By Albert Nall
Students attending a workshop on January 28 called “Discover Your Learning Style,” were given a survey to fill out at the beginning of the lecture. The lecture took place in Room 225 of the Millennium Student Building from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. The clinic was led by Tiffany Izard, a workshop specialist from the office of Student Retention and Aubrey Baker, a graduate assistant. Flyers were given out by Baker, outlining the three learning styles.
Auditory learners like to piece together information gleaned through their educational experience by words and sounds. What is important to auditory learners is hearing a speaker’s voice. In that sense, the auditory learner is in his element with projects that include oral presentations. One of the challenges that auditory learners have is dealing with both sound and silence, and being easily distracted by both. An approach for dealing with this is to use tranquil instrumental music when studying. Auditory learners can also benefit from the Cornell Note Taking Method. The system places emphasis on note taking, and recording of lectures by way of extra note columns and condensed sentences. Part of that process is in formulating questions based on the notes. The final elements of the Cornell system are reciting, reflecting, and then reviewing. A study published in 2007 by Wichita State University found that the Cornell method was the best for auditory students who need to fuse and apply learned knowledge.
The visual learner is quite sociable, and will enjoy interacting and engaging with the larger society. Visual learners, in contrast to their auditory counterparts, recall names very well, but could forget a classmate’s face. Visual learners tend to move quite rapidly and may miss distinctions that could lead to summary judgments when they write papers. For example, what may be passé, could be seen as retro from a different context. While auditory learners should sit in front of the class to hear the lecturer; the visual learner needs to hone in more on the facial expressions of a professor, especially in a large lecture hall environment. Experts suggest that the best learning strategy for visual students is by way of symbols, flow charts, graphs, and diagrams.
The final learning strategy discussed at the workshop was for kinesthetic learners. The kinesthetic learner needs to be physically active in order to learn. On the plus side, the kinesthetic student often has great hand-eye coordination along with quick reactions. This type has high energy and is great in activities such as sports, art and drama. Kinesthetic types generally do not like to remain in the same place all the time and need to move around frequently. The best learning method for the kinesthetic student is by way of field trips, labs, and exhibits on class assignments. Some suggestions for kinesthetic types include incorporating real world examples or case studies that will help in the retention of abstract concepts. Some experts suggest asking friends to quiz the kinesthetic student out loud. Also, there are other animated approaches for this type, such as writing out key concepts with a finger in the air.
One exercise the workshop lecturers gave to those in attendance was directed at visual learners. The assignment was to draw a picture based on a theory they were learning in one of their classes. Another exercise at the lecture that was aimed at kinesthetic learners instructed attendees to close their eyes while listening to a video of the Jungle Book. For auditory learners, the students were assigned to two teams who debated on a social topic.
For more information on Student Retention Services and upcoming workshops, contact (314) 516-5300.
(c) The Current 2015