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The Three Major Ways of Learning

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There are three major ways of learning. These methods of learning are known as visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Visual learning is learning through seeing, auditory is learning through hearing, and kinesthetic is learning by doing.

What are the differences between the three major ways of learning?

Visual learning is associated with images and techniques that are related to ideas, concepts, or data.

Auditory learning is where a person learns through listening; a good example of auditory learning is learning through a college professors’ lecture.

Kinesthetic learning is where a person learns by performing or doing a task. On-the-job training is an excellent example of kinesthetic learning.

What is the best method of learning? There is no one best method of learning because the success of any learning method depends on the person being taught. Personally, kinesthetic learning seems to work best for me, followed by auditory learning. I can learn visually but it just takes a lot longer.

An instructional video could combine visual and auditory learning in one experience (images and spoken words) or it could have just visual learning (images) or just auditory learning (words).

Sometimes a combination of one or more methods is the best way to learn. Again, the best way of learning all depends on the person doing the learning.

If you are a visual learner, you may close your eyes and visualize a piece of information that you are trying to learn or memorize. If you use flashcards to assist in learning, you generally prefer a limited amount of information on each flashcard so that you can easily recall that information in your mind when needed. Alternate study methods including but not limited to maps, PowerPoint presentations, and videos are also helpful for you. As a visual learner, you will also need to focus on the teacher if they are learning in a classroom setting, as distractions such as looking out the window or looking at another person will not help you learn the required material. If you are a visual learner, consider making relevant illustrations while taking notes and organizing notes after class.

If you are an auditory learner, you will probably be paying attention to changes in the tone of the person speaking to you. You depend on hearing and speaking as the main ways of learning, and may have problems with written instructions. Auditory learners tend to do well on oral exams and are generally good at writing responses to lectures they’ve heard (say in a college class).

If you are a kinesthetic learner you learn best by doing or performing an action. You may struggle with written or spoken instructions. You may find that moving around or multi-tasking actually helps you to learn more effectively, as you remember what your body was doing when you learned a certain concept. You may have a constant need to move, or a very high energy level.  As a kinesthetic learner you may be restless, agitated, and/or impatient especially in the earlier years of formal schooling (kindergarten through eighth grade).

 

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