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What Are The 7 Different Learning Styles? An Overview


At every level of education, people have their preferences and methods which work best for them. To be able to maximize your learning abilities, it helps to understand what learning style is most efficient on an individual level. More often than not, people identify themselves as either auditory or visual learners. But if you were to ask, “what are the 7 different learning styles?” you will come to see that you may lean towards more than one style.

What Are Learning Styles?

Learning styles are the way by which students prefer to learn. One’s desired learning style is a factor of cognitive ability, emotions, and environmental factors.

In fact, many people actually tend to learn in similar ways, as in by seeing something in practice or listening to step-by-step instructions. For this reason, some experts are less likely to categorize learning into styles and are more apt to present it as different options that students can choose what works best for them.

Person writing with sharpies on brown paper
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The 7 Learning Styles

Theorist Neil Fleming coined VARK as a model for learning. VARK stands for: visual, auditory, reading/writing preference, and kinesthetic.

However, this model can be further expanded into the following 7 different learning styles:

1. Visual

Visual learners prefer to see things drawn out or in graphs to understand concepts. If you like to doodle, draw, or create mind maps, it’s likely that you’re a visual learner. Visual learners use images and symbols to connect concepts and be able to see relationships between ideas. It’s common for people who become architects, designers, engineers, and project managers to prefer this style of learning.

2. Auditory

This style is also known as aural or auditory-musical. Such learners like to listen and hear information in order to process it optimally. Those who lean towards aural learning are able to notice the nuances between pitch and tone. Some professions that bode well for auditory learners include: musicians, speech pathologists, sound engineers, and language teachers.

3. Verbal

If you love words and writing, you’re likely a verbal learner. Linguistic learners enjoy reading and writing and enjoy word play. Some techniques that verbal learners employ to soak up information could include role playing and using mnemonic devices. Verbal learners are likely to become writers or journalists or work in politics and administration roles.

4. Physical

Kinesthetic or physical learners are hands-on. Rather than watching a demo or listening to directions, physical learners like to perform the task. Some careers that are well-suited for kinesthetic learners include: EMTs, physical education, or working in the entertainment industry as singers or actors.

5. Logical

Logical learners have a mathematical brain. They can recognize patterns easily and connect concepts. To understand ideas, they prefer to group them into categories. Logical learners are most often found in math-related professions, like accounting, bookkeeping, computer science, or research.

6. Social

Social learners are known as interpersonal learners. They can communicate well both verbally and non-verbally. Social learners have a distinctive sensitivity and an empathetic nature. This is why they often work in social fields that help others, like counseling, coaching, or teaching. Social learners tend to also thrive in a sales environment because it relies on interpersonal connections.

7. Solitary

Intrapersonal learners like their solitude. When you think of this type of learner, you can imagine an author or researcher who spends a lot of time with their own thoughts and works best with the least distractions.

Summary Of The 7 Learning Styles

As you can see from learning about these styles, you may find yourself fitting into more than one of the above. As mentioned, most people do align as visual or auditory learners, but there are certain situations in which one learning style can help maximize the ability to process new information.

What Type Of Learner Are You?

If you’re interested in learning more about the type of learner you are, you can take online assessments and quizzes that offer insight. Through a series of questions, these assessments analyze your responses to identify your preferential learning style.

How To Apply This Knowledge In Your Learning Routine

If you’re currently a student, you may be able to find ways to leverage your learning style in practice. Even if you have graduated already, you can use your learning style in the workplace as well.

For example, if you’re an auditory learner, it could be a good idea to create songs about information to better recall facts.

Or, if you prefer to learn visually, then you can create visual presentations or mind maps. As a solitary learner, you can ensure you set up a quiet space to study, or if you’re more of a social learner, you can create a study group with peers.

Person sitting with a laptop and headphones
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

How To Learn Online Successfully

No matter what type of learner you are, you can apply your learning style to study online. In fact, online colleges are growing in popularity because they are self-paced, flexible, and more affordable than traditional on-campus colleges.

With resources online, you can choose how you learn best by applying your learning style to the course’s material. This holds true for the University of the People, which boasts a diverse student population from over 200 countries and territories who have varying learning styles and preferences.

However, no matter your learning style, UoPeople sets you up for success by providing you with a quality education that is filled with a curriculum that provides you with all you need to know to work in your field of choice.