Learning Styles & Tips

There are 3 primary learning styles: Visual, Tactile (Kinesthetic), and Auditory. Although students are capable of learning new materials using each of these styles, most will find one way to be the easiest. Read each description below from CareerCruising.com (2013) and identify which one best fits you. We also suggest taking the learning styles assessment on their website to more clearly identify your learning style preference(s).

Visual Learning

As a visual learner, you learn best when information is presented in written form or visually through diagrams or pictures. You prefer to read the text book rather than listen to a lecture. A teacher who uses a lot of visual aids, such as notes on the board or handouts, will be easier for you to understand than one who just talks. Here are some things you can do to help you learn:
  • Use diagrams, images and pictures
  • Create flash cards to study from
  • Highlight or underline important information in your textbook and notes
  • Make outlines of the material that shows how the ideas and concepts are related
  • Make notes or write down key words and concepts during lectures
  • Try to visualize the material as you hear it spoken
  • Read the material in the textbook before the lecture
Since you learn best when the information is presented visually, look for ways to make the information visual by making notes and outlines or drawing diagrams and charts. You may want to ask your teachers to make outlines or use visual aids if they don’t

Tactile Learning
As a tactile learner, you learn best from hands-on experience where you can manipulate something in order to learn about it. The more you are able to touch and manipulate the information the easier it will be for you to learn. You learn by doing so you tend to learn better when some type of physical activity is involved. Here are some things you can do to help you learn:
  • Rewrite your notes or type them on the computer
  • Think through a problem while doing something physical like exercise
  • Make diagrams, notes, and flash cards as a way of being physical with the information
  • Actively work the information you are learning by making models or doing demonstrations and practice assignments
  • Use role playing to practice skills or act out what you are learning
  • Take short breaks for physical activity when studying
Since you learn best by doing, look for ways to be active with the information you are trying to learn by using the information in some way to incorporate movement. You may find it helpful to act out material with a study partner, go on field trips or visit museums and science centers.

Auditory Learning
As an auditory learner, you learn best when you can hear the information such as teacher lectures and classroom discussions. You understand and remember things better if you hear them. You may understand better when you read out loud to yourself. Here are some things you can do to help you learn:
  • After reading something, make a summary and say it out loud
  • Try talking to yourself when problem solving
  • You may find written assignments easier if you talk it out as you write
  • If you are having trouble understanding written material, read it out loud
  • Make a recording of lectures to study from
  • Noises may be distracting to you so study in a quiet place
Since you learn best when you can hear the information, look for ways to make the information auditory by reading out loud, making recordings or having people read to you. You may find it helpful to have a study partner who can ask you questions out loud.