Date Published: September 24, 2019
As a nursing student, you are expected to learn a ton of information during your time in school. Knowing the ways in which you learn best can help you to tackle the challenge of remembering all of that important information.
Learning styles are common ways that people absorb information. Most people have a few learning styles that are more dominant than others, but no one is confined to just one style. You will likely find yourself adapting to use every learning style at some point or another during your journey through nursing school!
Below we’re sharing an overview of the different learning styles and some learning techniques for benefiting more from each one.
Visual learners, sometimes referred to as spatial learners, prefer using pictures, images, charts and diagrams to organize information. Visualization comes easy to these types of learners. If you are a visual learner, you might enjoy drawing, have a good sense of color balance, and be great at navigating and using maps.
Learning techniques: Visual learners can benefit from taking notes using the mapping method (We explain the mapping method in our article, Note Taking 101). Making your notes and other study resources very organized and pleasing to look at will also help keep you focused when learning. Using different colors and adding diagrams or even doodles to your notes may help you absorb the information.
Aural learners, also known as auditory learners, enjoy working with sound and music. They tend to have a good sense of rhythm and pitch. If you are an aural learner, you might play an instrument or find yourself humming and tapping your pencil throughout the day.
Learning Techniques: Aural learners can benefit from including rhymes, songs and other sounds into your learning. Try listening to white noise or music that evokes emotion in you to help you focus while you study. If you’re a real pro, try creating a jingle or a song with information from your notes!
Verbal learners, also sometimes called linguistic learners, absorb information and express themselves best by using words. This includes both spoken and written word. If you are a verbal learner, you might enjoy reading and writing, be a great public speaker, and prefer to talk on the phone with someone instead of texting them.
Learning techniques: Verbal learners can benefit from talking yourself through your notes while you study. Consider asking your professor if you can record the lecture on your phone or laptop so that you can listen back to it later. You may also consider working with software that reads textbooks or presentations aloud to you.
Physical learners, also known as kinesthetic learners, enjoy doing hands-on activities and using physical objects. They absorb information best by incorporating a sense of touch and movement into learning. If you are a physical learner, you might enjoy dancing, play sports, or be great at mechanical or repair work.
Learning techniques: Physical learners can benefit from doing actions and movements during learning activities. Try using physical objects to study with such as flash cards or models. Writing and drawing are also physical activities, so you may also try using a whiteboard to add those actions to your study session.
Logical learners, sometimes also referred to as mathematical learners, prefer using logic, reasoning, and systems to solve problems. They enjoy working with patterns and using statistics to support information. If you are a logical learner, you might enjoy doing brainteasers, creating agendas and to-do lists, and excel in math and science classes.
Learning techniques: Logical learners can benefit from taking notes using the outline method (We cover this in our article, Note Taking 101). Making lists of different concepts or relationships between topics can help you study. Try making a study plan or creating an outline for learning outcomes when you are working to help you stay focused.
Social vs. Solitary
In addition to the different types of ways people prefer to organize and absorb information, you can also distinguish your learning style by how you prefer to interact with your environment while learning. Social learners, also called interpersonal learners, prefer learning in groups and by sharing ideas with other people. On the other hand, solitary learners, also called intrapersonal learners, prefer learning alone and using self-study.
Related Read: 6 Steps to Forming a Successful Study Group
It’s important to remember that learning styles are not permanent or mutually exclusive. You can learn new ones and develop ones that you are already dominant in!
Curious to know which styles you prefer? There are many different free online tests available that can help you to determine which learning styles are your strongest.
Ready for more tips to help you succeed in nursing school? ATI Nursing has you taken care of! Check out our blog for more nursing school tips, tricks and helpful info here.