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Learning Styles: Situating my Students to Maximize Success

“I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.” ~Eartha Kitt

In the September Platinum Post we discussed What Type of Teaching is best in EMS? This month we dedicated an article that describes the different types of learners. So, instead of trying to determine which way is best to teach, maybe we should be asking how do my students learn. Let’s discuss learning styles and how to maximize our student’s potential in our classrooms.

There are many different types of learning styles. It is important to determine an individual’s style and seat them accordingly in the classroom. We can then set our classroom accordingly. Although not every learner is exactly one type, however, it is our belief that every learner favors one more than the others. First let’s examine the types.

Visual

  • Uses visual objects such as graphs, charts, pictures, and seeing information
  • Can read body language well and has a good perception of aesthetics
  • Able to memorize and recall various information
  • Tends to remember things that are written down
  • Learns better in lectures by watching them
  • Highlights main points, ideas, or events and the facts that support them
  • Color-codes notes by topic, concept, or idea

Verbal

  • Retains information through hearing and speaking
  • Often prefers to be told how to do things and then summarizes the main points out loud to help with memorization
  • Notices different aspects of speaking
  • Often has talents in music and may concentrate better with soft music playing in the background
  • Involves both the written and spoken word
  • Records lessons using a tape or digital audio recorder and uses it later for review
  • Reads aloud for more efficient comprehension

Kinesthetic

  • Likes to use the hands-on approach to learn new material
  • Is generally good in math and science
  • Would rather demonstrate how to do something than verbally explain it
  • Usually prefers group work more than others

Social

  • Learns through social interaction between peers
  • Prefers to work in group format
  • Observes the behaviors of others and modifies their own behavior accordingly
  • Influenced by rewards and consequences

Independent

  • Is more private, introspective, and independent
  • Prefers to work alone; self-study
  • Driven by their own personal goals and outcomes
  • Can work without much direction or intervention by others

Auditory and visual learners should be in the front. Kinesthetic learners should be in the back. Visual learners should be placed so that their backs re to any visual distractions such as the windows. Auditory learners should be placed away from sound distractions such as that noisy fan. Independent (note to author-this is the term we use on our site) learners should be placed alone or with other independent learners. Social learners can be placed together but never surrounding an independent learner. Now, you may be thinking, “How am I supposed to situate all these different types of learners effectively?” It may be a bit difficult, but your classroom, and students, will benefit. In fact, we believe in placing learners according to their style so much that we have incorporated it into our National Registry first-time 100% pass rate guarantee.* Good luck and we appreciate all the hard work and efforts that EMS and Allied Health educators provide!

*Interested in learning more about the 100% pass rate guarantee? We’ll go more in depth on that next month. Stay tuned!

References:
http://www.edudemic.com/styles-of-learning
http://blc.uc.iupui.edu/Academic-Enrichment/Study-Skills/Learning-Styles/3-Learning-Styles