Not everyone learns the same way, but by understanding how your mind processes and retains information, you can maximize your home study experience.

Educators typically divide learning techniques into three categories, visual, auditory and tactile. Visual learners are those who have the greatest learning experience by using visual aides they can see; an auditory learner is a person who processes information most effectively by hearing the instruction, most often through lectures; and the tactile learner learns best through hands-on skills, including physical touch and demonstrations.

This is the second of three articles that target and discuss the most common learning styles and studying tips to fit within those styles. To see the previous article, click here.

If you don’t take the time to know what kind of learner you are, you are only shortchanging yourself.

This isn’t just about taking a test and moving on to your next subject. It’s about mastering your skills as a massage therapist so you can have the greatest impact on your clients.

By not only knowing how you most effectively learn to earn better test scores and greater knowledge, you can also use your learning techniques to choose what home study course works best for you.

Auditory learners

This article focuses on the styles of the auditory learner, so listen up.

Auditory learners get the most of their educational experience from lectures, discussion groups, books on tape, DVDs and online audio and video presentations. Remember, in a home study course, your home or office is your classroom and you have the ability to adjust your surroundings as you see fit to maximize your learning experience.

For studying purposes, here are a few tips you might want to follow:

  • Find home study courses that use audio-visual presentations as the primary mode of teaching, like in DVDs and taped lectures.
  • If you know other therapists who want to take the same courses, form a group or get a study partner to discuss class material together.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Engage the teacher or other online discussion groups in active conversation for course explanations. Then, collect your favorite postings and read them aloud when studying.
  • To get a better understanding of the material, read aloud from text books after each chapter or section.
  • If you take written notes during any presentation, lecture or discussion, read them back aloud and tape yourself.
  • Have a study partner or family member quiz you orally on material you’re studying.
  • Rhymes and word association can help with memorization of course materials.

As always, make sure you check with your national and state licensing bodies to make sure the courses you select are acceptable for continuing education credits.

–Jeremy Maready