Most of us have an idea of how we prefer to learn. For example, do you prefer listening to podcasts or reading content by yourself to understand a topic? Most likely, you believe that you are either an auditive or a visual type of learner. But, unfortunately, we have news for you - you are wrong! No evidence in any research proves the concept of the purely auditive or visual learner over the past decades.
There are plenty of different models like Kolbs Theory, the Mayer Brigs Type Indicator, or the Felder Solomon Theory Index of Learning Styles. However, all of them have one thing in common. They determine a person's learning styles based on a wide variety of factors.
If you want to improve how you learn, you should start by understanding your preferences. In a nutshell, your learning style is determined by a couple of different factors. Let's take a closer look at some of them.
Curious what kind of learner you are?
Learn more about your personal learning behavior and preferences and learn how to adapt your learning journey to your context.
Although people are either introverted or extroverted socially, this difference does not necessarily apply to learning. It is common sense that while a person may be introverted in general, she may have learned more extroversion when it comes to individual learning.
Introverts are self-directed and independent in learning and enjoy spending time with themselves when they learn something new. They keep a journal, read, and reflect upon the information to process it.
Extrovert learners give inspiring presentations. When presenting or sharing their ideas in a group, they come alive. They are confident about their learning and feel motivated by working with other people.
Determine whether you prefer to learn by yourself or if you rather need to think out loud to remember what you learned. Come up with new ideas in your mind, or bring them to paper and discuss them with others. Start experimenting to understand how you can get the most out of your learning process.
We all access knowledge differently. Some are addicted to details and depth while others prefer to zoom out.
Holistic Learners are people who like to learn new things all the time. They are also known as ‘the curious’. With a unique way to look at learning, focusing on the big picture and emerging patterns, their learning approach is intrinsically motivated. They love to challenge themselves with new concepts. Holistic Learners want to develop a better understanding of what they are reading or studying to use their knowledge in real-life situations. Therefore, they consume as much information as possible about a topic.
Experiential Learners are motivated by practical, hands-on activities that are relevant to the real world. They get excited when they can apply abstract concepts to real-life or to a current project. Experiential learners like to connect what they’re learning now and how it can be applied in other situations in the future.
Another important factor when it comes to learning is how you decide on what to learn. For example, are you seeking a purpose or are you driven by curiosity?
Empathetic Learners are driven by a sense of purpose. Most often, this purpose comes from their personal or professional goals. As a result, they're always looking for information that will help them do something better.
The Intellectual Learner is a curious explorer. Their ability to absorb information quickly, process and interpret it, and apply it to a wide variety of contexts makes them valuable resources to any society.
How structured is your learning process? Do you rather prefer bite-sized knowledge served in a structured way or do you want to learn at your own pace and just need a rough idea about the direction?
Percipient learners are able to take in information from different sources and comprehend them clearly. Their strength lies in the ability to categorize information and prioritize what’s needed and what’s not needed. It also helps them narrow down the subtopics to catch up with the necessary knowledge quickly.
The Curious Learner has a natural talent for digesting huge amounts of information in a short time. They are always reading something on a topic and enjoy learning something new. They also excel at finding connections between different topics and building networks based on their own unique methodology.
Learning is a journey, and there is no right and wrong way to learn — in fact, the most successful learners usually try different approaches. You might have personal preferences for learning methods, the structure of your learning journey, and specific behavior. Still, it's worth diving deeper into your learner personality when you learn something new. Gaining insights into your learner traits helps you create your own personalized learning journey and choose from different methods to memorize learning.
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