Discover Your Learning Style

Discover Your Learning Style Slide 1: StudentLingo StudentLingo – Focused On Student Success For screen reader accessible documents, please click on t...
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Discover Your Learning Style Slide 1: StudentLingo StudentLingo – Focused On Student Success For screen reader accessible documents, please click on the ADA Transcripts link on your launch page. This link contains complete transcripts, action plans, and resources for each workshop. Also, be sure to complete the evaluation at the end of the workshop. Each workshop session will be timed and tracked and submitting the evaluation will validate workshop completion.

Slide 2: Introduction Discover Your Learning Style Hi. My name is Dr. Sally Riconscente, and my specialty is the psychology of learning. I work in an Academic Dupport Venter of a university, and I also teach Psychology. Have you ever heard of the word “metacognition”? Published by Articulate™ Presenter

Well it’s our personal awareness of how we learn to learn. It’s how we think about our own learning. In a way it, sounds like a bit of circular thinking. But in everyday language, if we can become aware of how we learn in our own personal learning style we can be more successful in our college pursuits and even beyond college into the workplace. So in this workshop, we’re going to talk about learning styles. We’re going to talk in general about learning styles, take an inventory, and then discuss your personal results so that you can hopefully end the workshop with some concrete strategies that apply to your personal learning style.

Slide 3: How did you learn? So how do you learn best? Well let’s look at an example most of us have had. Have you ever ridden a bicycle? Published by Articulate™ Presenter

How did you learn to ride the bicycle? Did you learn because you sat and you read a manual that someone gave you? Did a friend or a sibling explain to you, and you listened really carefully about how to ride the bicycle? Or did you just hop on the bike and ride it down the driveway? Think back for a moment. How did you learn to ride your bicycle?

Slide 4: Answer So what was your answer? Did you learn to ride a bike through reading, did you learn through listening, by trying it out? Well how you learned to ride a bicycle is a clue to your learning style. Your preferred way of learning, the way that you Published by Articulate™ Presenter

naturally and instinctively want to learn is usually the way you learn best. So looking back about how we learned in the past, which we just did, gives us clues about how we can approach our course work going forward, especially in college. So before we go much further, it’s good to know that how we learn to learn is not static. It’s not one way that’s carved in stone, but rather it’s a dynamic ongoing moving process, and all the way through college and hopefully all the way through our lifelong learning process, we’ll be refining our methods of learning. We can always add new strategies, and we can always conform our old ones to become more sophisticated as we reach higher and higher level of tasks and goals, whether in school, work, or life beyond.

Slide 5: Why is it important? Well why do you suppose it’s important to learn how you learn? Published by Articulate™ Presenter

Now that you’re in college, it’s important to use your time and energy as effectively and efficiently as you can. Well often you’re balancing a lot of responsibilities in college. So it’s important to know how you learn so that you can learn all the material professors expect of you so that you can achieve your academic goals and feel good about yourself and your own achievements. How you learn is called your “learning style.” Now maybe you’re saying at this point, “Well the style I used got me through high school. Why do I need to learn anything new now that I’m in college?” Well for these reasons, and that’s a very good point, by the way, because you’re not going to give up the strategies you’ve already used, but hopefully you’re going to expand and broaden them. So in high school possibly, when you learned terms and definitions, you learned them pretty directly, and maybe made flash cards. Published by Articulate™ Presenter

Well in college, you’re going to be asked questions, which demand of you critical thinking and higher order analysis, so you need to expand the way that you’re studying to be able to do well on your exams and to get a solid GPA in your college experience.

Slide 6: What's a learning style? Okay. So what’s a learning style? Well the term “learning style” has migrated into common use in education, and it’s now widely utilized to mean an individual’s preferred or dominant means of gaining information and knowledge. According to DICTIONARY.COM, a learning style is an individual’s mode of gaining knowledge, especially their preferred mode learning style is your unique approach to learning based on your personal strengths, your weaknesses, and your preferences. So as we can see, we all have a unique style and stance toward learning, so it’s really fine to be honest with ourselves about both, knowing our weaknesses and knowing our strengths. Let’s find our strengths and preferences and think Published by Articulate™ Presenter

about our learning style as a toolkit that we can add to as we go along.

Slide 7: Study Strategy Well, you might be asking by now, “what does all this mean for me?” Well, knowing your learning style means that you know the best way for you to learn, the way that’s preferred for you. It will help you save time, save energy; it will make your studying more efficient, because in college, you’re going to meet professors with many different kinds of teaching styles, and you’ll need to bridge the gap if their teaching style doesn’t match your learning style. So, now we’re going to have a chance to take an inventory on learning styles.

Slide 8: Learning Styles Survey Slide 9: Survey Results Okay. So what were your results? Published by Articulate™ Presenter

Did they surprise you, or did you look at them and say, “Yes, that’s me.” Remember, there are no right or wrong, good or bad answers. This is just more self knowledge so that you can sophisticate your study strategies to use in college. The results of this survey fall into four categories: visual/verbal, visual/non-verbal, tacto/kinesthetics, and auditory/verbal. Please click on your learning style for more information.

Slide 10: Read/Write - Visual Verbal Learners Okay. Let’s talk about visual/verbal learners. You probably enjoy reading the words in your books and assignments. It’s especially helpful for you when professors post PowerPoints and other written materials for you to view and print for your classes. Published by Articulate™ Presenter

While you’re reading, you probably enjoy making lists, making outlines of headings, subheadings, bold face terms. If I were to say to you the word “apple,” probably, if you are a visual/verbal learner, you see the letters, A-p-p-l-e in your mind, as opposed to a nice crunchy picture of a red apple. Also, you probably prefer studying on your own in a quiet space.

Slide 11: Read/Write - Visual Verbal Learners Okay. So what are some strategies for you as a visual/verbal learner? Well color coding is a big help, so get out your bag of highlighters and colored pens. You can use colored pencils, even colored paper. These are especially useful to color code concepts and terms that might be hard to remember and even Published by Articulate™ Presenter

to keep categories of information straight. For example, if you’re starting History, you might want to take notes on a particular event in one color or on a piece of paper that’s a certain color, and then use another color for a different event so that you can keep them separate in the mind’s eye, because the brain remembers color. Another strategy is to write what you’re learning. It’s really helpful to summarize your textbook chapters by handwriting the key information. You could also use margin notes, notes that you write in the margin of a book so that you don’t have to go back and reread the entire section. These are really helpful when you’re reading novels or other non-textbooks. For example, if a paragraph is describing an underlying theme of the section, you could write in the margin note, “Theme,” and a few words to capture the theme. Another technique would be using sticky notes. Published by Articulate™ Presenter

Write terms of things you want to remember and put them in your books; put them on bathroom mirrors, on your refrigerator and other places. Keep your brain flowing with the memory and terms you need to remember.

Slide 12: More Visual Verbal Strategies Another technique that’s very helpful is what I call an “enhanced flash card.” They’re really useful to memorize terms and concepts. So you could take, for example, a five-by-seven index card and you could divide it into four sections. On the left section, write the actual term. On the top right section, write the academic definition of that term. And here’s where the enhanced part comes in. On the bottom left section, write part of the outline of your textbook. Published by Articulate™ Presenter

So for example, if the section you’re studying says, Roman numeral number I, A, B, C, and your term is within B, put a circle there, that way you can remember your term in relationship to other concepts around it, because when teachers are making multiple choice tests, that’s how they pick their ideas. They take the questions from material that’s the closest to the term they want you to know. And finally, in that fourth section, on the bottom right of your hand flash card you could draw a picture, make an illustration, write an example, any of the above, anything that will help you remember, even if it’s funny, something that will jog your memory so that you can remember the term. But in the end, remember, you want to translate your understanding of that term back into what’s on the top right of your enhanced flashcard, the academic definition for the term, because your test will be written in academic language.

Slide 13: Visual Non-Verbal Learners Well, if you clicked this button you are probably a visual, non-verbal learner, and you’re probably Published by Articulate™ Presenter

wondering why I’m holding an apple. Well, if you’re a visual, non-verbal learner, if I say the word “apple” to you, it’s likely that your mind’s eye you’re picturing a lovely, juicy red apple, perhaps something like this. Because as a visual, non-verbal learner, you enjoy text with lots of pictures, you love color, charts, graphs, flow charts. You love it when professors supplement their lectures with videos and films to illustrate information. Even doodling mindlessly might have little value, but if you draw pictures and sketches of information from your lecture or textbook, that might work very well for you. As a non-verbal learner, you might also prefer sitting alone in a quiet space rather than with a group. You do like to ponder and reflect on what you are learning.

Slide 14: Visual Non-Verbal Strategies Published by Articulate™ Presenter

Okay, so what are some strategies for you as a visual, non-verbal learner? Well, you definitely want to reduce the words you’re studying. Maybe even three to one. Take the words from your textbook page and consolidate them into charts, graphs, flow charts, and visual maps. Color will also work for you, so use highlighters, colored pens and pencils, and colored paper to distinguish differences or similarities between concepts. For example, if in literature you are studying two poems and you’re getting confused between each, write out one poem on one color paper and the other on another color paper, because that brain remembers color. And also use lots of pictures, images and symbols whenever you can in place of words. Computer spreadsheets and graphics, inserted symbols, and even clip art may help you to organize and remember your information visually. Published by Articulate™ Presenter

Slide 15: Research Teaching Styles If you’re able to choose specific professors, talk with friends and advisors about the teaching style of particular faculty members. Try to use professors who use colorful language, tell stories and give lots of examples and lecture in a way that illustrates the material. Pay special attention to charts, pictures and diagrams and flow charts in your text. When you’re writing your notes, leave a lot of white space between your notes. Your brain takes a picture of the page and this will help to keep ideas distinct from each other. Experiment with recreating images in different ways and try different arrangements of information on your paper. After you’ve memorized material, try drawing it out again without looking back at your text. But remember, after mastering the information Published by Articulate™ Presenter

visually, translate it back into academic language since this is the wording that will be used on your exams.

Slide 16: Tactile Kinesthetic If you clicked this button, you are probably a tactile kinesthetic learner and you learn through two modalities – touch and movement. Tactile learners learn through touch. And kinesthetic learners learn through movement. So tactile kinesthetic learn through using both touch and movement. You probably learn best by doing things. Remember our example of how you learned to ride a bicycle? Were you the kid who just got on the bike and rode it despite a few falls and bumps? Well, tactile kinesthetic learners love to be physically involved in hands-on activities. Published by Articulate™ Presenter

If you have labs in science class, you most likely prefer them to classroom lectures.

Slide 17: Tactile Kinesthetic Strategies Well, you might be asking yourself, how does this work in a college classroom? Well, if you have a professor who includes lots of inclass activities, team projects and presentations, then you’re probably feeling right at home. But, remember that most professors learned their subjects by reading and writing, so they often deliver their classroom lectures and courses in the same way. So let’s talk about some strategies that can help you to bridge the gap between the professor’s teaching style and your unique learning style. For starters, sit at the front of your classes, as close as possible to the professor and the action, and this will help you to pay attention and be more focused. If possible take courses with professors who prefer hands-on activities. Published by Articulate™ Presenter

For example, in my psych class students learn about classical conditioning. It can be a confusing subject with many terms, so during the class students get into small groups and they do an activity in which they come up with lots of examples of classical conditioning in their everyday lives. Then, as we study the more challenging lecture material, they have already made a practical live connection with the concept. Move as you study. Some students at my university read on the treadmill or listen to lectures on their iPods while jogging. Of course, this isn’t your only studying strategy, but it can easily be an effective one in your toolkit.

Slide 18: Study Groups Network with classmates and form study groups. Contact your professor and try to set up weekly meetings during his scheduled office hours to go over key information. Published by Articulate™ Presenter

Most professors really do want a relationship with their students and they’re happy to meet with you at a convenient time, so email them to set up a time that might be convenient for them. For you as a tactile kinesthetic learner, you can have fun and learn a lot by making a jigsaw puzzle. Write key terms, steps, sequences of events on index cards or pieces of paper and arrange them in front of you on a large table, moving the information around manually helps you to remember how the pieces of concepts go together to make the overall whole concept. Color is a big help for everyday learning. It allow you to manually distinguish terms and concepts by touching and writing with colored pens, highlighters and pencils.

Slide 19: Aural - Auditory Verbal Learners As you may have guessed, auditory verbal learners learn optimally by paying attention to what they hear and by listening to words and discussing course information. Published by Articulate™ Presenter

So, sit near the front, participate actively in class, and be engaged in class discussions and in answering professors’ questions. Formulating your answer in words and then speaking it allow you also to hear it, and this will help you to remember better and to stay focused. Auditory verbal learners also enjoy study groups where classmates have a chance to actively discuss course material and debate each other’s ideas.

Slide 20: Aural - Auditory Verbal Strategies So what are some strategies you could use? Well, see if audio versions of your books are available. You prefer learning material by hearing it, so listening to your text may be very helpful for you. Some libraries have access to audio materials that you could download to an iPod, to an MP3 player. Some college libraries even loan this equipment for Published by Articulate™ Presenter

your use. While you’re listening, though, keep your textbook in front of you so you can read as you listen and take notes as you go along. Search for free downloads of screen readers from the web to read electronic versions of your course material. Online learning centers provided by your textbook publishers sometimes have study guides that you could listen to with a screen reader. Some laptops already have this capability, so find out if yours is one of them. And some colleges have more sophisticated equipment, screen reading programs, perhaps where you would put your book in a scanner, the page would come up on the screen, and then you could click for an audio voice to read to you.

Slide 21: Study Groups Initiate study groups with your classmates and meet often to discuss course material. Published by Articulate™ Presenter

Use the academic support center at your college to help get information from a tutor who could discuss your course material with you. The tutor’s role, remember, is not to teach but rather to reinforce what you’ve already learned. Speak often with your professors to hear their way of explaining key concepts and terms. Look in your syllabus for your office hours and locations. Contact them by phone or by email to set up a convenient time to meet and spend a few moments each week if you can discussing what you’re learning. Professors are usually very happy to do this with interested students as long as you set it up beforehand.

Slide 22: More A V Strategies As an auditory verbal learner, you’ll benefit from reading and studying out loud. Find a quiet spot, maybe in a library study room, and Published by Articulate™ Presenter

listen to yourself as your read your text and notes. As an auditory learner, even listening to your own voice reading your textbook can be a great learning strategy. With professor permission, and only with permission, perhaps you could record your lectures and play them back often because you learn most by listening. For courses that have steps and processes, recite them out loud in order to reinforce what you’re learning in your own words as you formulate the steps through listening to them in your mind’s ear, and this will help you to remember them better.

Slide 23: Other Learning Styles I have one more suggestion for you. As you’re learning about your own particular learning style, you may be interested in other learning styles. If you are, click on the button of other learning styles and just see what a large repertoire of skills could possibly do for you, even if you have one particular Published by Articulate™ Presenter

learning style, you might see a strategy in another section that you think could apply to you and would be good for you to try. If, however, you’re really satisfied with learning about your own learning style, then click the button on the screen to continue our workshop.

Slide 24: Closing Well we’ve certainly covered a lot of information so far, and you might be asking “What’s next?” Well the first thing to be convinced of is that learning is your responsibility and you’re now equipped to wisely choose some new strategies and to strengthen some old ones that have worked for you. Map through your course material is an ongoing process and we hone our learning skills as we journey through life. So now that you’ve learned more about your own preferred learning style, think about one strategy that you learned today and think about an assignment that you currently are doing, and think about how would I apply that one strategy concretely this week to that assignment. Published by Articulate™ Presenter

Trying a strategy, maybe even one at a time, week by week, on different assignments can help you to build your toolkit because you’re in charge of your learning, and you can adapt the strategies we’ve discussed and create more just for yourself. Remember, study strategies are like a toolkit. Your kit has your name on it. Keep filling it with new and refined skills as you work hard to achieve your academic goals. And I wish you the very best of success.

Slide 25: Resources & Action Plan Now it’s time to complete the evaluation. Please go back to the launch and click on the “Click to Complete Evaluation” button in the lower right hand corner. Each workshop session is timed and tracked and submitting the evaluation will validate workshop completion.

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