Applying Different Learning Styles

Suzie poses against a tree.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Wellness Center. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @RowanUWellness on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Learning doesn’t have to be rote memorization of facts, theories and explanations. One way of improving learning while reducing stress is employing different learning strategies. By alternating between learning styles one can improve their memory, increase engagement with learning materials and prevent burn-out.

There’s an overemphasis on learning through reading and writing that we often neglect the fact that we can learn through our other senses. Visual, auditory and kinesthetic are common ways students engage in learning.

We can learn visually through watching videos, drawing charts and diagrams, and using colors. We can learn auditorily through discussions, audio books and reading out loud. And we can learn kinesthetically through field surveys, games and applying theory to practice like role playing.

Suzie leans against a tree.

Students may have a preferred learning style and learning through their preferred method reduces the stress of learning. The majority of students will have multiple preferred learning styles. Finding out which learning style best suits you and combining or alternating between the two will make learning more effective and enjoyable. Students can take the Kolb and VARK test to learn more about their preferred learning styles.

Learning doesn’t take place in one sitting, so remember to take frequent breaks in between study sessions. It helps to refresh your mind and body and the breaks can serve as a reminder to maybe switch up your study sessions a bit. A popular technique learners and educators like to use is the Pomodoro Technique. Students study for 25 minutes and take a 5 minute break, but the time can be adjusted to fit your needs.

Suzie poses under a gazebo.


Adult Learning: Linking Theory and Practice by Sharan B. Merriam, and Laura L. Bierema

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Story by:
Suzie Tse, graduate student for MA in higher education, Wellness Center intern

Photos by:
Valentina Giannattasio, freshman dance and marketing double major

Produced by:
Joseph Conte, junior community and environmental planning major

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