For every individual, learning is a never-ending process that starts from birth and continues until death. However, we differ in how best we learn. In other words, there are different types of learning of which we will explore in this article.
In addition, learning is an inevitable phenomenon experienced by humans, animals, and even in some plants and machines. It could be international or subconscious.
Furthermore, we learn from our environment, people around us, the media, and several other mediums. All in all, its purpose is to acquire and improve knowledge, skills, and ability for future use.
This article outlines the types of learning, their characteristics, and how teachers can help each learner learn better.
Let’s take a look at them.
What Is Learning?
Before we go into the types of learning, we first need to understand what it means. Learning can therefore be defined as the process of acquiring new skills, knowledge, understanding, values, attitudes, lifestyles, and preferences.
Learning is complete when the acquired skills, knowledge, understanding, values, attitudes, lifestyles, and preferences are implemented. Moreso, without the learning process in the life of an organism, the development will be incomplete in its lifecycle.
Furthermore, for humans, learning commences as soon as the child is born. The child has to adapt to its immediate environment as well as its body. The young child learns to crawl, walk, eat, and relate with the people around him or her.
Also, it is important to note that individuals have different learning styles, and our ability to pick up new processes differs.
Now that we understand what learning is and how it affects us, we will look at the types of learning.
What Are The Types Of Learning?
We have three main types of learning, namely sensory learning, personal learning, and informational learning. These types of learning will be further broken down.
1. Sensory Learning
In this case, learning happens with the use of the senses. It is further divided into visual learners, aural learners, and kinaesthetic learning.
Studies have shown that roughly 65% of the world’s population are visual learners, while 30% are aural learners and 5% are kinaesthetic learners. However, learners can exhibit multiple learning traits.
This can also be referred to as spatial learning. It is a type of learning that occurs when an individual sees the information to process it. It is regarded as the most common type of learning process because many learn by what they see.
This type of learning varies from color, tones, brightness and contrast, and other information processed by the human eye.
Examples of visual learning include watching demonstrations like a video on how to knot a tie. It could also be in the form of a drawing or picture diagram. Another example could be pointing out directions or specifications like a handbook.
Characteristics of visual learners
The characteristic of visual learners include:
- Retentive memory of what was read compared to what was listened to
- Strong preference for normal reading books than audiobooks
- Strong ability to visualize things
- The use of diagrams to learn better
- Always taking notes
- Often study learning materials over again
- Poor understanding of verbal information
- Strong need to see the teacher
How to get the best out of visual learners
To get the best out of visual learners, teachers should do the following:
- Make more use of pictures and diagrams
- Create easy demonstration videos
- Ensure instructions are well written for assignments and other assessment activities
Also known as tactile learning. This is one of the major types of the learning process. The kinaesthetic learning concept was developed by Neil D. Fleming when he created the VAK learning model.
Here, learning takes place when the individual is exposed to videos and simulations. Learners understand and learn better when they are physically active while the learning process is going on. In simpler terms, they often learn through doing.
For example, an individual who possesses the kinesthetic learning style will have to pace back and forth while trying to assimilate information. Lastly, case studies and real-life examples also aid their understanding.
Characteristics of kinaesthetic learners
The characteristics of kinaesthetic learners include:
- Better understanding through a hands-on approach
- Learning during physical movement
- Enjoys non-classroom setting. Eg. field trips and executions
- Good hand coordination and loves to build
How to get the best out of kinaesthetic learners
To get the best out of kinaesthetic learners, teachers should do the following:
- Allow students to move around a bit during long periods of lectures
- Give more real-life cases as examples
- Infuse physical class activities during lecture
In this case, learning involves the ears because aural learners prefer to process information through what they hear.
Furthermore, these individuals are likely to remember what they hear quickly, and they can also be referred to as musical learners. For example, an aural learner might easily remember your phone number when you call it out once.
Unlike visual learners, learners in this category will prefer to listen to lectures than take notes.
They also prefer to read aloud to assimilate better, and they are very good at remembering songs, making them good at music. In addition to this, they have a strong preference for audiobooks.
Characteristics of aural learners
The characteristics of Aural learners are:
- Music lovers
- Prefer audiobooks to reading
- Prefer to listen to stories rather than read them
- Tend to shut their eyes to concentrate on aural information
- Dislike noisy environments
- Can easily remember verbal instructions
In addition, teachers can get the best out of aural learners by infusing music for young learners and through class presentation activities.
2. Personal Learning
This refers to the individual’s personality and how the learner copes with other people around them. While some require the company of others to learn better, others prefer to learn on their own. They are split into Interpersonal learners and intrapersonal learners.
This style of learning is also referred to as social learning. Learning occurs when an individual is involved in a group study or project. Social learners are attracted to interacting with other people through communication.
You often find them in study groups and committee meetings. They enjoy group projects, heading committees, competing in debates, and other social activities. They are also strong leaders due to their ability to relate with others.
An interpersonal learner can work with other people and is also open to other people’s opinions. As a result, such individuals are very strong in both verbal interactions.
Characteristics of interpersonal learners
The characteristics of interpersonal learners include:
- Strong communication skills
- Always leading group projects and committees
- Studying or working with a group rather than alone
- They ask lots of questions
- They like to have a mentor-mentee relationship
How to get the best out of interpersonal learners
To get the best out of interpersonal learners, teachers should:
- Create study groups
- Provide more group projects and assignments
- Give room for class presentations
- Create a mentoring and apprenticeship group
- Encourage more social outings and gatherings
Unlike interpersonal learning, this is quite the opposite. Solitary or intrapersonal learning style involves an individual who learns better when they are alone.
This type of learning occurs when the learner assimilates information alone. They tend to be very self-motivated and goal-oriented. They are not fond of sharing their thoughts with others. This set of learners are often known to be reserved.
Lastly, intrapersonal learners enjoy quiet environments where they can reflect and study.
Characteristics of intrapersonal learners
Intrapersonal learners are:
- Most likely introverted
- Strong skilled in self-management
- Unlike social learners, they do not like class discussions and group projects
- More self-aware
- Highly independent
How to get the best out of intrapersonal learners
Teachers can get the best out of introverted learners by:
- Respecting their privacy
- Ensuring that your student learning objectives are in line with theirs
- Encouraging the use of journals for them to document their thoughts
- Being open-minded to their questions
- Providing them with independent study materials
3. Informational Learning
This is the last category of learning, and it refers to how individuals process information. While some are logical and factual, others are not interested in figures. They can be divided into;
Linguistic learners are also referred to as verbal learners. They tend to pick up information from what they read or hear. It is closely related to aural learning.
This type of learning points out a person’s reasoning ability and problem-solving skills using language. As long as they can read or hear the information, they get to understand it.
Individuals with this type of learning ability tend to do well in a proper school setting. They are also excellent readers and writers with a keen sense of vocabulary.
Characteristics of linguistic or verbal learners include
Linguistic or verbal learners are:
- Skilled in reading and writing
- Highly interested in languages and vocabulary
- Outspoken and respond well to written and spoken instructions
- Good at playing word games
- Great at giving speeches and presentations
How to get the best out of verbal or linguistic learners.
To get the best out of verbal or linguistic learners, teachers should:
- Encourage class activities like presentations and debates
- Increase the use of round table discussions and study groups
- Combine reading and writing class activities equally
- Provide reading materials
Otherwise known as logical learning type. This type of learning is best experienced when there is a systematic procedure or process.
It can also be an individual’s ability to solve challenges and learn through numbers and abstract information. This gives room for the individual to reason and come up with solutions.
They are often not interested in personal feelings and intuitions because they prefer facts and results. These learners also require statistics and data to back up results, and they are often good in strategy games like puzzles and chess.
Characteristics of logical learners
Logical Learners have some characteristics peculiar to them, which include:
- They are good with numbers
- They always require data and information to back up facts
- Hatred for too many words
- Science and mathematically inclined
- Strong problem-solving skills
- Preference for series rather than the whole picture
- They follow rules and due processes
How to get the best out of mathematical or logical learners.
To get the best of mathematical learners:
- Encourage more problem-based questions
- Make more use of visual information and data
- Make use of open-ended questions
- Give out more hands-on projects
- Reduce heavy texted information by giving out more key points
This type of learning rarely involves the regular classroom setting unlike the rest mentioned above. Individuals that engage in naturalistic learning have a strong sense of their environment.
They enjoy outdoor activities and are keen to explore nature and living things like animals and plants. It is no surprise that they also explore geographical topics and are actively involved in science-related projects.
Characteristics of naturalist learners include:
Some of the qualities of naturalist learners include :
- Interest in outdoor activities
- Love for visiting the zoo
- Vast knowledge of plants
- Good relationships with animals
- Love for biology and geography
How to get the best out of naturalist learners
Some of the ways for teachers to encourage naturist learning are:
- Giving room for learners to explore
- Organizing natural field trips and excursions
- Giving out projects on natural topics
What type of learning should you adopt?
Adopt the kind of learning that fits your personality. For instance, if you have a strong appeal for videos, you may consider learning through videos rather than audio.
What is the best learning type?
The best learning type is visual learning because it is easy to learn by what we see.
What are the 3 main types of learning?
The three main types of learning are sensory, informational, and personal learning. These types of learning can be further broken down.
In conclusion, we have looked at the types of learning and how they can be classified into different styles depending on the personality of the individual.
Furthermore, you need to figure out what works best for you and your students. You should also find a way to strike a balance between every type of learner.
Lastly, perhaps you are seeking ways to become the best at your job as a teacher, read the post on what makes a good teacher learn more.
I hope this article helped. Thank you for reading.