Many People Learn in many different ways. Sometimes people prefer to learn through actually seeing the process in action (Visual) while others prefer to have it explained to them in finer detail and ask questions for immediate feedback (Verbal). Most of the time people want and need both as redundancy affects their ability to retain it. Which is why you need to know these techniques to better your ability to learn as both a visual and verbal meta-learner.
*Note – Techniques used by each style can work and be useful to the other styles. Just because one may statistically be better for one does not mean it won’t work for you. Try them all and experiment a little.
Visual Learners have Two Options to Learn
#1: Find a Visual that helps you remember best.
Visual Learners learn by seeing.
For them, it is easier to actually see how the process works by seeing it done. This is similar being told ten thousand times how to tie a knot and you not understanding how to tie it, but if you were shown physically how to tie the knot, you would understand quickly how it’s done and be able to tie it yourself.
This translates to going out and finding try to find diagrams, sketches, schematics, photographs, flow charts, or any other visuals that help you understand the information you are trying to learn. You should be able to find videotapes or CD-ROM displays of anything you want to learn.
But if you can’t find what you’re looking for…
#2: Build Your Own
Can’t find a visual. It’s time to build your own using a myriad of different styles of visualization tools. Although there are a billion different ways to build diagrams, tables, and charts. Here are 3 commonly used ones that will help build your visuals from a general way to a specific until finally you’re lost in the details. They are…
1. Mind Mapping – Spider Diagram (General)
Mind Maps are the very useful in summarizing information. They along with other diagrams can be used to build information in a non-sequential way and instead in the way your mind works so it’s personable to you and only you.
How to build a Mind Map
1. Start in the center with an image or word of the topic at hand
2. Build out multiple branches from the topic using words, images, symbols, and codes
3. Branch out using Upper or lower case letters depending on how important they are to the topic and limit them to a word or phrase to keep it easily memorable
4. Continue to branch from the central image using lines that become thinner as they radiate out from the center.
5. Use multiple colors to help encode the information and grouping it together.
6. Develop your own style of map your mind.
7. Emphasize and associate the words, images, depictions, and concepts to each other.
8. Maintain a hierarchy to your topic and its subjects to embrace the most important parts of your branches.
See 10 great pictures of mind maps here.
To see more about how mind mapping works, do it yourself with this free software: https://www.mindmup.com/#m:new
2. Flow Charts – Order Charts (Specific)
Flow Charts are great for showing how one step in a process leads to another. It is great for visualizing the steps in a process by having them go from point to point in a chart chart. Most of the time the information is not detailed on the nitty-gritty of how one step leads to another, but can be. Instead, people use schematic drawings more so to explain to the finest detail.
Here are a few examples.
3. Schematics Drawing – Inner Workings Diagram (Detailed)
Schematic Drawings show all significant components, parts, or tasks (and their interconnections) and are the most detailed of all these visualizations. Some Examples are blueprints, maps, and more.
Here are a few examples.
If you would like to know more about who a Visual Learner is follow the link: http://www.studygs.net/visual.htm
Verbal Learners – Find people to talk to who know what they’re talking about
Verbal Learners learn by being able to hear other people explain concepts and processes and then saying it themselves in their own words. Because of this, verbal learners learn best through other people. Because of this need for other people it’s imperative that you be able to find them and convince them to converse and discuss with you about the subjects and topics you want to learn.
1. Find/Build a Group of Others that are trying to learn the same subject.
Therefore, find or build workgroups or study groups with coworkers, other students, professors, or any other subject matter expert. You can find like-minded people through meetup.com, going to school, or finding a mentor who is willing to take you on as a person to talk to and build on. Once you have a group, understand the material by hearing other’s explanations and discussing them to get the whole picture and getting the information to click.
2. Build a list of Questions to Ask an Expert
When learning a new subject through classes, self-study, or any other medium. It’s important for a Verbal Learner to not write down notes, but to build a list of questions that you want clarified by a subject matter expert. This could be a professor, expert in the field you know, coworker or peer who knows more about the subject, or mentor. The key is to have someone who can answer all your questions when you get stuck.
3. Using word association to remember facts and lines.
Another great technique for verbal learners is to use past stories, concepts, and thoughts in conversation that describe a very similar system to the new information. This gives the new information a framework you already know. Allowing you to learn faster by inputting new information into old information and building from your foundation of knowledge rather than creating a new foundation every time.
Therefore whenever someone is explaining how a process works. Explain the process back using an old system that you already use to remember information and let the concepts flow across the same frameworks.
Saving money when your broke is like saving water when you’re stranded.
If I save water each day, I will have emergency water to drink when the stream runs dry as I will have emergency money if my income runs dry. Therefore, saving and conserving money is the same as saving and conserving other materials that could become scarce.
Following this example lets you simply think that saving money follows the sames patterns and rules as saving other finite resources.
4. Recording lectures, watching videos, getting audio tapes, and any other means to hear the information
If you can’t get the real thing (Someone to Discuss with), it’s time to get secondary auditory sources like recordings of lectures, watching videos, and/or audio tapes. Having these available will let you listen and learn anywhere you can take an audio player such as the car, the gym, work, and anywhere else.