Being enrolled as an adult student in any course of study is a big undertaking. It demands your time, it demands your commitment and foremost it demands that you learn, and usually it’s a large amount of information within a condensed period of time.

It’s a big ask and a tough gig, so, my friends, let me share with you a secret or two which may help you improve your adult learning skills.

What’s “learning” anyway?

Well, according to the Oxford Dictionary, “Learning is the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience, or being taught”.

Learning is something that many of us simply take for granted; many think it’s something that we’re all supposed to be able to do, and do the same way. However, what many of us do not know is that for adults the process of learning (andragogy…yeah, that’s what it’s called) can be different for different people. Understanding the processes of learning and, more particularly, how you acquire knowledge can be a significant advantage when it comes time for you to study. It is also an important ‘life skill’.

Tell me the secrets!

I want to share with you one of the most popular learning theories that was put forward in 1987 by the globally renown educator, New Zealand born, Neil Fleming.

Fleming’s work extended the well regarded VAK learning styles theory that is summarised as:

Fleming’s enhancement to this theory added extra detail and included “R” for read/write, so as to become the VARK model. In the simpler VAK model read/write is generally considered to be part of visual learning (V).

Fleming and other educators promoted the theory that, although utilising a mix of all of their senses, most students exhibit a dominant learning style.

The dominant learning styles of students (or learners) who are:

Visual learners tend to:

  • Learn through seeing, reading and writing
  • Think in terms of images
  • Like the use of pictures, charts and videos.

 

Auditory learners tend to:

  • Learn through listening and speaking
  • Think in words (rather than images)
  • Learn best from lectures and discussions.

 

Kinaesthetic learners tend to:

  • Learn through doing and touching
  • Think and remember by relating with space and physical dimension
  • Enjoy activity and investigation.

Monarch has style!

It reassuring for you to know that at Monarch Institute your trainers are educated and skilled training professionals endowed with specialised knowledge of andragogy (yeah, that word again) and learning styles.

With this in mind, when you undertake courses with Monarch, you’ll quickly realise that our trainers have taken time to collate and prepare a range of course and assessment materials to appeal to a broad range of learning styles. For example, there are screencasts with graphical presentations to appeal to visual learners, live and recorded webinars for those who prefer auditory learning and as an example for our accounting and bookkeeping courses, MYOB and Xero and other practical exercises for our kinaesthetic learners.

Do you have style?

So now the secrets are out!

Take a moment to consider yourself and ask “am I a V, A or K?” Still not sure?

Well, for a bit of fun, take this test and get an indication of your style http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=questionnaire

Man, I have style and I’m not afraid to use it!

Having read this article and taken the test, you hopefully have a better understanding of how you learn and which learning styles work better for you. Although students will use all their senses to learn, most students will have a preferred or prevailing style of learning.

So look out for the materials and activities which work best for you and your preferred learning style; leverage them to your educational advantage and get smart quicker! Happy learning! J

Note:  As an adult learner, you need to be flexible enough to learn in all three ways. Any single learning preference within the VAK learning model, to the exclusion of all others, is not offered by Monarch.

By Simon Slade-Betts FCPA, Monarch Institute, Course Consultant / Trainer & Assessor.