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Learning My Way

Now that you have identified some of the ways that you learn best, here are some tips on how to improve your learning.

If you learn best by listening...

  • Read aloud the information you are studying.
  • Use a videotape or an audio tape to record classes or trainings, and listen to the tapes to review the information.
  • Ask people to explain things to you that you don't understand.
  • Study with other people.
  • Ask to have oral examinations instead of written tests.
  • Call people on the phone instead of writing to them.
  • Ask people about upcoming events instead of relying on memos.
  • Choose a job where listening plays an important role.

If you learn best by viewing...

  • Watch other people do the things that you are going to need to know how to do. You will be able to visualize their actions later on.
  • Calm yourself by imagining you are in a comfortable environment and that nothing can interfere with your peace.
  • As you read something imagine what it would look like if it were happening in real life, or on TV.
  • As you study maps, pictures, charts or diagrams, look at them once and then close your eyes and "see" them again.
  • Watch videos on a subject so that you will have an easier time "seeing" the information again.
  • Visualize the things that you are going to need to do in a day.
  • Take note of the shape and color of the things that you will want to remember.
  • Visualize telephone numbers and words in your mind.
  • Use charts, graphs, pictures.

If you learn best by doing...

  • If given a choice, show others that you know how to do something by showing them how you do it rather than taking a test or describing to them how you do it.
  • Go on field trips to see how things are actually done.
  • When you have to learn how to do something new, watch someone who is actually doing it and ask them to coach you while you do it.
  • Choose a job that lets you work with your hands and move around.
  • Be sure that your work area has room for you to move around.
  • Try moving/walking around when problem solving or when you need to recall information.
  • Use your fingers or small objects when working with numbers.
  • Act out instructions someone gives you. If they say go right, move your right hand to go right.

If you learn best by writing...

  • When you read, have a pencil with you so that you can underline and take notes as you read along.
  • Take notes when listening to instructions. Recopy your notes later on.
  • Write down the things that you need to do. Make lists. Keep a written schedule.
  • Get a job that involves writing.
  • Write people memos in order to convey information.
  • When providing instruction, be sure to have use of a chalkboard so that you can write on it.

If you learn best by reading...

  • Read a book that describes what you need to learn before attending a demonstration or lecture.
  • Take good notes and then read them later on.
  • Make plans for the future by reading about your options. Read travel guides for example.
  • Read instructions instead of having someone tell you or show you how to do something.
  • Have people write down directions for you to read.
  • Read newspapers, job newsletters and memos to get the information you need.
  • Choose a job that requires reading.

If you learn best by speaking...

  • Ask questions when you don't understand something or need clarification.
  • Talk to yourself when you are problem solving or learning something new.
  • Study with other people so that you can talk to them about the new information.
  • Dictate into a tape recorder the things that you need to remember and play back the tape to remind yourself.
  • Repeat things right after you hear them in order to better remember them.
  • Repeat phone numbers and names out loud.
  • Choose a job that requires a lot of talking.

Many people aren't aware that learning preferences exist. Others are usually not aware of what your particular learning preference is. Let them know. Feel free to share with them what you know about your own learning style.

Doing: "I wonder if you could show me how this works?"

Listening: "Could you explain to me how this works?"

Reading: "Would you mind giving me written instructions of how this works?"

Viewing: "Would you mind giving me a diagram of how this works?"

Speaking: "Let's talk through this together."

Writing: "Let me write down what you are saying about how this works."

Other Considerations: It is also important to strengthen your weak learning modalities. Select a modality that is weak. Share ideas with classmates for improving that modality.

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