by Ashley Hays/reporter
Students identified different study styles and learned how to use specific study skills to help them accomplish academic goals at a TR Campus seminar Feb. 20.
TR academic advisor Abdul King helped students understand their individual learning styles and showed how to use those to their advantage when studying.
“There’s a term that we use in the educational field called VARK: visual, auditory, reading and writing, and kinesthetic,” King said about the four different learning styles.
If students know what style works for them, they can tailor study habits to fit their needs to produce the most successful study sessions, King said.
“You may have watched your siblings sitting and scribbling and highlighting for years, and you can’t figure out why that doesn’t work for you,” he said. “For me, my learning style is audio. I like to hear myself say something out loud. That’s how I learn and remember information. Highlighting wouldn’t help me.”
The visual learner thinks in images and pictures and is sensitive to the way things look or appear.
“Visual learners do their best studying by drawing things out. Flash cards and color-coded highlighting also work very well for them,” King said. “A visual learner has to see how something works to be able to comprehend it.”
The auditory learner is the one that will never miss a class, King said.
“They enjoy class discussion and can’t stand missing out on what the instructor is saying,” he said.
Auditory learners retain information in the form of examples and stories. They enjoy participating in study groups, are very descriptive when reciting details and often possess the skill of remembering the names of people and places, King said.
Audio devices can be distracting for this type of learner while studying, he said. Auditory learners can’t give their attention to the material they are trying to retain if other sounds are in the background.
“If you know your learning style is audio, turn off the TV or radio,” King said.
The reading and writing learning style is the style students think they are supposed to use when studying, he said.
“This is why some students struggle,” King said. “They are trying to learn via the wrong study style for them.”
The reading and writing learner takes notes directly from the textbook, prefers essay questions and is generally a list-maker. King said some study tactics for the reading and writing learner include rewriting notes and imagining that their outlines are multiple-choice questions.
The kinesthetic learner needs to use all their senses to fully understand and retain information.
“They can read about a theory all day, but the kinesthetic learner needs to execute the theory themselves, or it means nothing,” he said.
They are doers, and touch and movement are important factors in their understanding, King said.
“Once you identify with a certain study style, studying becomes a significantly lighter load,” he said. “This will help you in all aspects of life.”