The saying goes, ‘learn smarter not harder’, however, the best place to start is having a comprehensive understanding of our own learning style. In fact, did you know that your studies and overall learning can be more effective when you take a dynamic approach to the delivery? Looking beyond strict course outcomes and instead focusing on your own individual style is about what you can tangibly influence on a technical and skill level.
This is a guest article by Study Medicine Europe.
Many education systems are looking to this as a way for students to achieve their academic goals and establish foundation knowledge in an organized learning environment. Moreover, data from a recent study showed strong proof of concept for taking a social and emotional learning (SEL) focus. In these schools where students had teaching with an SEL focus in conjunction with normal teaching, the students had a 57% improvement in skill development compared to those that didn’t take an SEL focus. Approaching study from an angle of individual learning needs is essential for both students and their educators. Study International comments on this approach, “Shifting the focus onto a wide range of skills such as SEL, rather than just broad academic abilities, the world of teaching has become multi-faceted and open to new ways of thinking.”
The tactics taken for effective and productive studies play a far bigger role than natural intelligence. This is contrary to many commonly held beliefs about learning abilities when the approach for delivery and revision has a practical return on investment. Due to the commonly held beliefs around innate learning capacity rather than learning style, many people grow up thinking they are either academic or non-academic based solely on results achieved at school. Inside Higher Ed emphasize the positive outcomes that happen when teachers, “Recognize the diversity of different learners’ abilities and experiences and provide multiple ways for them to engage with course materials and express what they have learned.” Real learning happens in a range of different ways unique to the individual that goes beyond the structure of the teaching and how the information is presented. This is particularly important as in 2020 both children and adults are learning remotely that’s dependent on adapting to online modes as well.
In order to achieve success through understanding your individual learning style, you’ll need to analyze your tendencies and preferences to make conscious practical changes. Many of us can fall into learning habits with a defaulting approach to study established in school systems or internalized expectations about how we think we should study. The reflective analysis of understanding how we individually receive then process information to synthesize understanding will both affect our short-term studies as well as the completion of professional tasks in our working lives. Despite many years of schooling, our learning is never truly complete, and understanding whether you have a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic (tactile) style can have tremendous value. Additionally, it has the benefit of minimizing frustrations plus enabling you to pivot when an existing approach isn’t proving effective. Additionally, you can prioritize the development of either a social interpersonal or solitary intrapersonal learning style that supports your strengths and productivity.
To delve into the specifics of this topic, Study Medicine Europe developed this infographic, ‘How To Study Smarter By Discovering Your Learning Style’. This guide was shared as a tool for learning and a practical 101 for anyone working to achieve their best in their studies towards qualifications or professional development. The graphic explores the different learning styles, better study methods, tips for productivity, and technical advice for successful studies. When you take the time to dedicate yourself to reviewing how you approach the learning itself, you’re setting yourself up for smarter, not harder study in no time.