According to teachers, scholars and pedagogical theories, “students learn most effectively when instructional methods are tailored to their preferred learning style and less effectively otherwise” (Pearson). As a result, one can assume that the ability to identify your learning style can considerably improve academic outcomes, as opposed to learning in a method that contradicts preferred style.
Before one can identify their learning style we need to be able to define what is a learning style? What are the different classifications? And why is it important to identify a learning style? The simplest way of describing learning styles is that there are various ways in which we conceive, comprehend, retain and express new information. Predominant styles are visual, auditory, kinesthetic and read/write. Visual learners prefer images, charts, graphs as opposed to words. Auditory learners learn best through discussions, spoken information and unpacking information by talking through concepts. Kinesthetic learners learn best through personal and physical experiences by recreating, experimenting and practising. Read/write learning style is quite self-explanatory as they process information through reading and writing assignments/notes (Vark-Learn).
Different attributes can contribute to preferred learning style. From personality, abilities and your motivation towards the course. What is important to note is that no learning style is more important or effective than the other, it only reflects preference, how you absorb information and overall experience with learning material (The Science Publication). People’s learning styles will vary because everyone is different and different aspects shape how we process information. Secondly, the idea is to move away from monotonous learning where you are unable to enjoy the lesson or at least engage with the course material.
Perhaps Accounting is not that difficult, it could be that you have not explored the best method of learning which allows you to yield better results. You apply the same method of learning for all your subjects. You make no distinction on how to learn your numerical subjects versus your theoretical subjects. The best way to know what works for you is to try all methods. Thereafter stick with the method that gives you the best result or combine different methods. Simply knowing your learning style does not automatically mean improving your marks, similarly to how knowing one’s weight does not help weight loss. The key thing is what you do after gaining that information.
Although a learning style can be an inborn characteristic that does not significantly change over the years, however it can change during the course of your lifetime due to different experiences, technological advancements and change in motivation towards the learning material. This is why it is preferable to identify your learning style at an earlier stage, so you can know how to adapt at a later stage if there is an opportunity to do so. If you were a read/write learner in high school, once you enter university this might change, and find yourself enjoying video lectures and YouTube explanations more than sitting in a lecture hall while taking notes copiously.
The great thing about identifying your learning style is that this allows you to take responsibility and control for your own learning, centering yourself around your learning process. Consequently, you might find that this also builds confidence when you know how to learn and tackle your learning material. It is also a tool that can guide you post your high school and university career because ultimately, one never stops learning.