What Is The Best & Fastest Way To Learn?Aug 18, 2022
If you've been one of those individuals who has struggled to sit still during school or retain information within a classroom environment. You are not alone. How do you teach one way to many students with different types of learning retention? Fast forward, and now you're in a professional environment or perhaps about to enter a new industry. It's time to upskill, and you want to learn the best ways to learn. In the VARK method, there are four types of learning styles. I'll go through each one and identify what I believe is the best way to learn.
Visual Learning Style
Learners who prefer to visually consume information via diagrams, videos, charts, etc., tend to learn best by looking at the relationship between different ideas visually. Visual learners can often be easily distracted by sounds and find spoken directions hard to understand.
For visual learners, flashcards, drawing mind maps and pictures to explain concepts or ideas can be helpful. Colour coding and practising in front of a mirror is another great way to retain information.
Auditory Learning Style
Auditory learners best retain information by listening. They often organise ideas after speaking rather than thinking them through before. This is because saying things out loud helps them understand the concepts more quickly.
For auditory learners, making sure that they can hear a speaker clearly is essential. Furthermore, reading aloud flashcards, recording themselves, and playing the recording back can help them retain information.
Kinaesthetic Learning Style
A kinaesthetic learner learns by taking action. They're more in tune with the world around them and learn by interacting and being tactile. They speak with their hands and are often very expressive.
For Kinaesthetic learners involving themselves in workshops and activities where they can create, build and move are great ways to learn. Involving role-playing as a way of retaining information can be a fun way to remember concepts and ideas.
Reading/Writing Learning Style
Words are a powerful way for reading and writing learners to retain information. Furthermore, reading and writing learners usually perform well in written assignments.
Reading and writing learners can make written quizzes and test themselves on the new concepts and theories they wish to learn.
The Best Way To Learn Is To Teach
You may find that you identify with a combination of the learning styles above. However, I personally encourage everyone to refer to the learning pyramid developed by the National Training Laboratory. The pyramid below shows that the best way to learn is to teach. Why? According to A Journal of Educational Psychology, the expectation of teaching and the act of teaching can increase metacognitive processing, which allows individuals to be more aware of their learning processes. In addition, an article published in Memory & Cognition continues that teaching can lead to increased use of effective learning strategies. Furthermore, teaching can lead to increased motivation to learn and feelings of competence and autonomy.
Encouraging Teaching In Your Organisation
Creating a learning culture within your team is essential as one of the biggest reasons employees stay within a company is a sense of career progression. This may be easier in large companies where employees can climb the corporate ladder. But, for those small to medium businesses, creating a sense of career progression is important. You can do this by allocating time for your employees to strengthen and develop new skills.
At Best Practice, each team is encouraged to read a self-growth or professional development book relating to their professional interests and responsibilities. At the end of our weekly meeting, every individual teaches what they've learned. Moreover, I encourage our teams to inform us how what they've learned can be incorporated into their personal and professional lives.
If I say to you, "listen up, there's going to be a test", your mind will be alert and focused. This reading activity is taking this same concept and using it to increase their productivity and professional development.
Furthermore, we create a budget for each individual to use on their professional development, such as a new course relating to their field. Our employees can use half of the budget on topics relevant to their current work responsibilities and the other half in an area of professional interest.
Employees Need To Feel Challenged
Keep your mind and your teams' mind working. Repetitious tasks can become a routine and will use less brainpower. In the short term, employees may be satisfied with this, but soon enough, they will seek to be challenged and want to feel a sense of gratification from their work. Experiment and communicate with your team on how they would like to learn and adapt to those that learn and think differently. The best ideas come from those who think in unique and interesting ways.
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