We all learn in different ways but it is not always the case that our learning environment is adapted accordingly. Indeed, the Bar Standards Board make a number of references in the Bar Qualification Manual to learning styles.
Both the BSB and SRA competence statements contain requirements for authorised persons to undertake reflective practice and one of the first steps in doing so is to know your learning style.
When you know your preferred learning style(s) you understand the type of learning that best suits you. This allows you to choose the types of learning that work best for you or allows you to adapt your learning environment accordingly.
One model of assessment is the VAK learning styles model and you can find out your preferred learning style by completing this quick and easy online quiz:
Once you have completed the quiz, it will immediately tell you your preferred learning style and bring you back to this page for you to learn how you can use this to maximise your performance.
We would highly recommend you don’t read on until you’ve completed the quiz as this may skew the results!
Read on once you know your learning style
Understanding your learning style
The VAK learning styles model suggests that most people can be divided into one of three preferred styles of learning. These three styles are as follows, (and there is no right or wrong learning style):
- Someone with a Visual learning style has a preference for seen or observed things, including websites, pictures, diagrams, graphs, presentations, displays, handouts, videos, etc. These people will use phrases such as ‘show me’, ‘let’s have a look at that’ and will be best able to perform a new task after reading the instructions or watching someone else do it first. These are the people who will work from lists and written directions and instructions.
- Someone with an Auditory learning style prefers the transfer of information through listening: the spoken word, of self or others, of sounds and noises. These people will use phrases such as ‘tell me’, ‘let’s talk it over’ and will be best able to perform a new task after listening to instructions from an expert. These are the people who are happy being given spoken instructions and can remember all the words to songs that they hear!
- Someone with a Kinaesthetic learning style has a preference for physical experience – practical hands-on experiences such as doing, experiencing, touching and feeling. These people will use phrases such as ‘let me try’, ‘how do you feel?’ and will be best able to perform a new task by going ahead and trying it out, learning as they go. These are the people who like to experiment, hands-on, and never look at the instructions first!
People commonly have a main preferred learning style, but they will often have of a blend of all three. Some people have a very strong preference; other people have a more even mixture of two or less commonly, three styles.
When you know your preferred learning style(s) you understand the type of learning that best suits you. This allows you to choose the types of learning that work best for you.
There is no right or wrong learning style. The point is that there are types of learning that are right for your own preferred learning style.
Maximising your performance
|Ways to increase your learning power
If you are a VISUAL learner:
|Write down information
Use coloured pens/fonts
Use coloured paper
Use spider charts/Mind Maps
Visualise the word in your head to help you spell and memorise
Make mental movies of the facts you need to know
Stick post it notes around your room with the facts you need to know
Illustrate projects with pictures
Use drawings and visual aids when you have to give talks
Use association techniques e.g., North, East, South and West = Never Eat Shredded Wheat
Watch a video/demonstration on how to do something before you start
Highlight important information in books, notes and on documents
Develop good note-taking skills
|If you are an AUDITORY learner:
Take part in group discussion
Ask, ask, and ask again until someone can help you understand
Record information you find difficult and listen to it
Have background music on while you study
Discuss with colleagues involved in the same project
Make up songs, rhymes, or raps to memorise facts
Have someone ask you questions to help you revise or memorise
|If you are a KINAESTHETIC learner:
|Be comfortable where you work
Interrupt your study time every 15 – 20 minutes and move around
Volunteer for demonstrations, role plays etc
Walk about as you memorise information
Eat while you study or play with items while you think
Develop good note-taking skills
Use mind maps and other unconventional forms of note-taking
Get involved – you will learn from your mistakes
Put information on post-it notes so you can move it around until it makes sense
If your organisation would like to know more about how it could use these tools and more to enhance the skills and competence of their teams, we have lots more interactive, insightful and intriguing tools to share. If you would like to know more, do reach out to the team at Beyond Compliance on 0121 288 5227 and speak to Helen or email at email@example.com