When we speak of learning styles, we should avoid stereotyping learners. In fact, learning styles are similar to personality traits. While we all share personality traits, we also differ significantly with each other. The same goes for learning styles.
Research has shown that the more aware we become of our own learning styles, the better we learn -- think of it as maximizing your strengths. If you have difficulty learning a particular subject or skill, you can search for alternative methods for understanding the new content.
What are these alternative strategies? Try using surveys found on the Internet. Several websites can get you started in exploring your learning style -- each is based on research, but we cannot account for their validity -- we recommend that any profiles offered be taken to a professional academic counselor for validation.
Some learners have no difficulty learning using only textbooks. Others need to have hands-on experiences or experiment with the subject matter in order to understand -- still some learners benefit from group work and discussions. Each of these refers to one of the following learning styles, verbal, kinesthetic, and interpersonal. Additionally, knowing your learning style (verbal, kinesthetic, or interpersonal) may direct you into a field of study that compliments both your style and interests.
DVC Learning Style Survey for College: Has a good introduction, four categories of styles (visual/verbal; visual nonverbal; tactile/kinesthetic; auditory/verbal), and a self-assessment web-based tool -- results/scores are based upon 32 questions.
Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire: (Felder/Silverman) Features learning preferences on four dimensions (active/reflective, sensing/intuitive, visual/verbal, and sequential/global); and a self-assessment instrument self-scored. Results/scores are based upon 44 questions.
The Success Types Learning Style Type Indicator: (Pelley) Based on the Myers Briggs Type Indicators (extraversion, introversion, sensing, intuition, thinking, feeling, judging, perceiving) -- introduction and links to related Myers Briggs type indicators -- results/scores are based upon 28 questions.
Learning Disabilities Resource Community's: Self-assessment instrument is based upon Howard Gardner's work on multiple intelligences (linguistic, mathematic, visual/spatial, body/kinesthetic, naturalistic, music, interpersonal, intrapersonal) -- results/scores are based upon 80 questions.
Learning Style Inventory: A pen and paper inventory checklist with descriptions based upon Kolb's Learning Styles.
Next time we'll discuss time management -- meanwhile, I hope this finds you well.
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