Student Resources: Learning Style

Know Your Learning Style


Learning style is simply defined as how you like to learn.  Knowing your learning style can be helpful in choosing a method of learning that works best for you.  You can also try some different learning strategies which might enhance your learning.


The Productivity Environmental Preference Survey (PEPS)

Use the PEPS Learning Style Inventory included with your text to think about your ideal learning environment.  This inventory is designed to help you analyze the conditions under which you  are most likely to produce, achieve, create, solve problems, make decisions, or learn in occupational or academic environments. 

In addition to understanding your ideal environment for learning, it is helpful to understand your perceptual preferences.  Some students learn best by using visual, auditory, kinesthetic or tactile modes.  Consider experimenting with each of these modes to find new ways of learning. 

Visual Learners

  • Learn to visualize what you are learning
  • Focus attention on notes, films, videos or other visual media
  • Make your own pictures in your mind as an aid to memory

Auditory Learners

  • Listen carefully to lectures
  • Take good lecture notes and review them often
  • Talk to others about what you have learned

Tactile Learners

  • Take good lecture notes
  • Write down what you want to remember
  • Create mind maps or study sheets as an aid to review

Kinesthetic Learners

  • Use active learning such as lab classes, field trips or becoming physically involved in learning
  • Study outside when practical
  • Use highlighting or underlining while reading

 Learning Style and Personality

One way of learning about your style of learning is to connect it to your personality type.  Use the Do What You Are personality assessment included with your text to understand your personality type.

Extroverts enjoy talking and social interaction.  Good learning strategies include:

  • Study groups
  • Study with background sounds
  • Discuss material learned with others outside the classroom

Introverts enjoy quiet for concentration.  Try these strategies:

  • Find a quiet place for study such as the library
  • Study individually
  • Minimize background sounds

Sensing individuals learn from hands-on experience:

  • Find a way to practice what you have learned
  • Place your own system of organization on the material you want to learn
  • To find relevance, ask yourself how you can use this information in the future

Intuitive individuals are insightful and imaginative.  Try these strategies:

  • Find quiet time to reflect on your studies and your ideas
  • Learning through problem solving is a strength
  • Discuss or debate your ideas with others

Thinking individuals are good at logic.  Try these strategies:

  • Convert your study material into logical charts or graphs
  • Challenge and debate with others
  • Use outlines of important points for study

Feeling individuals want to relate their studies personally.  Try these strategies:

  • Ask yourself, "How is this material meaningful or important to me?"
  • Use a study group with students who are supportive of each other
  • Make an effort to get to know your instructor so that you can feel comfortable in asking questions

Multiple Intelligences

Psychologist Howard Gardner suggests that we all have many different pathways to learning.  He labeled these pathways as multiple intelligences.   Do you have special talents in any of these areas?  Suggested study techniques are listed with each are of multiple intelligence.


Bodily kinesthetic types are good at physical activities and are often involved in athletics.  These types of learners prefer to learn through doing and often move, tap or pace when learning.  Find a way of becoming actively involved in learning such as acting out scripts and designing games.


These learners can visualize objects in space and are good map readers.  Good study techniques would be to draw pictures, charts or maps.   Use the mind map technique of note-taking.  Use color in notes to organize thoughts. 


These learners are good at talking, reading, writing and negotiating.  Good study techniques include reading, highlighting and rewriting notes.  Study groups would be good for this type.


These learners are good at math, science and problem-solving.  Techniques that appeal to this group include organizing material logically, writing logical outlines and using charts and graphs. 


These learners listen to music and have good rhythm and musical talent.  Some study techniques include creating rhythm out of words, writing rap music, or taking musical breaks.


These learners like to work with others and understand people.  Good study techniques include reflecting on the personal meaning of knowledge.   In other words, "What does this knowledge mean to me and how will it affect my life or the life of others?"  Study groups and teaching others are useful techniques.


These learners prefer to work alone and need quiet time to think.  Useful study techniques include finding a quiet place to study, reflecting on the personal meaning of the material and keeping a journal.


The naturalist enjoys being in nature whenever possible.   This type should choose courses and majors relating to nature when possible.   Form study groups with people with like interests.  Your study group may enjoy meeting outside.


Those with a preference for existential enjoy asking profound questions about the meaning of life. Look for opportunities for discussion.