Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on October 30, 2019

How to Use the Learning Style Quiz to Accelerate Your Learning

How to Use the Learning Style Quiz to Accelerate Your Learning

A textbook definition of learning styles is “characteristic cognitive, effective, and psycho-social behaviors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how learners perceive, interact with, and respond to the learning environment.”[1]

That’s a fancy way of saying that different individuals interact with their learning environment in different ways. You’ll often see about learning styles in conjunction with teacher education and other types of cognitive learning courses. The theory is that, if the teacher is aware of the various ways in which people perceive information, they can differentiate the instruction to meet those needs.

To the casual learner (or the person who is trying to improve their life), understanding your learning style can help you find the best way to learn new information. There are seven different learning styles and everybody uses a little of each one (on a sliding scale).

Advertising

In this article we will talk about how many different learning styles there are (and what they mean), get you to try the learning style quiz and find out how to use your specific learning style to improve your life.

The 7 Learning Styles

The following is an overview of the various learning styles:[2]

  1. Visual (spatial). A visual learner thinks in pictures. They prefer having illustrations, pictures, and other types of images to help form a mental image of what they are learning. Visual learners are typically spatial thinkers.
  2. Aural (auditory-musical). An aural learner learns through music and rhythm. While actual music isn’t necessarily required to reach an aural learner, it certainly is more effective.
  3. Verbal (linguistic). A verbal learner prefers using words, both in speech and in reading. A person with this learning style might prefer a good lecture or textbook to more visual and auditory styles.
  4. Physical (kinesthetic). A physical learner prefers using their body, hands, and sense of touch. A person with this learning style is more of a “hands-on” learner who prefers to learn by doing.
  5. Logical (mathematical). A logical learner prefers information to flow from one thought or idea to the next. A person with this learning style prefers mathematics, logic, and reasoning.
  6. Social (interpersonal). A social learner prefers to learn in groups or through social interaction. A person with this learning style usually prefers group-work and project-based learning.
  7. Solitary (intrapersonal). A solitary learner prefers to work alone. People with this learning style are great at teaching themselves and often prefer self-study and online courses to more traditional learning methods.

Did you see yourself in more than one learning style? If so, then you understand that no one person has just one learning style. Each of the above styles exist in everybody to a certain degree.

Advertising

One person might find a certain learning style emerge as the strongest (and, thus, more preferred). However, that does not mean that person cannot learn in one of the other ways listed.

Learning Styles and the Brain

Learning styles influence and guide the way you learn. They affect the way you internally represent your experiences, remember information or even the words you choose.

Research suggests that each learning style makes use of a different part of the brain. Here is the breakdown for each learning style:

Advertising

  • Visual: Visual learners use the occipital and parietal lobes at the back of the brain.
  • Aural: Aural content is mostly processed through the temporal lobes (especially the right temporal lobe for music).
  • Verbal: Verbal content is processed through the temporal and frontal lobes.
  • Kinesthetic: Kinesthetic learning is processed using the cerebellum and the motor cortex.
  • Logical: Logical learning is processed through the parietal lobes (specifically using the left side of the brain as it pertains to logical thinking).
  • Social: Social learning happens in the frontal and temporal lobes.

How to Use the Learning Style Quiz to Improve Your Life

Perhaps you didn’t realize that people had different learning styles before you read this article. Maybe you already knew about learning styles.

Whatever the case, you can learn a lot about yourself just by taking this short learning styles quiz. But what do you do with the knowledge you get from the results?

If you are:

Advertising

  1. Visual Learner. Ditch the audio-books and podcasts and either read or watch lectures online. Your strength is found in visual explanation — seeing the information in a book, diagram, or demonstration.
  2. Auditory Learner. Talk with other people and listen to podcasts or audio-books. Your strength is found in aural cues — hearing the information with your own two ears.
  3. Kinesthetic Learner. Forget about the classroom or online courses. Go out and find a way to learn using a hands-on approach. Take a class at your local community college and get involved with what you are learning about.

Also be aware that most of the learning styles can fit into one of those three categories. You are essentially going to be one of these three types of learning styles paired with an interpersonal or intrapersonal preference. In other words, you either like working with others or you don’t.

Final Thoughts

Have you taken the learning style quiz yet? If not, scroll down this page a little bit and try out the quiz now!

If you spend just five to ten minutes on this quiz, it may give you insight into learning styles that will change your life.

Maybe you were a bad student in school and didn’t realize that this had something to do with it. If you were a kinesthetic learner, for example, you probably hated school with a passion. Use this information to grow in knowledge and, thus, improve the overall quality of your life.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

James Leatherman

The founder of Happymindsets.com and is passionate about personal growth, psychology, philosophy and science

How to Use the Learning Style Quiz to Accelerate Your Learning What an MBTI Personality Test Can Reveal About Your Relationships Why It’s Harder to Make Friends After 40 (and How to Combat the Odds) 13 Methods of Anxiety Relief that Don’t Require a Prescription 13 Crippling Social Anxiety Symptoms Explained & How to Deal with Them

Trending in Learning

1 How to Know Which Types of Learning Styles Work for You? 2 5 Characteristics of a Kinesthetic Learner 3 How Motor Learning Helps You Learn Effectively 4 How Social Learning Helps You Learn Faster 5 How to Use Visual Learning to Learn Effectively

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 31, 2020

How to Know Which Types of Learning Styles Work for You?

How to Know Which Types of Learning Styles Work for You?

One of the biggest realizations I had as a kid is that teaching in school could be hit or miss for students. We all have our own different types of learning styles. Even when I was in study groups, we all had our own ways of uncovering solutions to questions.

It wasn’t only until later in my life did I realize how important it is to know your own learning style. As soon as you know how you learn and the best way to learn, you can better retain information. This information could be crucial to your job, future promotions, and overall excelling in life.

Best of all about this information is that, it’s not hard to figure out what works best for you. There are broad categories of learning styles, so it’s a matter of finding which one we gravitate towards most.

What Are the Types of Learning Styles?

Before we get into the types of learning styles, there’s one thing to know:

We all learn through repetition.

No matter how old you are, studies show that repetition allows us to retain and learn new information.[1] The big question now is what kind of repetition is needed. After all, we all learn and process information differently.

This is where the types of learning styles come in. There are eight in total and there is one or two that we prefer over others. This is important because when reading these learning styles, you’ll feel like you’d prefer a mixture of these styles.

That’s because we do prefer a combination. Though there will be one style that will be more predominate over the others. The key is finding which one it is.

Visual Learning

A visual learner (also known as the spatial learner) excels at deciphering anything visual – typically maps and graphs.

If you are this type of learner, you likely excelled at geometry in math class but struggled with arithmetic and numbers. To this day, you might also struggle with reading and writing to a degree.

Advertising

While visual learners are described as “late bloomers,” they are highly imaginative. They also process what they see much faster than what they hear.

Verbal Learning

Verbal learning, on the other hand, is learning through what’s spoken. Verbal learners excel in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Because of that, they are likely the ones to find thrills in tongue twists, word games, and puns.

They also thoroughly enjoy drama, writing, and speech classes. But give them maps, or challenge them to think outside of the box and they’ll struggle a bit.

Logical Learning

Not to be confused with visual learners, these learners are good at math and logic puzzles. Anything involving numbers or other abstract visual information is where they excel.

They can also analyze cause and effect relationships quite well. Part of that is due to their thinking process being linear.

Another big difference is their need to quantify everything. These people love grouping information, creating specific lists, agendas or itineraries.

They also have a love for strategy games and making calculations in their heads.

Auditory Learning

Similar to verbal learning, this type of learning style focuses on sounds on a deeper level. These people think chronologically and excel more in the step-by-step methods. These are likely the people who will watch Youtube videos to learn or do something the most.

These learners also have a great memory of conversations and love debates and discussions. Chances are likely these people excel at anything oral.

Also as the name suggests, these individuals have great musical talents. They can decern notes, instruments, rhythms and tones. That being said, they will have a tough time interpreting body language, expressions and gestures. This also applies to charts, maps and graphs.

Advertising

Social Learning

Otherwise known as the interpersonal learner, their skills are really unique. They don’t particularly excel in classrooms but rather through talking to other people.

These are the people who are excited for group conversations or group projects. Mainly because they are gifted with coming up with ideas and discussing them.

They also have a good understanding of people’s emotions, facial expressions, and relationship dynamics. They are also likely the first people to point out the root causes of communication issues.

Intrapersonal Learning

The reverse of interpersonal learning, these people prefer learning alone. These are the people who love self-study and working alone. Typically, intrapersonal learners are deeply in tune with themselves meaning they know who they are, their feelings, and their own capabilities.

This type of learning style means you love learning something on your own and typically every day. You also have innate skills in managing yourself and indulging in self-reflection.

Physical Learning

Also known as kinesthetic learning, these people love doing things with their hands. These are people who loved pottery or shop class. If you’re a physical learner, you’ll find you have a huge preference in using your body in order to learn.

This means not just pottery or shop class you enjoyed. You may also have loved sports or any other art medium like painting or woodwork. Anything that involved you learning through physical manipulation you enjoyed and excelled at.

Though this doesn’t just apply to direct physical activities. A physical learner may also find that they learn well when both reading on any subject and pacing or bouncing your leg at the same time.

Naturalistic Learning

The final learning style is naturalistic. These are people who process information through patterns in nature. They also apply scientific reasoning in order to understand living creatures.

Not many people may be connected to this one out of the types of learning styles primarily because of those facts. Furthermore, those who excel in this learning end up being farmers, naturalists or scientists.

Advertising

These are the people who love everything with nature. They appreciate plants, animals, and rural settings deeply compared to others.

How to Know Which One(s) Suit You Better?

So now that you have an idea of all the types of learning styles we have another question:

Which one(s) are best for you?

As a reminder, all of us learn through a combination of these learning styles. This makes pinpointing these styles difficult since our learning is likely a fusion of two or more of those styles.

Fortunately, there are all kinds of methods to narrow down which learner you are. Let’s explore the most popular one: the VARK model.

VARK Model

Developed by Neil Fleming and David Baume, the VARK model is basically a conversation starter for teachers and learners.[2] It takes the eight types of learning styles above and condenses them into four categories:

  • Visual – those who learn from sight.
  • Auditory – those who learn from hearing.
  • Reading/writing – those who learn from reading and writing.
  • Kinesthetic – those who learn from doing and moving.

As you can probably tell, VARK comes from the first letter of each style.

But why use this particular model?

This model was created not only for discussion purposes but for learners to know a few key things — namely understanding how they learn.

Because our school system is focusing on a one-size-fits-all model, there are many of us who struggle learning in school. While we may no longer go to school, these behaviors persisted into our adult lives regardless. While we aren’t learning about algebra or science, we may be learning new things about our job or industry. Knowing how to best retain that information for the future helps in so many ways.

Advertising

As such, it can be frustrating when we’re in a classroom setting and aren’t understanding anything. That or maybe we’re listening to a speech or reading a book and have no clue what’s going on.

This is where VARK comes back in. To quote Fleming and Baume:

“VARK above all is designed to be a starting place for a conversation among teachers and learners about learning. It can also be a catalyst for staff development- thinking about strategies for teaching different groups can lead to more, and appropriate, variety of learning and teaching.”

Getting into the specifics, this is what’s known as metacognition.[3] It helps you to understand how you learn and who you are. Think of it as a higher order of thinking that takes control over how you learn. It’s impossible to not use this while learning.

But because of that metacognition, we can pinpoint the different types of learning styles that we use. More importantly, what style we prefer over others.

Ask These Questions

One other method that I’ll mention is the research that’s done at the University of Waterloo.[4] If you don’t want to be using a lot of brainpower to pinpoint, consider this method.

The idea with this method is to answer a few questions. Since our learning is a combination of styles, you’ll find yourself leaning to one side over the other with these questions:

  • The active/reflective scale: How do you prefer to process information?
  • The sensing/intuitive scale: How do you prefer to take in information?
  • The visual/verbal scale: How do you prefer information to be presented?
  • The sequential/global scale: How do you prefer to organize information?

This can narrow down how you learn and provide some other practical tips for enhancing your learning experience.

Final Thoughts

Even though we have a preferred style of learning and knowing what that is is beneficial, learning isn’t about restriction. Our learning style shouldn’t be the sole learning style we rely on all the time.

Our brain is made of various parts and whatever style we learn activates certain parts of the brain. Because of this fact, it would be wise to consider other methods of learning and to give them a try.

Each method I mentioned has its merits and there’s not one dominate or superior method. What method we like is entirely up to our preferences. So be flexible with those preferences and uncover what style works best for you.

More About Learning

Featured photo credit: Anna Earl via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] BrainScape: Repetition is the mother of all learning
[2] Neil Fleming and David Baume: VARKing Up the Right Tree
[3] ERIC: Metacognition: An Overview
[4] University of Waterloo: Understanding Your Learning Style

Read Next