People process information in different ways
You need to learn something new. Would you rather:
- Have someone tell you how to do it?
- Read the instructions?
- Get up and try to figure it out using tools that are provided?
How you answer may give you some clues to how your brain best processes stimuli.
Knowing this can help you tailor your study approaches to retain more information. That could be a powerful advantage to students in the professional medical assistant, health claims specialist, or massage therapist training programs at Salter.
Let’s take a look at the three main ways people learn and how you can put that information to work for you.
The Auditory Learner
If you’re an auditory learner, you tend to retain to retain information that you hear. For example, you’re more likely to remember information from a lecture than from a reading assignment.
How do you know if you’re an auditory learner? You may be very good at detecting changes in people’s tones of voice; you tend to remember songs; you can often follow instructions after hearing them.
Auditory learners can optimize their studying by:
- Using audiobooks or podcasts to supplement their regular studying
- Recoding notes and listening back to them
- Making an audio summary of a lecture right after class
- Joining a study group to discuss course material
The Visual Learner
Visual learners tend to remember information that they see. They’re often good at reading body language or noticing subtle changes in their environments. They tend to be able to easily digest data presented in charts and graphs.
How do you know if you’re a visual learner? You can often sense someone’s mood based on facial expressions, posture and gestures; you’d prefer to watch a Youtube video demonstration rather than hear an explanation; you often retain information that you read.
Visual learners can optimize their studying by:
- Using pictures or charts to supplement notes
- Avoiding studying near visual distractions, such as windows
- Color coding study material using highlighters
- Using flash cards
- Focusing on a concept as whole first, and then drilling down to learn the details
The Kinesthetic Learner
Kinesthetic learners like to be up on their feet. They learn best when they can move about and use their sense of touch to take in new information.
How do you know if you’re a kinesthetic learner? You prefer learning things in a “hands on” way; you often enjoy working in groups; you may be good in math and science.
Kinesthetic learners can optimize their studying by:
- Taking classes that involve demonstrations
- Digesting new information while moving their bodies (example: listening to a lecture while working out)
- Taking regular study breaks
- Studying and working while standing
- Chewing gum while studying
Need some additional help with your studies? Be sure to speak with your instructors about opportunities for tutoring or peer mentorship.