What’s your learning style? Do you prefer learning in a group and in an interactive setting? Or one-on-one? Do you retain information best through lectures, or visuals, or simply by reading books?
This is an interesting question, because I had to actually sit down and think about this carefully. I have different learning styles for different activities, I think!
When it comes to academic learning, I’m very much an old-school type: individual learning, from lectures and books, with notes taken by me then re-written afterwards to consolidate everything I’ve learned. Pictures are nice, but not necessary. Maps are more important, especially when dealing with areas of the world I’m not familiar with. This is how I learned during my degree, which I’m very grateful for. I hate working in groups because it never goes well – there’s always someone who never pulls their weight, there’s somebody who just doesn’t understand the information and underperforms and there’s usually a bossy know-it-all determined to be in charge of everything and throws a hissy fit if someone deviates from their planning.
As I’m usually the hissy fit throwing, bossy know-it-all, I prefer to avoid group work. It’s just easier for everybody concerned, and it has the added bonus of me retaining friends and avoiding having heavy items thrown at my head. Win-win!
When it comes to doing something practical – assembling flat pack furniture, knitting, checking the oil and water in my car’s engine – I can’t just rely on reading written instructions. I need to watch YouTube videos, instructional DVDs or have someone physically demonstrate the correct actions for me to work it out. I like the helpful pictures on the IKEA leaflets with the little man putting the bookshelf together, while my mother is baffled by them. She can jump straight in and work it out from looking at the pieces, while I need the images to help me visualise the finished product.