Not everyone learns the same way. 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 that they can see. An auditory learner is a person who processes information most effectively by hearing the instruction, most often through lectures, while the tactile learner learns best through hands-on skills, including physical touch and demonstrations.

This is the last of three articles that target and discuss the most common learning styles and studying tips to fit within those styles. To see the previous articles, click here to read Part 1 and here to read Part 2.

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.

Tactile learners

Tactile learners are students who learn best through hands-on experiences. Sometimes referred to as kinesthetic learners, these students gain and process their knowledge through exercises that involve touch and feeling.

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:

  • Study in short blocks of time—and make sure to take frequent breaks between sessions.
  • Role playing and acting out situations can also help your learning process. Remember, tactile learning is about physical experiences.
  • When browsing home study courses, be sure to choose classes with hands-on work and labs.
  • Ask friends or family members to be your testing subjects for massage techniques. You can practice on them to see and feel what you are doing correctly.
  • Memory games can be included into your studying to enhance memorization and comprehension.
  • Classes that require hands-on exams will benefit you more.
  • When reading, write down important passages and concepts in a way you can understand.
  • Use objects, such as flashcards or visual props, to aid in studying.

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

–Jeremy Maready

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