Exploring the Different Ways People Learn

If you’ve ever studied as part of a class or study group, then you’ll already know that different people can learn new things in very different ways. For some students, it’s easy to take things in just by hearing about them, whilst others may have to further solidify the information by re-reading it, writing it down, or typing it out. Other learners are very hands-on and prefer to get stuck right into a task to fully learn how to do it well. Whether you’re a teacher, a business manager, or work with people in any other group learning setting, one of the key aspects of managing the group well is understanding differences in learning styles. Let’s take a look at some of the main ways in which people learn.


Visual learners prefer to learn by looking, reading, and observing. Pictures, diagrams, colors, maps, and other visual items used to organize information are preferred by the visual learner. In general, visual learners tend to have good spatial sense and an excellent sense of direction. If you know somebody who’s great at map-reading and rarely gets lost, then they’re probably this type of learner. For teachers, visual learners are great since often, a whiteboard is all they need to take information in.


Auditory-musical learners prefer to take in new information using sounds and music. If you’re studying for a master of education in learning degree and enjoy recording your lectures to listen to later on, or having music playing in the background when revising, then you’re probably this type of learner. In general, this type of learner tends to be rather musical and enjoys playing a musical instrument or singing, although this isn’t always the case. The use of rhyme in learning can also help this type of learner greatly.


If you’re studying for an online MELCD degree from Rutgers Online and enjoy learning by speaking the words on the page out loud to yourself, then chances are you are a verbal learner. This type of learner prefers to use speech, in the form of both words and writing, to aid their learning experience. Learning techniques such as writing essays, giving presentations, and writing notes come naturally to them.


You guessed it – social learners aren’t very adept at learning alone, therefore, if you’re a social learner you should take great care if considering signing up to a distance or home-based learning program. In general, social learners tend to do best when studying together in a group or with the company of another person. Social learners are also more likely to take advantage of one-on-one time with a tutor or instructor.


Physical, or bodily-kinesthetic learners, prefer to use their body and sense of touch to learn new things. In general, this type of learner is more likely to choose a hands-on or vocational sort of educational program, where they can learn about working in their future career by getting hands-on and learning on the job. Physical models, props, and structures are important for this type of learner.

Do you know your own learning style? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.