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Making the Most of Your Learning Style

10/26/2010 11:08 am

As an online university student, ensuring your understanding of information outside a classroom environment is critical to your success. Just as there are no two people alike, the same is true for students and their methods of learning. While a concept may come easily to one, it may prove difficult for another. Luckily, studies have shown that there are generally three types of learners: manual, audial and visual.

For some, the ability to touch and mold information is an important part of understanding it. Manual learners are of this category. People who learn manually often like to disassemble and reassemble to retain concepts. A tangible element helps them learn more easily. While this is not an easy method to come by at an online university, many areas of study such as nursing require hands-on training. If you are a manual learner and can’t wait until your time on-site, consider building models related to your coursework. If you know someone in your field of study, ask to shadow them for a day to see how things are done in their environment.

If you are an audial learner, taking notes is not your cup of tea; it’s the sound of information that is most effective for you. If your instructor offers audio lectures online, take advantage of the resource. If not, try going outside your online university environment and searching for other audio lectures from reliable sources. Have a USB recorder beside you as you study, dictating what you learn. Referring back to your own voice will help you work through the information and remember it more easily.

Visual learners are not creatures of abstraction: they have to see something to believe it. Visual learners respond to charts and graphs as a way to understand the information they read. Note-taking is also an important study skill for visual learners because it helps them organize their thoughts. If you are a visual learner, consider drawing out difficult concepts in order to understand them. Rewrite your notes and make annotations as you go, allowing you to review the information you’ve learned. Reread your chapter and look for things you may have missed the first time around. Above all, put your thoughts on paper. It will help you succeed.

Attending an online university means flexibility, and your method of learning is no exception. Examine your learning style and look for productive ways to enhance your understanding. There is no wrong way to learn as long as your learn effectively.

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