We always hear teachers say that everyone learns differently, but how do we know of the different types of learners? Different types of learners learn through different teaching styles and identifying what type of learner you are can help your studies.
Below you will find information about the four most common learning types and eight different learning styles.
The most commonly agreed-upon model of learning types is called the Vark model. It includes four different types of learners that people can be categorized into.
Not everyone falls into just one learning type and it is quite common for people to be a combination of two or even three learning types.
Visual learners are the people who absorb information by looking at pictures, graphs, and charts. These types of learners have the easiest time learning when instructors include presentations with displays of diagrams and maps that convey the information being taught.
If you find yourself looking up diagrams or drawing charts and doodles in your notes, you may be a visual learner. It is common for all types of learners to benefit from visual learning in subjects like geometry because some subjects are most easily taught this way. Visual learners differ from the other types of learners because they need this style of teaching in all subjects in order to properly absorb information.
Auditory learners are the type of students who learn best from listening to lectures and reading material. These learners thoroughly enjoy lecture days, tend to not care much for visual presentations, and often read their notes aloud as part of their studying.
You may be an auditory learner if you find yourself enjoying lectures and not needing to take notes during them. If you study best by relaying information to a study partner and having them relay it back to you verbally, this is also a sign of being an auditory learner.
Kinesthetic learners are hands-on learners. These types of students are often fidgeting with things on their desks during long lectures and presentations, and they learn best when able to do hands-on learning activities, like science labs. Students who are kinesthetic learners often enjoy gym class, as it gives them an outlet for their desire to work with their hands.
If you find yourself particularly engaged in science labs, physical education classes, or when you simply have a fidget spinner in your hands, you may be a kinesthetic learner. Other tell-tale signs include being unable to focus during lectures and becoming increasingly fidgety as a class period drags on with no hands-on learning outlet.
Reading and Writing Learners
Reading and writing learners absorb information best when they are able to study written words. This means reading textbooks and study guides and writing extensive notes. For reading and writing learners, textbooks, notebooks, and lots of writing utensils are absolutely vital to their learning process.
If you find yourself taking elaborate notes with your favorite pen or pencil, it is quite likely that you are a reading and writing learner. You may also find yourself rephrasing and rewriting your notes to help better learn more difficult and confusing subject materials.
Among the different learning types are eight different learning styles. There are many different combinations of learning types and styles to fit every learner, and it is quite common to learn best from a few different styles.
Also known as solo learners, intrapersonal learners learn best when alone. People who learn from this style are often more intrinsically focused and learn best by setting challenging but achievable goals for themselves. When working with others, intrapersonal learners may feel that their goals are being interrupted or disturbed, therefore hindering their learning.
Naturalists are learners who do best when working in and with nature. It is quite common for naturalists to become scientists and biologists, as they are very in tune with nature and natural processes. These learners learn best when experiencing the natural world around them, being out in the fresh air, and doing hands-on experiments.
Also known as visual learners, spatial learning types do best when they have visual aids. Instead of hands-on learning or lecturing, the spatial learning style is enhanced when there are diagrams, charts, maps, and graphs to display the information that needs to be conveyed.
Physical, or kinesthetic, learners need to be doing something to learn. This learning style thrives on physical activity and hands-on experiments. Similar to naturalistic learners, physical learners often become scientists because performing experiments and hands-on studies engage them more than any other style of learning.
Aural learners are often referred to as musical or rhythmic learners. People who benefit from this learning style often come up with songs or rhymes to remember information. Aural learners may also study best when listening to certain types of music. Audiobooks have also proven to be useful for the aural learning style.
Similar to aural learning, verbal learning often involves creating rhymes to remember information. Verbal learners tend to do best in group discussions, projects, and simply when learning new vocabulary.
Logical learners enjoy finding patterns and trends within subject material. They study best by using facts and problem-solving abilities. Logical learners are often called analytical learners, as they enjoy analyzing and using logical reasoning to find answers.
Also known as social learners, the interpersonal learner is someone who learns best from others. People with this learning style do best when they are able to work in groups, do performance presentations, and share personal stories in class. This learning style is often found in drama and the arts.
Get to Know Your Learning Type
There are many quizzes available for you to take to help identify your learning type and styles. By taking a few of these, you will be able to gain a better understanding of how you learn and what study practices work best for you. This is something we highly suggest for high school and college students alike, as good study practices lead to better education.