Learning Styles


We all have preferences for how we learn best. Are you visual, auditory or kinaesthetic? Put another way, do you like to see what I mean, or prefer to hear my idea or are you someone who likes to experience or feel what is being talked about.

A person’s learning style is a combination of how they perceive, then organise and finally process information. Once you’re familiar with your learning style, you can take action to help yourself learn faster and more easily.

Plus, learning how to decipher the learning styles of others, like your boss, colleagues, teacher and family can help you strengthen your rapport and influence with them. Determining your own personal learning style is a key to improved performance at work, in training and study, and in social situations. Trainers, teachers and educators are (very slowly) realising that everyone has an optimal way of taking in new information and that some students need to be taught in ways that vary from standard teaching methods. Traditional teaching and assessment has always been aimed at visual learners.

Just as some people have a preference for being right or left-handed, we appear to have a preference for the way we sense the world. To decipher your predominant learning style, the first step is to identify your preferred sense – whether you prefer visual, auditory, or kinaesthetic. As these terms suggest, visual people learn through what they see, auditory learners from what they hear, and kinaesthetic learners from movement and touching.

Although each of us learns in all three of these ways to some degree, most people prefer one over the other two. Do you ever catch yourself saying things like “That looks right to me,” or “I get the picture”? Or are you more likely to say, “That sounds right to me,” or “That rings a bell”? Or “I like the feel of that,” or “I grasp it now”? Expressions like these may be clues to your preferred modality.

If you couldn’t see or hear, or if you couldn’t feel texture, shape, temperature, weight, or resistance in your environment, you would literally have no way of learning. Most of us learn in many ways, yet we usually favour one modality over the others. Many people don’t realise they are favouring one way, because nothing external tells them they are any different from anyone else. Knowing that there are differences goes a long way towards explaining why we have problems understanding and communicating with some people and not with others, and why we handle some situations more easily than others.

So how do you discover your own preferred modality? One simple way is to listen for clues in your speech, as in the expressions above. Another way is to notice your behaviour when you attend a seminar or workshop. Do you seem to get more from reading the handout or from listening to the presenter? Auditory people prefer listening to the material and sometimes get lost if they try to take notes on the subject during the presentation. Visual people prefer to read the handouts and look at the slides the presenter shows. Visual people also take excellent notes. Kinaesthetic learners do best with “hands on” activities and group interaction.

The bad news regarding learning styles is that school and college are easier for people who score highest on the “visual” learning style preference. So if you are predominantly auditory or kinaesthetic, you may be at an initial disadvantage. It’s not that visual learners are smarter, it’s just that they think in a certain way that matches up perfectly with how schools and examining boards around the world test.  They test in the written form – usually 1, 2 or even 3 hour written examinations.

Visual learners think in pictures, so it makes it easier for them to learn and remember new information. For everything they read, it’s as if they were watching TV or movies in their heads. There is an old saying – one picture is worth a thousand words.  So, when visual learners want to remember what they have learned, they replay that movie in their mind that they already made while they were studying.

By now, you’re probably asking, so what about me?  “Is there an easy way for me to get higher grades if I my learning style preference is more auditory or more kinaesthetic”?

Yes, there is! And you’ll have to do it because until we come up with a better way to find out what you have learned in school, then written tests are going to be around for a very long time.

So, the tip is to learn how to add some visual thinking strategies to the learning style you already have. That then gives you even more learning abilities.

Those who are having the easiest time with their study think in pictures, and the way you can do that is to pretend that you’re going to turn everything you read or hear in the classroom or from a textbook into a movie in your mind.

You know how you look up at the movie screen when you’re at the movies – well, if you do the same thing in the classroom to get more “visual”, then school or college will get a whole lot easier.

If you’re really serious about wanting better grades, then give it a try.

This has been a very brief introduction to this important and exciting area.

Author: Lisabeth Protherough

Copyright 2006 Lisabeth Protherough

Lisabeth Protherough is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Education Consultant from the UK, with 20 years experience training and teaching students in the university and business sectors. She heads up Student Success Solutions a global organisation offering educational advice to students around the world. She is passionate about great education and the life changing impact it can have. Lisabeth is on a mission to make education interesting and to help students unlock their potential.


Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/learning-styles-62351.html


Effective Communication Strategies In The Workplace: 3 Ways To Get Your Point Across


Having effective communication strategies in the workplace poses many benefits. They make for a more productive and healthy work environment. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t really know how to communicate themselves properly. Let me give you an example…

Isn’t it funny how a simple message can transform into something completely different when passed on from one person to another? News about “the boss going to a baby shower this weekend” can sometimes turn into “the boss going to have a baby this weekend.”

Imagine just how uncontrollable that piece of information could be. It is precisely for this reason that effective communication strategies are needed in the workplace. They ensure that everyone understands each other clearly.

Here are some tips to get you started:

1) Ask questions

Contrary to popular belief, asking questions is not frowned upon. It is asking stupid questions that frustrate most managers. Questions that have obvious answers. Questions that are not at all related to the conversation.

However, when somebody tells you something you don’t understand, clarify. You don’t want to end up doing the wrong thing and being scolded by your boss afterwards.

2) Be animated

Work environments may tend to be serious, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be stiff all the time. In fact, using gestures is one of the most effective communication strategies in the workplace.

People tend to understand your presentations better when you accompany them with the right gestures. For example, when directing a question or a statement to your audience, try extending one arm outwards with the palm raised up. You can also use your fingers when trying to emphasize numerical values.

3) Make use of facial expressions

Another example of effective communication strategies in the workplace involves using facial expressions. While you do have to maintain some sort of professionalism in the office, you can still allow your face to show emotion.

If you’re trying to motivate your employees or your co-workers, for example, better have your game face on. If you’re discussing something very serious, let the intensity of your eyes do half the discussion for you.

These are just some of the forms of effective communication strategies in the workplace. Some of them might break whatever pre-conceived notions you have about showing emotion or being animated. However, always remember that you must always exercise a proper sense of decorum. Don’t go wild and overdo some of these strategies. Everything must be done in moderation.

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Article Author: Michael Lee

Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_1102432_24.html

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