Identifying and understanding your own personal learning style is a great way to help you get the most out of your studies.
But how do you find out what your learning style is? It’s pretty simple:
The 4 learning styles – VARK
There are 4 basic learning styles:
V - Visual
You’re a visual learner if you find you learn most effectively when you’re looking at things like graphs, maps, diagrams, and other visuals that represent words and convey information.
If, for example, you find diagrams drawn on a whiteboard helpful in conveying the relationship between different concepts, then you’re likely to be a visual learner.
If you’re a visual learner, using visual learning aids such as those outlined above can help you excel in your studies.
A - Aural
You’re an aural – or auditory – learner if you learn most effectively when you’re listening to information or speaking. This can include both talking out loud as well as talking to yourself.
Aural learners tend to learn most effectively through things like:
- Group discussions
- Phone discussions
- Skype calls
- Face-to-face discussions
If you’re an aural learner, auditory learning aids like those listed above will help you get the most out of your studies.
R - Read/write
If you learn most effectively when information is presented to you in written words, then you’re likely to be a read/write learner.
If you learn best through reading and writing, resources such as
- PowerPoint presentations,
- Journal articles,
- Newspaper articles,
- Textbooks, and
- eBooks are the ideal resources for you to study effectively.
K - Kinesthetic
If you learn most effectively when you’re “hands-on” – figuring things out for yourself by trying them out through actions – then you’re most likely a kinesthetic learner.
If you’re a kinesthetic learner, you typically learn best through things like:
- Practical demonstrations
- Videos of real-life scenarios
Using learning aids like these throughout your studies will help you to effectively learn and understand new information and concepts.
Are you a bit of everything?
As humans, we’re all unique, and we don’t always fall into one specific predefined category – this goes for our personal learning styles, too.
If one particular learning style doesn’t seem to stand out among the rest in your case, then you’re most likely multimodal (MM), which just means you either:
- Have a flexible learning style, where you can easily and effectively switch from one mode to another depending on what and how information is being presented to you; or
- Need to have a combination of all your preferred modes to study and learn at your best.
If you’re not exactly sure which of the VARK categories you fall into, or if you’re an MM learner, you can take the VARK questionnaire to find out.
Once you’ve identified your personal learning style, it’s a good idea to utilise learning materials that facilitate this style of learning during your studies, so you can make the most of your learning potential.
If you want to find a course that supports your personal learning style, it’s a good idea to contact your institution to find out what learning resources are available.
The University of Hull Online offers 100% online masters courses – delivered using cutting-edge online learning platform Canvas – that utilise a range of online learning tools and resources to support your individual learning style.