What’s My Learning Style?
I learned in college that I preferred interactive small groups or one-on-one settings. When the opportunity arose for course projects that required groups, it wasn’t surprising that I gravitated to like-minded individuals, and vice versa. Although in hindsight, it started much earlier.
While I can retain information through nearly every possibly means, something that allows me to visualize or read works best. When I was in high school, I wanted to take a speed reading course. Within the first thirty minutes of the start of the class, I was back in the admin office, searching for a new class. Why? Because the class wasn’t going to help me–not my thinking, but the teacher’s.
The objective of the course was to be able to read 1,000 words a minute with at least ninety percent accuracy. We were tested to determine our speed reading ability–I read 990 words a minute and had ninety-five percent accuracy. I ended up in a bookkeeping class.
Shortly after I met my wife, she asked me to read a two-page letter she had received. I glanced at it and handed it back. Boy, was she mad! She thought I wasn’t interested in helping her respond to the letter. She changed her mind when I was able to tell her what was each paragraph–not verbatim, but the gist of every one.
As I mentioned earlier, I can also learn one-on-one. When I attended the Washington Language Center in the mid-80s, I was surprised to learn I was the sole Turkish language student for that year. While it was tough being the only student, I did well. Onun icin Turkcem fena degil (as a result my Turkish isn’t bad), thirty years later.
As I progressed through my professional life, learning was a constant requirement. I attained a MBA and a Master of Science in Strategic Focus, both from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland. I have no idea what the campus looks like–I never stepped foot on it. Both degrees were done entirely through distance education, with proctors monitoring my exams.
When I watch the news, I find listening to the “talking heads” usually a slow and painful process. It amazes my wife that I’ll watch the news with the sound off, but in reality I’m reading the text scrolling across the bottom. When it becomes repetitive I switch news channels or move onto something else.
I still read–a lot. Between the two online writing groups I participate in, I’m reading 50-60 novels at one time, moving between books, chapter by chapter. Not only does this provide me an opportunity to assist others with their writing, it also helps mine and aids in generating ideas when my brain cells are on empty or just too stubborn to work.
So how do you learn?