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

NE professor explains how to capitalize on learning styles

By James Nwankpah/ne news editor

Students who know their own learning styles can gain more than those who don’t use self-knowledge.

That was the message conveyed by government professor Lisa Uhlir during her Learning Styles speech Nov. 5 on NE Campus.

The goal of Uhlir’s presentation was to make students more aware of their style of learning and provide tips on how to better their educational experience according to that style.

“I would argue that education is a consumer good,” she said. “It’s something that we purchase, that we use that has value. So knowing what kind of learner you are can help you purchase a better education.”

Uhlir believes that “community college students are the best type of students. It’s because you have a passion and a desire for learning that they (university students) don’t have.”

And when community college students are equipped with the proper tools, such as learning styles, they can succeed at greater levels, Uhlir said.

“Learning styles is one of those basic tools of what I call self-knowledge,” she said. “And if you have self-knowledge, from there you can build up what you want, where you want to go and what your direction is.”

Learning styles can help students discover what makes them remember things and what stimulates their interests, pivotal traits of successful students, Uhlir said.

The three types of learning styles Uhlir discussed were auditory learners, visual learners and kinesthetic learners. Auditory and visual learners take in information better by hearing it said and seeing diagrams, pictures or PowerPoints, respectively.

Kinesthetic learners absorb better through experience by physically handling something, such as a model or breaking something down and putting it back together.

By knowing the type of learners they are, students can drastically improve their education by depicting three simple scenarios, she said. They select their professors, their classes and their seats in a classroom.

Auditory learners will benefit more from a professor who holds several lectures than they would from one who uses PowerPoint. Kinesthetic learners will excel in a physics class more than in a biology class because the physics class will offer labs that allow them to build and break things to see how they work. Visual learners will pay more attention if they sit in the front of class rather than by a window since the outside world would easily distract them, Uhlir said.

Uhlir described herself as a multi-modal learner, meaning she is equally inclined to each style. Discovering this trait helped her to empathize more with her students by allowing her to learn which style her students follow. That lets her aid her students by providing tips on how they should study to help them grasp the material.

Uhlir said she hopes that people who attended her speech learned “that knowing the style of learner that you are can increase your potential for success not only in education but in everyday life.”

Those who could not make the presentation can take a free learning style quiz at www.VARK-learn.com.

“At the end of the quiz, it tells you what you are and gives you tips on what to do,” she said.

Students in Uhlir’s class are required to take the test for extra credit, but since the quiz is free, she urged everybody to go onto the VARK website and learn their own styles.

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