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Types of Learning Styles

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    This article discusses the various learning styles that you can use. The different types of learning styles are sensory, auditory, kinesthetic, visual and logical. If you are unsure about your type of learning style, there is a quiz to help answer this question for you on Stella & Dot's website. There is also information on how to best use each type of learning style in order to maximize performance in school or at work! 

    Wouldn't it be great if we could all learn the same way? Unfortunately, this isn't possible, but there are ways to improve our understanding when people have different styles. This blog post will go into detail about the many different types of learning styles so that everyone can learn more effectively.

    Do you know what your learning style is? There are three types: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Visual learners like to see things in order to learn them. They often enjoy taking notes and studying textbooks. 

    An auditory learner likes to listen and read the information out loud; they need an explanation of the material before they can understand it. Kinesthetic learners like hands-on experience or physical movement such as drawing pictures or solving puzzles; they may not make good note-takers but don't mind reading a textbook if its available with some sort of visualization.

    Explaining Types Of Learning Styles

    If you have a kid or student that’s being educated in a blended classroom or hybrid learning environment for the first time, chances are they could be feeling a bit lost. 

    From adapting to digital coursework to staying disciplined with minimal face-to-face interactions, getting used to this new type of education may cause them to struggle — especially if their individual learning style isn’t being addressed. 

    Gaining momentum in the 1960s through tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the learning style theory posits that different students learn best when information is presented to them in a particular way. The learning style theory was popularized in 1992 when Fleming and Mills suggested a new model of learning. The VARK Model is used to explain the different ways that students learn. For example, if a student is a “visual learner,” a verbal lecture alone might leave them feeling unengaged, confused, and frustrated.

    While some critics doubt the efficacy of the learning style theory, its popularity in schools today makes it a topic well-worth paying attention to — specifically if some of your students are having a tough go at retaining information while learning remotely. 

    At Sphero, we believe that individual learning styles are important for both parents and teachers to consider, as your struggling students might need coursework uniquely presented to them to effectively absorb the material. 

    With this guide, we will help you identify which of the four core learning styles best suits your students and provide you with helpful resources to implement changes in your curriculum easily.

    What Are The Four Learning Styles?

    The four core learning styles include visual, auditory, reading and writing, and kinesthetic. Here’s an overview of all four learning style types.

    Visual - Visual learners can retain information when to absorb the material effectively presented to them in a graphic depiction, such as arrows, charts, diagrams, symbols, and more. Similar to how designers use visual hierarchy to emphasize specific design elements, visual learners thrive with clear pictures of information hierarchy.

    Auditory - Sometimes referred to as “aural” learners, auditory learners prefer listening to information that is presented to them vocally. These learners work well in group settings where vocal collaboration is present and may enjoy reading aloud to themselves, too.

    Reading & Writing - Focusing on the written word, reading and writing learners succeed with written information on worksheets, presentations, and other text-heavy resources. These learners are note-takers and perform strongly when they can reference written text. 

    Kinesthetic - Taking a physically active role, kinesthetic learners are hands-on and thrive when engaging all of their senses during course work. These learners tend to work well in scientific studies due to the hands-on lab component of the course. 

    Successfully implementing the VARK model into your classroom means recognizing your students’ educational needs on a fundamental level.

    Learning Style Type #1: Visual Learners

    Visual learners enjoy analyzing and observing things like pictures, diagrams, and charts that showcase clear information in order of importance. You can often find visual learners by paying attention to doodling, list-making, or note-taking students. 

    Whether you’re using a whiteboard, smartboard, or giving a presentation, make sure visual learners have enough time to process and absorb visual cues. When possible, visual learners should have access to supplementary handouts that detail subject matter through clear visuals whenever possible. Additionally, allow these learners to draw pictures, diagrams, or doodles of what they are learning to reinforce retention.

    Draw 1: Shapes

    With this visual learning activity, your child will be introduced to Sphero’s Draw canvas by drawing shapes that represent code. Then, they can execute that code with a Sphero robot. Perfect for visual learners, your students will be able to hand-draw their very own robot to showcase their programming skills.

    BOLT: Light Sensor

    With flashlights or other portable light sources (cell phones work well), this activity for visual learners allows your students to discover BOLT’s ambient light sensor. The light sensor allows BOLT to sense the amount of light it is exposed to during a program, which means your students will be able to see the light act as a trigger for conditionals or dynamic functions. 

    Learning Style Type #2: Auditory Learners

    Auditory learners prefer learning subject matter that is presented through sound. You can find auditory learners by paying attention to students who are actively engaging with a lecture. For example, you may find them nodding along or asking frequent questions rather than taking written notes. Additionally, these learners might read slowly, read aloud to themselves, or repeat things you tell them to help with retention. 

    If you’re giving a lecture, make sure you address your auditory learners directly to get them involved in the conversation. Have them do things like verbally detailing a new concept they just learned and ask them follow-up questions while giving them the time they need to respond. Group discussions, engaging videos, and audio recordings are other great ways to engage auditory learners in your classroom. 

    Back to the Future 

    In this exciting activity for auditory learners, your students will recreate the Delorean time machine from the “Back to the Future” movies. First, they will program RVR to accelerate to a speed of 88 to time travel. Then, they will build their very own invention with the littleBits RVR Topper Kit, which triggers a buzzer when RVR is safely back to the future. If your students have never seen the “Back to the Future” movies, you can show them short scenes to help orient this activity.

    Bubble Flute 

    With a few simple materials and a littleBits STEAM Kit, your auditory learner can use the sound of their voice to create bubbles. This challenge allows your students to experiment with sound waves and learn how common items interact with each other to make something new.

    Learning Style Type #3: Reading & Writing Learners

    book-children-forest

    Preferring written word, reading, and writing, learners, are drawn to textbooks, novels, articles, journals, and anything that is text-heavy. Similar to visual learners, you can find reading and writing learners by paying attention to students who take elaborate notes, reference the dictionary to learn new words, or use online search engines to find answers to their questions.

    Writing essays, performing in-depth research, reading textbooks, and reading and writing learners prefer more traditional methods of subject matter delivery. However, make sure these learners have ample time to absorb written course material and give them every opportunity to get their ideas down on paper or a digital device.

    Bridge Challenge 

    The Bridge Challenge starts with your students researching and learning about different types of bridges used in architecture, which is perfect for reading and writing learners. Then, using common household belongings or craft supplies — such as tape, string, glue, and popsicle sticks — they can use their newfound knowledge to build a bridge that a Sphero robot can drive across. 

    The Masked Sphero

    In this activity, you can have your reading, and writing learners research the history and importance of cloth face coverings. Then, they can write a short essay on how wearing a mask can help protect others by minimizing airborne bacteria. Afterward, your class can create a mask out of tissue paper for their Sphero BOLT to protect its sensor against incoming light. This activity provides a direct representation of how germs can spread more easily without face coverings. 

    Learning Style Type #4: Kinesthetic Learners

    Kinesthetic learners are “tactile” learners, meaning they prefer to physically act out events or use all of their senses while learning. These learners are easy to find, as they likely have difficulty sitting still and might need frequent breaks during heavy studying periods. 

    When possible, get kinesthetic learners up and moving. For example, if you’re teaching Shakespeare, have them act out a scene with a few of their kinesthetic-focused peers. You can also create learning games that encourage these types of learners to move about the classroom at different points in the lesson. 

    Sphero Long Jump

    Sphero Long Jump is the perfect challenge for kinesthetic learners, as you can easily get your students up and moving. During this activity, have your students learn about the long jump and how science can be used to maximize jumping distance. Students could even try their own long jump in a safe area and measure their distance with supervision! Afterward, with just a few craft supplies, they can create an adjustable, homemade ramp and DIY long jump pit for their Sphero. 

    Animal Imitation

    With this hands-on activity, your kinesthetic learners can become ethologists and technologists at the same time. To start, your students will study the movements of their favourite animal (including how the animal sees, smells, and interacts with other animals) and program RVR to mimic how it navigates in the wild. Plus, your students will be able to utilize littleBits inventions to mimic this animal’s behaviour. To go one step further, your class could even act out their chosen animal’s behaviours!

    Implement the Right Learning Style for Your Remote Students

    If you have a student that’s struggling during these challenging times, uncovering their unique learning style could help you get them back on track. Whether they are a visual, auditory, reading and writing, or kinesthetic learners, you can implement a plethora of activities in your digital curriculum that facilitate subject matter retention, course engagement, and an enjoyable educational experience. 

    What Are The 7 Different Learning Styles, And Do They Work?

    You may have heard of the idea that we all respond best to different styles of learning. That is exactly what the seven learning styles theory supports. All of the styles capture an individual strength that likely helps a person retain information more effectively. In addition, they each focus on one of the five senses or involve a social aspect. This theory is popular because, by finding an individual learner’s style and tailoring teaching to it, it was thought their efficiency could be improved. The 7 styles of the theory are:

    • visual
    • kinaesthetic
    • aural
    • social
    • solitary
    • verbal
    • logical

    However, more recent studies have debunked this theory as an effective way of teaching and highlighted it as a neuromyth. This Guardian article says, ‘Such neuromyths create a false impression of individuals’ abilities, leading to expectations and excuses that are detrimental to learning in general, which is a cost in the long term.’

    In other words, attempting to put learners into boxes and trying only to give them material that matches their “style” isn’t going to make them retain the information any better. On the contrary, most people benefit from a range of teaching techniques, and utilising different learning methods can actually improve learners’ adaptability.

    Nevertheless, it’s certainly true that there are a variety of learning methods people respond to. So, just for fun, we’ve produced 7 different explanations of the 7 styles, each using techniques that learners of that style should find most useful.

    Have a look through each one, and ask yourself: do you find them all equally engaging? Is there one (or more) that you prefer above the others? Maybe you have your own learning techniques that aren’t covered by any of the learning styles. 

    Or perhaps you find one style more useful for this exercise, but when learning German verbs or mathematical formulae, you know you prefer another? How effectively we learn isn’t just affected by the medium, but the content too.

    While the 7 styles theory isn’t going to give you your one definitive style, you might still pick up a few useful techniques.

    Visual

    Visual or spatial learners supposedly retain information best by viewing pictures or images and respond well to colours and mind maps. These logos represent the main aspect of each learning style. Do you like to learn by remembering symbols and images?

    Kinaesthetic

    According to the theory, kinaesthetic learners are all about doing things physically. So Role-playing, using things like flashcards or carrying out the action physically can help them learn things better. Print and build this seven-sided die to see whether a hands-on approach could help you retain information.

    Aural

    Aural or auditory-musical learners should retain the most information after hearing it. Click below to listen to this recital of the different learning styles: do you tune out or find yourself remembering more than if you read the transcript?

    Social

    Social or interpersonal learners are meant to work best when they participate in study activities with other people, such as quizzing each other or having a study group. Print and use these Top Trumps style cards with a group of friends.

    Solitary

    Solitary or intrapersonal learners supposedly work best alone. However, making notes and reciting them back are useful activities when studying by yourself. Most of us will have to do some solitary revision at some point in our lives, so download and complete this worksheet to see if it works for you.

    Verbal

    Verbal or linguistic learners are supposed to respond well to written or spoken words, using tools like rhymes and acronyms. Download and complete this worksheet to figure out if these could be techniques that work for you.

    classroom-tables

    Logical

    Logical or mathematical learners use logic and structures in order to learn effectively. If you’re good with numbers and statistics, you might find the logical style in this essay helpful. Have a read below:

    What Are The 7 Different Learning Styles?

    Learning styles is the theory that learners can be categorised depending on how they take in information. Therefore, teaching students according to their specific learning styles will result in improved learning. While there is no concrete evidence to support the success of these learning styles, a 2012 study revealed that 93% of teachers in the UK agree that students learn better when they receive information in their preferred learning style.

    These learning styles are derived from Howard Gardner’s 1960s theory of Multiple Intelligences. This theory states that: “we are all able to know the world through language, logical-mathematical analysis, spatial representation, musical thinking, the use of the body to solve problems or to make things, an understanding of other individuals, and an understanding of ourselves.” 

    This essay plans to outline the seven different learning styles while categorising them into three main categories: personal, sensory and informational. It will then recommend study methods for each type of learner.

    Personal Learning Styles

    The personal category links learning styles that depend on other persons to be present or absent. These are different from other learning styles, which focus on how the learner takes in information, instead, they depend greatly on the learners’ surroundings and whether they are studying with or without people. These types of styles are split into Interpersonal learners or intrapersonal learners.

    Interpersonal Learners

    Interpersonal learners work best in groups, and social elements help improve their concentration. Debates, group study and interactions are the best methods. Interestingly, while they work best in groups, they also have the most empathy when it comes to others. “Interpersonal intelligence builds on a core capacity to notice distinctions among others – in particular, contrasts in their moods, temperaments, motivations and intentions.”

    Intrapersonal Learners

    Intrapersonal learners are also known as solitary learners. Unlike interpersonal learners, they work best when studying alone. They are known to be interested in philosophy, psychology and theology because of their proficiency in self-reflection.

    “They’re in tune with their inner feelings; they have wisdom, intuition and motivation, as well as a strong will, confidence and opinions,” said a 2008 study on bridging educational divides. Unsurprisingly, these are the most independent learners from all the seven styles. Recommended study methods for intrapersonal learners include keeping a journal and finding a personal interest in the topics being studied.

    Sensory Learning Styles

    The sensory category links learning styles which use the senses. These are split into spatial/visual learners, auditory-musical learners and kinaesthetic learners. According to various studies of the sensory learning styles, roughly 65 percent of the population are visual learners, 30 percent are auditory learners, and 5 percent are kinaesthetic learners. However, many students show traits of multiple learning styles.

    Spatial Learners

    Spatial learners are visualisers, which is why they’re also known as ‘visual learners’. As educational writer Stacy Mantle describes, these types of learners are good at working with colours and pictures and using the “mind’s eye.” Visual learners use spatial understanding; thus, Gardner discusses that their problem solving is useful for navigation and map reading. This type of learning is also helpful for visualising an object from different angles and in playing chess.

    Auditory-Musical Learners

    Auditory-musical learners take in information through their sensitivity to rhythm and sound.  They have the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone. “Good or bad, their response to any music they hear is immediate, and they tend to be more in tune with nature sounds and the sounds of their environment than their counterparts,” said Gilam in a study about multiple kinds of intelligence. The best methods for auditory-musical learners are to study with music in the background or to turn their notes into rhymes.

    Kinaesthetic Learners

    Kinaesthetic learners take in information through the use of their body and touch. Obvious kinaesthetic learners include dancers or surgeons. For these physical learners, hands-on education and carrying out the activity themselves is more effective than listening to an explanation. According to Mantle, many of these kinaesthetic learners are often misdiagnosed as having Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder, usually because they often have more energy than other types of learners.

    Informational Learning Styles

    book-glasses

    The last category for the learning styles is informational, which refers simply to how the brain parses the information, many in the form of language or data. These learning styles do not depend on the senses or the learner’s social surroundings. For example, informational learners can be split into linguistic learners or mathematical learners.

    Linguistic Learners

    Linguistic learners, which are also known as verbal learners, work best with words. Whether information is spoken or written, these learners memorise information through language use. Gardner states, “the linguistic intelligence is activated when individuals encounter the sounds of a language or when they wish to communicate something verbally to another person.”

    However, this learning style doesn’t correlate exclusively with the spoken word. For example, deaf people could demonstrate linguistic intelligence through the use of signs, according to Gardner.

    For linguistic learners, recommended approaches include reading, writing and telling stories. So taking notes while reading is a successful method of study.

    Mathematical Learners

    As the name implies, mathematical learners work best-using numbers, structures and reasoning, this is why they are also referred to as logical learners. According to Mantle, these learners make the best engineers and work by categorising abstract patterns or relationships. Gardner notes a similarity between mathematical and musical learners because both are drawn to structural patterns, which can often exist in music.

    Conclusion

    To summarise, despite the lack of substantial evidence supporting the success of these learning styles, they remain widely popular and are still used in schools throughout the country. According to this Wired article, “Parents, understandably, like to think that their children are receiving a tailored education. 

    Teachers, also understandably, like to think that they are sensitive to each child’s needs, and many are clearly motivated to find out more about how to fulfil this ideal.” However, while there is still value in tailoring teaching methods based on the content and intended audience, attempting to organise individuals into specific styles strictly is not likely to be helpful and could even prevent them from developing more rounded learning skills.

    What are the four learning styles? The four core learning styles include visual, auditory, reading and writing, and kinesthetic.

    There are seven main learning styles:
    • Visual (spatial) Learner. Visual learners are those who prefer learning by observing things. ...
    • Aural (auditory) Learner. ...
    • Verbal (linguistic) Learner. ...
    • Physical (kinesthetic) Learner. ...
    • Logical (mathematical) Learner. ...
    • Social (interpersonal) Learner. ...
    • Solitary (intrapersonal) Learner.

    Visual learners are the most common type of learner, making up 65% of our population. Visual learners relate best to written information, notes, diagrams, and pictures.

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