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Characteristics of Learning Styles

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  • 0:00 What's a Learning Style?
  • 1:18 Characteristics of…
  • 5:23 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Theresa Spanella

Theresa has taught college Writing for 15 years and is two classes from completing a doctorate in Education

Some of us learn by seeing, others learn by doing, and some even learn by listening. This lesson provides an overview of learning styles, including characteristics of each type of learner.

What's a Learning Style?

Each of us is unique. We see things differently. We have our own opinions, our own personalities, even our own fingerprints. Just like our unique fingerprint, we all have a unique learning style. A learning style is a series of theories that explain the differences in our individual patterns of understanding information. We all learn differently, and we prefer information to be presented to us in a particular way - a way that makes it easiest for us to understand.

There are seven different types of learning styles. Each learning style is often referred to using different names. The seven learning styles include:

  • The visual or spatial learning style
  • The aural or auditory or musical learning style
  • The verbal or linguistic learning style
  • The physical or kinesthetic learning style
  • The logical or mathematical learning style
  • The social or interpersonal learning style
  • The solitary or intrapersonal learning style

While each of us learns in a combination of ways comprising of several different learning styles, we typically favor one style and may not use one or more styles at all. Each learning style is an individual way of learning with distinct characteristics that affect both learning and personality.

Characteristics of Learning Styles

Let's take a look at each individual learning style. As we review the different learning styles, reflect on your own behavior and try to determine what style best suits your learning preferences.

The Visual or Spatial Learner

Visual or spatial learners, as the name suggests, prefer information that is presented in the form of pictures, graphs, and maps. Some of the key characteristics of a visual learner are that they like to use color to organize information, have a good sense of direction, and a good sense of style. It often appears that visual learners are distracted, as they tend to appear as though they are daydreaming, but really, they're just visualizing what they are hearing. They often doodle or scribble and are great at taking notes. They tend to be very organized and like to keep things neat and tidy.

The Aural or Auditory and Musical Learner

Those who fall into the category of aural learners are good with sounds. They typically like music and have a good sense of rhythm. Most aural learners are musically-inclined and can sing well or play a musical instrument. To them, music is an emotional experience. Aural learners can often be found singing in their cars, whistling, or humming as they do their work. In learning environments, aural learners can create jingles or songs to remember material or often enjoy music in the background as they study.

The Verbal or Linguistic Learner

In this case, verbal means words. Verbal learners connect well with written information and spoken word. They enjoy reading and can usually remember what they have read. They are also skilled writers and enjoy learning new words. In speaking and writing, they have an extensive vocabulary. Verbal learners often talk to themselves. They enjoy reading out loud and tend to talk themselves through certain tasks. They also enjoy participating in classroom discussions, as talking their way through the material is a helpful learning strategy.

The Physical or Kinesthetic Learner

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