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July 26, 2021
There is no singular solution to make studying a breeze for every kind of learner. Advances in psychology and education continually demonstrate why we should recognize and support diverse learning styles. You have probably heard the words visual, auditory and kinesthetic before, but what do those words really mean? A more thorough understanding of different learning styles can certainly help you maximize your academic success, particularly if you are a kinesthetic learner with unique strengths and preferences.
In their academic article on the impact of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles, authors Rita Syofyan and Menik Kurnia Siwi define learning styles as "characteristic cognitive, effective, and psychosocial behaviours that serve as relatively stable indicators of how learners perceive, interact with, and respond to the learning environment." There are countless learning style quizzes out there to help you identify your primary, secondary and tertiary learning styles. Do you prefer to study alone or in a group? Do you prefer visual diagrams or hearing instructions spoken clearly to you? Your answers to these types of questions will help you understand your strengths and needs when it comes to learning and remembering new concepts or facts. Undoubtedly, traditional learning environments and classroom styles seem to prioritize visual and auditory learning styles. So where does that leave kinesthetic or tactile students?
Instead of struggling to conform or change your learning style, play to your strengths. Based on the research by Syofyan and Siwi, kinesthetic learners typically flourish when their learning incorporates "movement, coordination, rhythm, emotional response and physical comfort." If you identify as a kinesthetic learner or you have tactile learning preferences, you will certainly benefit from adding some movement and action into your studying. You could try recording lectures and listening to them as a podcast while you engage in some light physical activity such as going for a walk or even doing the dishes at home. Engaging your hands and body will empower your brain to absorb more of the learning material and ultimately do better on your next proctored exam. You could also consider the following:
By tailoring your study process to your unique learning style, you will start to see improved results. You could also consider creating a mind map that requires some physical activity. Mind maps are a fun and engaging way to categorize, analyze and recall complex information. You could also explore the use of a simulation, case study or sample scenario that you can conceptualize and understand core ideas.
In the abstract to their article about exploring the use of augmented reality in a kinesthetic learning application, authors Muhammad Zahid Iqbal, Eleni Mangina and Abraham Campbell explore the benefits of burgeoning technologies for kinesthetic learners. They assert that rapid change in technological advancement "allows for the creation of learning tools that provide better interaction, creative engagement and adaptability to a learner." While not everyone can afford a virtual reality headset, it is worth considering how technology can benefit you as a kinesthetic learner. Try engaging with an array of productivity apps to help you succeed and discover what works best for you. Once you have tried some of these recommendations and figured out a study plan which highlights your unique strengths as a kinesthetic learner, the next step is to consider your exam environment. Look for exam proctoring services that offer you a safe and secure testing environment, such as Ashton Testing Services (ATS). Having a professional exam environment will allow you to sit back and focus on the task at hand, so you can walk away feeling good about the experience.
Written by: CJ McGillivray