The key to students learning efficiently and effectively is using the right learning techniques and resources depending on their individual learning style. As everyone learns in different ways, it’s important for students to be able to work out what kind of learner they are and be able to adapt their studies with specific techniques and use resources to maximise learning. Doing this can make all the difference between students excelling in class or just passing.
What Type of Learner?
Firstly, it’s important to recognise what type of learner students identify with the most. Here are the four main types of learners with typical traits of each.
- Learns by seeing
- Responds well to demonstrations
- Enjoys visually pleasing presentations
- Thinks in pictures
- Takes detailed notes
- Likes to sit at the front of class
- Very creative/ artistic
- Learns by listening and verbalising
- Listens for keywords and phrases
- Responds well when things are read aloud
- Thinks in a linear fashion
- Reads slowly
- Prefers to hear, rather than read information
- Learns through trial and error
- Prefers a ‘hands on’ approach
- Uses multiple senses to engage with material
- Enjoys solving real life problems
- Short attention span
- Learns best by reading and writing
- Easily understands explanations on paper/screen
- Takes plenty of notes in class
- Organises thoughts by making lists
- Translates lessons into words
- Enjoys reading
Learning Resources to Help Studies
Now the type of learner has been identified, it’s important for students to use resources when studying that will help maximise their learning and retention of information.
Flashcards. Making and using visual aids such as flashcards or posters are a very helpful resource for visual learners, and can make all the difference when studying for an exam.
Whiteboards. Visual learners can make excellent use of whiteboards to write out mind maps or to draw charts and diagrams to assist with their understanding and learning.
YouTube. Visual learners can use educational YouTube channels as a learning resource. We recommend TEDed, for carefully curated educational videos or BBC Teach for a variety of videos covering 22 subjects, ranging from early years to GCSE level and even higher education.
Dictaphone. Auditory learners do well when they can listen again to lessons or notes being read aloud. Using a dictaphone will mean students can either record lessons at school or even record themselves reading notes aloud so they can listen again later.
Podcasts. Listening to educational podcasts is a great resource for auditory learners, especially as there are so many great ones to choose from. Our blog post here, has picked our favourite podcasts for teens.
Studying with Others. Even though this may not be a conventional learning resource, studying with friends or in a group is going to work wonders for auditory learners. It means students can talk out loud and hear the information being discussed, making it much easier to remember.
Materials and Objects. Kinesthetic learners love to manipulate things in the environment and doing so as they work with ideas helps the material stick. Using materials and objects in their surroundings, students can make things or roleplay to help with their learning. This resource is often extremely effective, especially for younger children.
Access to Outside. Often playing sports or just getting outside and moving before or after study sessions stimulates learning for kinesthetic learners. Having this as a resource might seem a little unconventional, however being able to move is crucial!
Whiteboard/Poster Materials. Kinesthetic learners benefit from moving their hands to help reinforce what they're studying. Having a whiteboard or poster materials means students can draw images or write out words to help them learn.
Lots of Notebooks and Textbooks. Read-Write learners thrive using more traditional study techniques such as reading textbooks and taking detailed notes. Having plenty of blank notebooks is an important learning resource that students can use to write bullet point lists during lessons, translate graphs into their own written summary, re-write their own notes or write out their own questions and answer them.