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Entering college is often terrifying and exciting for the new student. Finding themselves with a new sense of freedom and confidence, the world can seem suddenly unfamiliar. Students of all age groups go through this period of adjustment whether they are taking one class or a fully loaded course schedule. With everything seeming new to the student, they can become disoriented and confused by their new responsibilities. That is why knowing about the idea of learning styles becomes important for the new student. There are things that the learner can do to create situations to utilize their strengths in any class situation. College study skills and learning styles are a way to keep studies familiar. Falling into studying habits that compliment the learning style of the student is an excellent way to improve academics.
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What are Learning Styles?
Learning styles, simply put, are the way that a person learns. There are 3 basic types of learning styles; visual learners, auditory learners and kinesthetic learners. Knowing the learning style that works best for the student, they are able to tailor the study activities, and in some cases may be able to work with college advisors to match compatible teachers. Pace University has been working with students on educating learning styles and matching them with teachers and courses that will help them succeed.
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Visual learners are people who learn most effectively through sight. The teacher’s body language and facial expressions are as valuable to the student who learns in this way, as the actual information is. Online learning would be less effective for this type of learner however in a classroom setting they excel. These students learn best with visual displays such as diagrams, handouts, charts and energetic lectures. Visual learners can help themselves with study materials. Finding magazines that are relevant to the topic, creating their own visual creations of the lessons and creating a ‘lesson’ of their own on the topic will help this learner succeed.
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Auditory learners are people who learn through words. Recording lectures are the best way for these students to review the material after class. They may start discussion study groups to talk through the issues and at listen closely to the tone of the lecture to gauge its importance. Handouts and written information do not often help this learner and they are usually the last to “take notes" in class, understanding that they will likely not review them again.
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Kinesthetic learners do best by doing, creating or simply moving. These students often do better when there are hands on activities to explore the purpose and reactions of what they are learning. These learners often do very well in science and mathematics, as through activities these can be “proven." Similar to the visual learner it may help the kinesthetic learner to create a faux lesson to illustrate the recent lecture and it’s all the better if they have created a study group to lead in that lesson. This would allow the learner to do and create in order to learn the lesson and may help other learners in the process.
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Understanding the Learning Styles
No matter what learning style works for the student, understanding the idea of college study skills and learning styles will help the student rediscover learning in a new light. The student is always in control of how they learn and what they take away from a class. By taking what they've learned and simply adapting it to their particular style of learning, the student can create a whole new understanding of the topic.
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http://www.ldpride.net/learningstyles.MI.htm#Learning%20Styles%20Explained : This website explains learning styles and multiple intelligence.
http://www.pace.edu/page.cfm?doc_id=5114 : Pace University’s academic counseling website. This site explains the learning styles and how to overcome and use the learning style to the student’s advantage.