The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Less studying, more living – Learning methods can reduce time spent reviewing info

By Adam Dodson/reporter

SE advisor Eddie Hicks gave students tips on maximizing their learning potential during his interactive speech in the North Ballroom Sept. 8.

Finding a method of learning that “works for you” was the message Hicks conveyed to the handful of students in attendance.

“Learn your way, not your professor’s way,” he said at the Less Time Studying: More Time Living presentation.  
He cited research that showed how people were predisposed to retain information when receiving it in a particular way.

“It’s called VARK,” he said.

VARK stands for Visual Auditory Read Kinesthetic. Researchers have determined people can be divided into four basic groups when it comes to the method of learning most effective for them.

Those who recall information best when given in charts, graphs, maps, spider diagrams and similar graphics fall into the visual category.

Auditory learners conceptualize data better when listening to lectures and the radio or participating in group discussions.

Students who prefer reading books or manuals and writing down notes belong to the read/write group. Kinesthetic learners prefer a more tactile, hands-on approach to learning.

Students were given a VARK questionnaire to fill out to understand more accurately into which category they fit. Classifications depended on which category had more hits, according to the answers given on the questionnaire.

After figuring out which learning method suited them best, the attendees were asked to gather with others who scored similarly and discuss what worked and did not work when it came to their study habits.

After discussion among the groups, Hicks provided suggestions to each of them about specific tactics they might employ to “flip the switch” and make their study habits more user-friendly. For example, when addressing the kinesthetic group, he encouraged them to bring some sort of tactile gadget to fiddle with while listening to a lecture, such as a stress relief ball to squeeze or a pen to click up and down.

This is thought to “flip the switch,” as Hicks said by, in effect, meeting an innate need to touch. The theory is that when the need to have that physical experience is met, the brain can then carry on more efficiently without the distraction associated with that unmet desire.

Mohammad Ali Saeed, a second-year student on SE, said he had “limited time because I work full time, and I picked up some good tips on what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. Overall, I felt he was pretty informative.”

Other students also felt the presentation was beneficial.

“To learn my learning style really helped,” first-year student Latasha Nelson said. “I’m not going to get a ball, but I am going to get one of those squishy things to use in class.”

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