If you’re about to embark on upskilling, give some thought to how you prefer to learn and you might find the learning process less daunting.
Have you ever given thought to how you prefer to receive information or learn new things? Does it go in one ear and out the other when you hear it, but if you read it you always remember it?
Having a better understanding of how you prefer to feel out new information is a really handy skill to have at your disposal.. If you’re looking to upskill, you’ll retain the information much more quickly when you learn in your preferred style. This skill is also handy if you're just looking to be a better team player because once you know how you prefer to feel out information and new ideas, you’re more likely to contribute and collaborate in a more meaningful way.
There are four types of learning styles listed here; Visual, Auditory, Read/Write and Kinesthetic. Read through these and see which one you find yourself preferring.
Visual learners often learn best using visual aids like videos, pictures, graphs, diagrams and charts. If you are a visual learner, you will often remember what you saw rather than what you read or heard and you may have difficulty remembering information passed on verbally. To maximise this to your benefit, pay extra attention to graphs and charts, or see if you can channel your understanding into something visual (like a diagram), incorporating lots of colour. Writing down notes will help the visual learner retain information.
Auditory learners learn best from listening. If you are an auditory learner, you may find you often talk to yourself while studying and explaining concepts to yourself out loud. To get the most out of this style, you’d benefit from discussions in collaborative groups where you will be able to talk to other people about key concepts and listen to them talk through their thoughts. You’ll also probably enjoy podcasts as a format to learn new things and reinforce key concepts or thoughts in action.
Read/write learners learn best from the written word like handouts, books, lists and glossaries. If you are a read/write learner, you will find yourself opting for transcripts of presentations as opposed to audio or video files and will choose to read and re-read these in your own time, before talking about them with your team. To get the most out of this learning style, it’s helpful to convert charts or diagrams into dot points or write out the meaning of the charts to help you retain the information. You will also benefit from writing out notes or actions from meetings; having things documented will really help you out.
Kinaesthetic learners learn best by turning their learning into an activity. If you are a kinaesthetic learner, you may find you like taking notes and doodling while listening to teachers and will retain information best by participating in demonstrations. Similar to an auditory learner, your most effective way of processing information is in a group setting, explaining key concepts to those around you. Also similar to a visual learner, you retain information easier through turning your notes into diagrams and charts.
Have you worked out your learning skill yet? While most of us will use each learning style to a certain degree, we tend to favour one or two preferred ones. Put it to use and see how it goes.
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