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Learning Styles Compare

& Contrast Essay, Research Paper

Learning Styles

The purpose of this paper is to identify and compare the meaning as well as the differences of two learning styles as they relate to both the academic and professional realm. I have chosen these two styles because I believe the majority of people are either visual or auditory learners. Each person has his or her own way of converting, processing, storing, and retrieving information. The way we connect the information is an important part of the learning process.

Although we each have our own learning style, there is a common factor that exists in each one. Stimulus is something that incites, or quickens action, feeling or thought. The stimulus acts as a signal that alerts one or more of our senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, or smell). While all of the senses in any combination may be used in the learning process, each of us has a dominant method of learning.

If we look at how visual learners gather and process information, we will likely see how much more they benefit from activities that require them to use their sight. In an academic setting, a visual learner may retain and understand more from reading a book or seeing a movie on a subject than they would from just listening to a lecture. If the instructor uses visual aids along with his or her lecture, the retention rate for the visual learner tends to be much higher. When a visual is given the opportunity to see the information being given they are able to process it in a way that works for them (Wood 41). If a visual learner is met with a instructor that uses a verbal teaching style, the student must find ways to connect the information. Some of those ways may be to draw pictures, excessive note taking, or by recording the lecture and listening to it a few times. While it is not impossible for a visual learner to learn from a teacher with different teaching styles, it can be a challenge.

A visual learns the same in work environment as they do in an academic one. The visual learner might require memos instead of voice mail, or charts instead of just numbers being thrown at them. If a supervisor gives a visual learning employee directions on how to do a task in the form of a memo, they will find that they won?t need to go over it with them again and again. We tend to pick on new things better if presented in a style that works for us.

I have found myself to be a visual learner. In my job, listening is required in order to investigate a particular problem. I find that when I am required to listen, I must take notes. It is much easier for me to go back to my notes to summarize the conversation then it would be to rely on what I think I might of heard. People don?t always hand me things in writing. They leave voice mail messages, or tell me something in passing. I?ve found myself using a lot of post it notes so I can write down what I need to know and be able to follow-up on it later. I am fortunate that I am aware of my learning style, and that I can use my strength in knowing I am a visual learner to compensate for my lack of ability to adjust to other teaching styles.

If we look at how auditory learners gather and process information, we will see how they benefit from activities that require them to use their hearing. In an academic setting, auditory learners tend to learn more from hearing a lecture or talking about a subject than they would from just reading a book. Auditory learners like to be given verbal instructions rather than handouts. If a auditory learner is met with a instructor that uses a different teaching style, the student must find other ways to connect the information. The ways a auditory learner may connect this information by taping the lectures, or reading the instruction out loud, or by asking questions.

As with the academic setting, the work place can be difficult for the auditory learner. If a presentation is being given to the auditory learner, like charts and graphs, the auditory learner will need to ask a lot of questions about the data in order to understand it?s meaning. If the auditory learner has a supervisor who is a visual, and likes to hand out memo?s or e-mail, the auditory learner needs to find a way to connection with the material so he or she is better able to understand.

Although I am a visual learner, I work with auditory learners. I have found that if they are given written instructions, they will read them out loud, or talk to themselves. I find myself having to leave voice mail messages, or talking to them face to face to be sure they understand what it is I am asking.

From study groups to teams in the work place, I have found that different learning styles complement each other. One way to help a team progress, is to work with different people, and use their different combinations of learning styles to improve the outcome. This can take place in either the academic or professional setting.

We all could use some help when it comes to learning. We need to be aware that when we are working to understanding a concept, knowing our learning style can help accelerate the process. Even though we may be able to identify the type of learner we are, there are many benefits in learning and using other learning styles also.

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