Learning Styles Essay
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The reason for doing this report is to try and discover which is my best and worst way to learn and then to come up with a strategy for improving my ability to learn. The first thing that I need to do is research what different learning styles there is, after I have done this I can determine what are my preferred learning styles. Types of Learning Styles After doing some research I have discovered that there are four main ways of learning.
For each of these four ways there is a continuum, this continuum determines which particular style somebody may prefer.
The first continuum of learning is Active and Reflective, this style is to do with the way in which a person may go about his/her learning. Active learners tend to retain and understand information best by doing something active with it, discussing or applying it in a hand’s on way. Reflective learners prefer to think about it quietly first. The second continuum of learning is Sensing and Intuitive, this style is to do with the information that a person has to learn. Sensing learners often prefer to learn and memorise facts but intuitive learners prefer to learn around new ideas and concepts.
The third continuum of learning is Visual and Verbal, this style is to do with the way in which the information is presented. Visual learners remember best what they see e. g. pictures, diagrams, flow charts, time lines, films, and demonstrations. Verbal learners get more out of words including written and spoken explanations. The fourth and final continuum of learning is Sequential and Global. This style is to do with the way in which learners put together the information they have been given. Sequential learners tend to gain understanding in linear steps, with each step following logically from the previous one.
Global learners tend to learn in large jumps, absorbing material almost randomly without seeing connections, and then suddenly “getting it. ” To be an effective learner you need to be able to learn in every single way depending on the way in which the information is presented or the environment in which you are learning etc. This is why the best learners have balanced learning styles and therefore can adapt the way they learn. My Learning Style Preferences are? To find out my learning style preferences I took part in a on-line test (http://www. crc4mse. org/ILS/self_test.
html) which asks a series of questions and then gives you a score for each one of the four learning continuum’s. For three of the continuums I was biased towards one particular style, these are active, visual and global. This would indicate that I learn best when I can get involved and try things out. It also indicates that I absorb information best when it is presented visually in things such as diagrams, tables, graphs etc. furthermore, the test showed is that I learn best if I get an overview of the whole topic before I start concentrating on the smaller details.
The final thing that this test points out is that I’m neither sensing nor intuitive. Due to this I am able to learn the facts surrounding a subject but I am also able to grasp theories and ideas. I absolutely agree with the results of this test and would say it is a fair judgement on my learning preferences. My Learning Style Weaknesses are? As discussed before the best learners have a balanced learning style and therefore my greatest weakness is that I don’t have the ability to adapt my learning style to all situations.
Because of this I may miss out on some vital information because it isn’t presented in a format that I am totally comfortable with. Even though I am a good learner when I learn actively I don’t learn as well when there is nothing practical for me to take part in, in order to re-enforce the things that I have learnt. I also find it difficult to absorb information when it is not presented in a visual format. Another weakness of mine is that in some case’s I need to have an overall understanding of a subject before I appreciate the smaller details.
This is a weakness because sometimes it can over complicate a topic if I try to understand everything before I understand the basics; therefore this makes it more difficult for me to put everything into context. The fact that I struggle to adapt my learning styles isn’t my only weakness, by doing a skills audit I have discovered other areas of learning where I am weak. My weakest area in the skills audit is spoken communication. This includes things such as speaking in front of a group, expressing my views verbally and delivering a presentation.
I feel the reason why I am weak in this area is because I don’t like being the centre of attention and when I am I become very self conscious and nervous. I am fine when talking one-to-one but when it comes to talking in front of large groups I am not comfortable at all. This needs to be improved though because it is an important skill in any industry. My Strategy for effective learning is? The first step to make my learning more effective is by identifying my weaknesses. I feel that I have done this successfully by doing the online test and by completing the skills audit.
The next step is to come up with a strategy to improve my weaknesses and make the most of my strength. I am aware that my spoken communication skills will improve with practice and by using stress management techniques when I am giving presentations, talks etc. but, trying to make my learning styles more balanced may be more difficult. To improve my reflective side of learning I could take time after lectures to read through my notes again and do further reading on a topic but I could also relate the things that I have learnt in the lecture to a practical situation and therefore learn it the way that best suits me.
The way in which I could improve my verbal way of learning is by getting somebody to talk through a diagram, graph etc whist I’m looking at it. This will allow me to recognise the information verbally as well as visually because I will be relating what the tutor is saying to something that I can understand easier. Finally the way in which I can become more of a sequential learner is by taking topics step by step and try to forget about the overall picture until I have gat all of the pieces.
This will help me because it will stop me from getting confused if I stop thinking about things that aren’t important in the early stages. With all of these things it may be better for me to adapt what is being taught to me and fit it into my preferred learning style, rather than adapt my preferred learning style to fit in with the material that is being taught. If I do things this way I am always going to learn things in my preferred way but realistically I know this isn’t always a possibility and therefore I am aware of the need to become a more effective learner.