it is one of the common learner types, they are often left wanting in class. If you find it easier to understand concepts and remember information in graphical or pictorial form, then this makes you a visual learner. The good thing about visual learning is that you can include lots of information in a single visual representation. The trouble with visual learning, however, is that schools and colleges don’t use visual communication as much as other forms of communication, such as verbal and written communication.
2. Sensory Learners
Sensory learner types don’t do well with abstractions. They like information that is factual, concrete and immediately relevant. If you are someone who likes to search for the facts, then you are probably a sensory learner. You can play to your strength by outlining subjects and topics in a factual, sequential way. The problem with sensory learner types is that they tend to stick with what they know, instead of trying to adapt and innovate. This is why you should also focus on learning conceptual, theoretical information, and then use your factual learning ability to analyze and assess such information.
3. Verbal Learners
Verbal learner types find it easier and more effective to learn by hearing information, instead of reading it. If you are a verbal learner, then you are in many ways lucky because it is easy to play to your strengths. Focus on what teachers say, make the most out of audio content online and use a Dictaphone to record information and play it back to yourself. The problem with verbal learning is that it takes more time to present and explain information verbally, as opposed to word/graphical/pictorial/diagrammatical learning, so here you should work to develop your skills so you don’t fall behind.
4. Intuitive Learners
Intuitive learners are kind of the opposite of sensory learners. They are interested in finding the meaning behind the information instead of simply knowing the facts. As such, if you are an intuitive learner type, then you will prefer to learn with theoretical and conceptual information. You can work to your strengths by working first to understand subjects as a whole, before getting down to the nitty gritty. If you are a very intuitive learner type, then there is the chance that you may miss important facts and details, so make sure you make the effort to learn the facts and memorize the information that you need to.
5. Active Learners
Active learner types like to get involved with what they are learning. They learn by experimentation, manipulation and general tinkering. If you love practical lessons and working in groups then you will be an active learner to at least some degree. Play to your strengths by focusing on subjects that are practical, while for subjects that are very informational (such as history), arrange group sessions to bring out your activate learner.
6. Sequential Learners
Sequential learner types like to learn with information that is presented and ordered in a structured and orderly fashion. They go from one point to the next, slowly assimilating the information until the bigger picture emerges. If this is the way you like to learn, then you are in luck! It is easy to break subjects down and arrange the most important facts in an orderly way. Just remember not to get too bogged down in the details.
7. Global Learners
If sequential learners like to work to understand the bigger picture by going through the small points in order, then global learners prefer to understand the bigger picture first, and then fill in the details afterwards. If you are a global learner who finds it easy to understand the bigger picture, then you can play to your strengths by reading around the subject. This will strengthen your overall understanding.
8. Reflective Learners
Reflective learners like to think about things. They like to analyze and assess in their mind before they get involved, and this makes them the opposite of active learners. If you are a reflective learner, then you have less need to write things down than other people, and here you can save time by simply thinking instead of writing. However, you should be careful with subjects and topics where you are required to make decisions and take action. Make sure you practice your practical skills.
Have you recognized yourself as one of the learner types? Do you think knowing this now will help you focus on appropriate ways to study for your learner type to achieve better grades?