When I was a kid, I was exposed to different types of learning styles through school. I vaguely remember my teachers explaining each learning style and how each individual’s learning process is unique. I did not pay much attention to what was being said until much later in life. It wasn't until my high school and early college years that recognized the importance of understanding my own learning style.
When I was younger, my teachers always handed out resources and were by my side to help. As I grew older and gained more independence, I had to self-study and revisit the material taught in class on my own. This transition was difficult because I did not know how to learn and study by myself.
When attending a lecture, I found that I retained the content better when I watched a video presentation instead of just listening to the audio. I recognized that I learn best when looking at a chart or slides, but I was unsure of how to integrate that into my academic lifestyle. I remembered learning about learning styles as a child and decided to read up about them. I read articles and took a quiz and found out that I am mainly a visual learner. Furthermore, I learned about the other learning styles which the VARK model exemplifies (visual, aural, read/write, kinesthetic).
The Different Learning Styles
Visual learners learn by seeing information through diagrams, charts, and graphs. They remember things best through images and graphic symbols. Aural learners learn by hearing information through discussion, lectures, and radio. They sort out their ideas by speaking to others or themselves.
Read/write learners prefer information displayed as words, such as reports, essays, and lists. They learn best by writing descriptions and jotting down notes. Finally, kinesthetic learners learn by demonstration, hands-on interaction, and real-life experiences. They prefer concrete examples that they can touch, see, hear, smell, and taste.
After understanding the different learning styles, I realized that I incorporate all of these styles into how I process information. Although I am mainly a visual learner, it does not mean I am only a visual learner. I love reading and writing information when I take my own notes. I learn best through hands-on interaction if I am trying to grasp a complicated concept. I recall information better if I memorize the material through a song.
People learn through a combination of all the different styles, and having one dominant style does not mean you should ignore the others. If you want to see a more detailed description of the VARK model, read more here and if you want to figure out your own learning style, take this learning styles quiz!