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The 5 Types of Learning

Updated on January 23, 2020
Mohammad Saif profile image

Mohammad Saif is an aspiring Pakistani writer with the aim to reach out to the world and make a niche for himself.

Where we are now as humans may seem like a miracle to a mere amoeba. Though, all things that progress do so when they start learning. This integrative process that we often take too lightly has led us to become the alpha species that were once primitive beings. But nowadays, in the grueling age of midnight exam preparation and an ever greater need to amass knowledge; one needs to develop tools to improve the shining hour.

Learn through writing

Starting with the basics, writing things down actually aids learning. Albeit, some more than others can enhance memorization through the tip of their pen; classified as writing learners. Why this works is because when you write, not only do you reinforce what you have learnt but you bring structure to it aswell, making information retrieval much easier than before. This technique is especially useful for rote learning, though it should be clear that rote learning is all but a short-term hack that is regressive in nature. Furthermore, mnemonic devices can prove to be a great asset in learning long paragraphs that are already classified by headers. Ever wondered why companies such as KFC use abbreviations instead of using the whole name. It’s because the alphabets KFC are easier to remember and serve as a mnemonic. So what are you waiting for, fill those notebooks and be sure to add a few doodles to spice things up.

Read out loud

Does watching videos on mute become an irritating ordeal for you? If so then you’re probably an auditory learner. Why are songs so easy to remember without even putting in the effort to memorize them? It is scientifically proven that a higher level of learning can be achieved by reciting whatever you read out loud. This helps the brain retain information since it gets double the information recall simultaneously. Auditory learners can at times perform better with music on. A calm melody playing besides the workstation might just enhance your learning experience. Moreover one certified way of learning fast with the added bonus of helping other’s is to teach what you want to learn. This can be an excellent reinforcement of concepts since you tend to focus more on the subject matter once you are responsible for teaching it. Just make sure not to use this as an excuse to play rock and roll during homework. Repetition is key to successful revision as well; think of your memory as a set of wires that thicken every time you repeat a process. That’s actually a tidbit on the highly complex system of working memory.

Visual learning

We’ve all the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” and this statement verifies that presentation techniques to learning are far more effective then the previously discussed methods. We distinguish the users of this technique as visual learners. Websites like Khan Academy and Udemy are very useful to such people since the information is relayed through diagrams and illustrated examples. The significance of this can be understood by dissecting the human mind itself. Try imagining a scene from the past (Like your birthday perhaps) and close your eyes to visualize. After some scrutiny it becomes apparent that you can’t remember moving scenes but rather pictures set in motion like movie frames. This shows us that information is stored primarily in the form of images and hence learning using such a medium naturally appeals to us. When troubled with a complex phenomenon, try finding a video that explains it or turn to diagrams and graphs for help. Use flash cards when it comes to teaching kids. A nifty trick that can be used to train the brain to actively learn is to fill your room with sticky notes that contain information related to the upcoming exams. On a conscious level you might be unaware of the notes but subconsciously the brain collects data on regular intervals and the notes are no exception. Learning without even knowing it, cool isn’t it?

Kinesthetic learning

Little known knowledge is that learning through performance is the most powerful form of learning. Let’s put that to the test right here and now. Recall what you studied in your last summer homework and now visualize the last project you made during your summer vacations. If you are a kinesthetic learner then chances are that you vividly remember the project rather than the homework. It’s a no-brainer that activities aid in learning since you get to dirty your hands with knowledge through hands on implementation of concepts. There is a reason why lab practicals are integral to understanding pure sciences such as Chemistry. You can use this fact by tailoring your teaching methods to more activity oriented classes. When trying to memorize a paragraph, associate certain information bundles with illustrative movements such as associating the topic “Cycle of water” with a wavy swirling hand motion. While, this technique works to get learning off pat with kids, it is not very handy when it comes to committing long passages to heart.

Holistic Learning

Learning is a multidimensional concept. Not only is learning ability affected by nurture but by genetics aswell. Some people are naturally adept at learning which can seem unfair at times. To be at the top of your game it is necessary to recognize that a healthy lifestyle greatly correlates to better retention and mastery of learnt concepts. A good night sleep coupled with a balanced diet offers you the premium vantage to tackle exams. Exercising regularly keeps the brain fit and alert to handle a storm of information. Have you ever noticed that harder concepts tire you a lot faster, sometimes causing headaches and often drowsiness? That’s because challenging concepts require greater brain energy and strategies need to be implemented to expand your timeframe of concentration. One such strategy is studying in short bursts of time and taking rests in the form of rewards after completing each block. Another scientifically proven way to rigorously memorize is to read the concepts without rote learning and revisiting the concepts after successively decreasing length of time intervals. Another good piece of advice is to summarize whatever is studied in the form of a pointer list; with each postulate pointing towards a larger body of categorized info.

Remember that a shield and a sword work together to win a battle. Hence combining all the techniques mentioned above can prove to be your winning strategy. Experiment and find out what works for you. Good luck and happy learning!

Which Type of Learning works out for you?

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© 2018 Mohammad Saif

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