The way I learn

When thinking about what kind of course I want to create and what kind of learning experience I want my students/learners to have, I think about the resources and technology I can use. I also think about how I learn. Or rather, what learning experiences have had the impact on me that I want others to have.

This isn’t about learning styles (in the sense of the published research and/or theories). This is about me. As someone who has taken classroom and online courses, read books, watched videos, etc. I’ve learned about myself.

  • Learn by doing – show me how to do something and I’ll be able to repeat some of it. Show me what I’m doing as I do it and I’ll be able to replicate it quite accurately, quite quickly. I (hope) I also learn from my mistakes this way too.
  • Learn by watching/listening – I like listening to music and watching TV and films, and I can remember lyrics and scenes and what happens as part of the story. This doesn’t mean I can learn that way – videos and audio files as part of a course are great but I find myself distracted and/or bored quite quickly.
  • Learn by discussing – Put me in a room with other (face-to-face or online) and I can learn by being an active (or passive) participant in the conversation. I can learn from others’ background and perspectives, and from voicing my own perspectives.
  • Learn by reading – Give me a book to read (fiction) and I’ll devour it in a couple of days if I like it, and I’ll remember characters, events, plot lines, etc. Give me an article or non-fiction to read as part of a course and I’ll dip in and out as my interest waxes and wanes.

What I’m trying to say here is that the above is MY learning style. It changes. Frequently! I don’t fit into a defined learning style, nor do I want to, and how I learn changes with my mood, the availability of time, the level of interest in the subject, etc. I’m not interested in the theories, at least when it comes to MY learning, I’m interested in finding a course and delivery method that I can relate to and invest time and effort in. This is difficult as it’s not usually until you get in to a course that you find out what this is.

How about you? Do you fit any defined earning style or, like me, it changes based upon many different inputs.

Image source: Alan Levine (CCO 1.0)