Determining Your Learning Style

Everyone learns differently. The way that one person learns is probably different from the person who is sitting next to them. There are multiple styles of learning and each of them presents its own benefits and challenges.

Figuring out what type of learner you are can make learning easier because you can focus on learning in the way that is right for you.

Active vs. Reflective Learning

Active learners are able to understand and retain information by discussing that information, applying it to real situations, or explaining it to others. These people tend to prefer group work and love to “try things out” to see if they work. Active learners have a hard time sitting still and taking notes. Reflective learners retain information when they have a chance to think about it. They prefer to work alone and they need some thinking time during lectures. Reflective learners prefer to think things through when learning about them.

Sensing vs. Intuitive Learning

Sense learners love to learn facts and use problem-solving methods to enhance their learning. They are patient with the details and tend to be more practical. These people can memorize facts and do very well with hands-on work like labs or projects. Intuitive learners are a bit more organic. They prefer to discover possibilities on their own, love innovation, and dislike repetition or routines. They are very good at grasping new concepts and they are comfortable with more abstract subjects like advanced mathematics or philosophy.

Visual vs. Verbal Learning

The differences between visual learners and verbal learners are easy to understand. Visual learners use their eyes to learn. It means they learn best by looking at pictures, diagrams, demonstrations, or other similar activities. Verbal learners are able to retain more knowledge from words. They learn best through spoken words or even written words so lectures and books are the best way for them to learn new things.

Sequential vs. Global Learning

Sequential learners can understand concepts and ideas very well if they are broken down into smaller, logical steps. They tend to follow a logical thought process in problem solving, and though they may not understand something fully, they can grasp the basics. Global learners learn in large jumps and absorb material almost randomly. It’s like they suddenly “get it.” They sometimes solve problems quickly but may have difficulty explaining their knowledge.