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Learning Styles & Theories

Each person prefers different learning styles and techniques. Learning styles group common ways that people learn. Everyone has a mix of learning styles. Although everyone has a mix of learning styles, some people may find that they have a dominant learning style with far less use of other styles.

Traditional schooling uses mainly linguistic and logical teaching methods.¹ It also uses a limited range of learning and teaching techniques. Schools rely on classroom and book-based teaching, repetition, and exams to reinforce and review.

There are three basic types of learning styles: audio, visual, and kinesthetic. There are seven abstract learning styles as well: visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social, and solitary.¹ Each learning style uses a different part of the brain. By involving more of the brain while we learn, we can remember more of what we learn.

Learning styles determine how one learns, but also determines the way that an individual internally represents experiences, the way one recalls information, and even the words that an individual chooses.¹

Visual learners learn best through seeing instructions and diagrams. Visual learners require that spaces where they study be clutter-free and void of visual distractions, such as a television. Some helpful points for visual learners include looking for key words on PowerPoint slides, using highlighters to note key concepts and ideas, and completing readings before lectures.

Audio learning means learning through listening. Audio learners require that there be silence while learning except for the source of learning (i.e. the professor or teacher).¹ Some audio learners use rhythms or jingles to help remember important points. Additionally, some auditory learners read instructions and questions out loud in order to remember or clarify.

Kinesthetic learners learn by doing. Kinesthetic learns should consider using a laptop to take notes. Students should also ask questions and participate in discussions whenever possible in order to get involved.¹ A strategy for learning as a kinesthetic learner is to personalize the information being read. Think about the key concepts and how they apply to your life.




1. Learning Styles Online. Overview of Learning Styles. Retrieved May 14, 2014, from 

An Explanation of Learning Styles from

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