Imagine that you are learning how to perform a new physical skill such as riding a bike or dancing a certain style of dance.

In which way would you learn this skill the best?

  1. Looking at pictures of people performing the skill.
  2. Listening to an expert explain how to do the task.
  3. Reading about how to perform the task in a book.
  4. Watching someone else perform the skill and then trying it yourself.

This month we will be looking at learning styles.

Learning styles are a popular concept in psychology and education can identify how people learn best.

You can find out your learning style using the questionnaire below, and this can really help your learning.

There are four learning styles which can show how you like to learn.

1. Visual learners (learning from pictures, movies, diagrams)

2. Auditory learners (learning from music, discussion, lectures)

3. Reading / writing learners (learning from making lists, reading textbooks, taking notes)

4. Kinesthetic learners (learning from movement, experiments, hands-on activities)

Visual learners (learning from pictures, movies, diagrams)

These learners need to see the teacher’s body language and facial expression to fully understand the content of a lesson. They generally prefer to sit at the front of the classroom. These individuals think in pictures and may learn best from visual displays including: diagrams, illustrated textbooks, overhead transparencies, videos, flipcharts, use of interactive whiteboards, and handouts. During a lesson or classroom discussions, visual learners often prefer to take detailed notes to absorb the information.


  • Highlight important points in text; key words
  • Create flashcards for key information; be concise
  • Limit amount of words/information; allows for mental imagery
  • Convert notes and translate words into symbols, diagrams, and/or pictures
  • Create visual reminders of information
  • Practice turning visuals back into words
  • Color-code, underline, and/or highlight information
  • Be creative with charts, diagrams, mind maps

Auditory learners (learning from music, discussion, lectures)

These individuals learn best through verbal lessons, discussions, talking things through, and listening to what others have to say.

These learners often benefit from reading the text and notes out loud and/or listening to recorded notes and information from texts.


  • Work in groups or with a study partner; i.e. discussions: listening, talking
  • Review assignments and text reading before class
  • Read notes and text out loud
  • Recite information that is important to remember
  • Record notes, key information, and lectures; listen to recordings regularly
  • Use books-on-tape

Reading / writing learners (learning from making lists, reading textbooks, taking notes)

Individuals with this preference prefer reading and writing in all its forms. Internet, lists, dictionaries, thesauri, and books.


  • Rewrite notes
  • Read/review notes every day
  • Rewrite ideas and principles into other words
  • Organize diagrams/graphs into statements
  • Turn reactions, actions, charts, etc. into words
  • Write exam answers
  • Practice with multiple choice questions
  • Write paragraphs, beginnings and endings
  • Write lists (a,b,c,1,2,3,4)
  • Arrange words into hierarchies and points

Kinesthetic learners (learning from movement, experiments, hands-on activities)

Kinesthetic learners learn best through a hands learning preference to sit still for long periods. Kinesthetic learners can become distracted by their need for movement and activity.


  • Skim through reading material
  • Move around as you read aloud or
  • Record notes and listen to them
  • Take frequent study breaks
  • Listen to music while studying
  • Sit in the front of the classroom
  • Take notes to stay actively engaged in class
  • Put information on cards to learn, shuffle them and read
  • Go on museum and gallery visits
  • Spend extra time in the laboratory doing practical work
  • Type over notes from text and class
  • Create spreadsheets, tables, charts to organize

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