THE TRUTH ABOUT LEARNING STYLES: For many years, there has been a theory that there are several different learning styles. Some of the basic styles that are usually listed are visual, auditory, kinesthetic. However, the majority of research shows these are not accurate. In fact, believing that you HAVE to study a certain way in order to learn can actually limit your learning! One study asked students to take a quiz to determine their learning style, and then students were given suggestions for how to adapt their studying to that style. When students did so, however, their test scores did not improve.
Students who typically scored the highest on tests were those who were visual learners. So how do you learn visually? Here are some tips.
Visual learners need to see new information in order to truly learn it. Study tips for visual learners.
1. Use color coding. Assign colors to common themes in your notes, textbook, and handouts. For instance, if you are studying anatomy, color code words that relate to the heart in red, the lungs in blue, and so on.
2. Organize your notes. Put all your handouts in one place in a notebook or binder. Make tabs for sections in the binder. Rewrite notes from a lecture. Add new information to the correct sections.
3. Study any charts or graphics that are in the textbook, or look for things like that online. Seeing the information in a different format may help you recall information.
4. Draw pictures or figures to help you remember how concepts are related.
5. Watch documentaries or videos to gain knowledge about what you are learning. If you are starting a new subject area, getting an overview of information can be helpful. Just be sure to use a reliable source for your videos.
6. Draw a concept map. This is a method of visually representing what you are studying. You start by putting your main idea in the middle of the page and adding the details. Here is a sample that uses weather as the topic.
There are many different templates available online for making your own concept maps. One of these is Coggle; see the STUDY APPS box on the Study Skills tab for info and a link.