Different learning styles encourages individual success

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The finish line is in sight. The race for the 2016-2017 school year is almost over. However, the end also means finals are around the corner and stress is on the rise.

It is not uncommon to see students studying all over campus. There is not one universal way of studying because everyone learns differently.

Some students learn best by reading the material, while others need visual aids. For some, actually engaging in an activity or listening to someone speak is effective.  While writing notes may work for some individuals, typing works better for others.

Many students discovered how they learn best during their FOCUS class, whether  is through visuals, lectures or hands-on activities.

Steve Nielsen, director of student retention in the Office of Student Success, said he recognizes there are multiple ways people learn and it is important to understand the facts.

“For a long time we have taught in basically one way. The professor stands up and lectures and students are expected to learn that way,” Nielsen said. “Once you know the way you learn, you don’t really think that you are different; you just understand that there
are differences.”

Once students discover the best way they study and learn, Nielsen said he believes success will be found when those study habits are applied.

“If you know how you learn, then you can be able to study in that way,” Nielsen said. “Some people learn best in groups and talking through their ideas and need to find a study group so they can get with other people. If you learn best by yourself in a quiet environment, you need to find that space.”

Caleb Holcomb, sophomore photography and graphic design double major, said he learns best through hands-on application or listening to study music.

“I usually learn best with hands-on lessons, but I study best in a quiet room with soft music in the background,” Holcomb said. “The best learning technique I use is trying to apply the material to something I already know such as learning material to the beat of a song.”

Nielsen encourages students to visit the tutoring center at the Office for Student Success, where they offer a variety of places and ways to study.

“We have group study, we have one-on-one tutoring and we just have quiet places to study,” Nielsen said. “Any of those different ways you learn, you can do on campus.”

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