What’s your learning style?

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This week I had a chance to attend a workshop at the University of Washington’s Speech and Hearing Department. The workshop presented by Dr. Diane Kendal looked at how we think and learn. Being in a “teaching” profession I found the information on different learning styles very interesting and was excited to share it with my team mates and our blog readers to help better understand the dimensions of learning. There are four dimensions of learning styles that are on a continuum:

1. Active<——————————————————>Reflective
  • Active: understands best by doing, likes group work, “lets try it first”
  • Reflective: thinks about things quietly first, likes individual work, “let’s think about it first”
  • *A balance between the two is desirable. If you act before reflecting, you may run into trouble. If you spend too much time reflecting you may never get anything done.
2. Sensing<—————————————————–>Intuitive
  • Sensing: Likes to learn facts, solves problems by well-established methods, dislikes complications and surprises, practical and careful.
  • Intuitive: prefers to discover possibilities and relationships, likes innovation and dislikes repetition, better at grasping new concepts
  • *Sensors don’t like topics that have no connection to the real world and intuitive people don’t like too many facts and memorization tasks
3. Visual<—————————————————–>Verbal
  • Visual: remember best what they see (pictures, diagrams, films)
  • Verbal: Remember best what through words (written and spoken)
  • *Everyone leans more when information is presented both visually and verbally
4. Sequential<—————————————————–>Global
  • Sequential: Gain understanding in linear steps (with each step following logically from the previous one), may know a lot about one subject, but have difficulty relating it to another subject or different aspects of the same subject
  • Global: Learn in large jumps, absorbs materials randomly without seeing connections and then suddenly “getting it”. Having the big picture, even when not understanding the parts

When presented with information or giving information to others, it is good to know how best you and others learn. This will allow for better communication in your personal or professional life.