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Effective Strategies and Study Habits by Learning Style

Posted by Melizza Cuizon on Oct 22, 2020 8:15:00 AM


“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy – I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” – Art Williams


Many of us can agree that studying is not easy. In fact, the thought of having to load hours of information into our brains at any given time is exhausting. One can imagine that for students in a hybrid or flipped learning environment, the idea of studying can become quite a challenge. Educators who are facilitating student learning in these environments are managing to differentiate instruction to support the variety of learner in their classes. They are skilled at crafting curriculum so that students absorb and retain information according to their learning styles (a learning style is a student’s preferred way of taking in new content). For example, when learning how to play a new game, some students need to read all the instructions before playing while others would rather start playing and learn during the game.

There are three learning styles that most educators are familiar with:

  • Visual

Visual learners favour seeing and observing information, including diagrams, drawings, pictures, and written directions. They tend to doodle, create lists, and take notes while learning.

  • Auditory

Auditory learners prefer sound to reinforce what is being learned, such as listening to a lecture or audio recordings of a lesson. They favour reading aloud to themselves and verbally explaining new concepts and information.

  • Kinesthetic

Kinesthetic learners are inclined to movement and experiences to take in information. They prefer touching and manipulating objects or acting out events to learn new concepts.

Think about the way you prefer to learn or what has been successful for you. Has it generally been one way or a combination of different ways? Although it may seem that there are limitations to the learning styles that can be addressed in a virtual classroom, you can plan a mix of different activities that will help students dig deeper into new concepts and topics. Encourage students to do more on their own that support their learning progress. Below are recommended strategies for instruction and independent study ideas:

Learning Style Instruction Strategies Independent Study Ideas
Visual Learner

Use whiteboarding tools to create diagrams, drawings, and mark up shared docs, images, and slides

Provide opportunities for students to draw pictures or doodle examples and share with the class

Create handouts that students can print and mark up on their own before, during, and/or after an in-class session

Use videos in lessons, pausing at regular intervals to review video content

Record video of yourself explaining a concept or process for students to view independently

Incorporate diagram, flashcard, and matching activities to reinforce concepts

Draw a picture of new information learned

Take notes during a lesson, jotting key words and ideas and review those notes before the next class or doing homework

Make an outline of information (for younger students, provide a template that students complete)

Use graphic organisers such as a Venn, tables, and diagrams showing hierarchy to sort information

Use a colour-coding system to identify key points and main ideas on a handout or worksheet

Record live lessons (or ask teacher to record) and watch later for review

Make flashcards and review for a few minutes everyday

Auditory Learner

Incorporate read alouds in lessons, including students taking turns reading aloud to the class

Have students regularly repeat new concepts during a lesson

Pause and ask questions and/or allow students to explain new information

Set up small groups for students to discuss a question or problem presented

Audio record live lessons for students to access independently as review

Allow students to audio record their problem solutions or explanations as evidence of learning

After a lesson, read notes out loud especially key ideas and points

Record audio of reading notes aloud that can be played and reviewed as needed

Repeat facts and main ideas with eyes closed

Review/Explain notes and what was learned with a classmate or in small groups

Use a mnemonic device to review concepts. For example, “Never Eat Sour Watermelons” for North, East, South, West or PEMDAS for Order of Operations (Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication or Division, Addition or Subtraction)


Kinesthetic Learner

Have students use whiteboarding tools to answer questions or identify key points

Include movement activities during an in-class session, such as a quick stretch between subjects

Have students act out scenes from a book, story, or lesson instead of a simple retell or summary

Add learning games that incorporate movement

Incorporate experiments and hands -on projects to deepen understanding


Make and use flashcards to review or play memory games

Make and use flashcards to review or play memory games

Use a whiteboard to list out steps in a solution strategy or to complete an assignment

Find interactive sites to review concepts, subjects, and topics being learned

Associate a physical action with a new term or key point. For example, snap for each new vocabulary word reviewed



Besides the recommendations on the table, urge students to plan for a time each day to review and study what was learned either during class or in activities assigned before an in-class session. Remind them to be consistent with their study time and to choose a place that they can focus and limit distraction (including setting device notifications to silent). Regularly check with students about their independent study times and what methods they feel successful with. This can help others in the class to adapt/adopt similar strategies and improve learning retention and progress. In time, these independent study habits will have become a natural part of their routine and class time can be used effectively.

“Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn.” – Albert Einstein


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Topics: teacher tips, student learning, education, learning styles

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