How do you learn? Have you ever given it much thought?

These might seem like simple questions, but actually they’re quite complex. And if you don’t know, you could be severely shortchanging yourself and your clients.

Learning techniques are often divided into three categories by educators: visual, auditory and tactile. The 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. The tactile learner is a hands-on learner, learning most effectively through physical touch and demonstrations.

Before embarking on a home-study course journey, do yourself a favor and get a basic understanding of how you learn information most efficiently and effectively. Remember, your ultimate goal is to learn how to best serve your clients. When you understand your learning personality, you can use your learning techniques to choose what home-study course works best for you.

If you’re an auditory learner, click here. If you’re a tactile learner, click here.

Visual learners

If you’re a visual learner, you learn best when you see educational material that is printed out with diagrams, graphics and other visual 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:

  • Home-study courses that feature videos, animation and live demonstrations often work best.
  • By studying in a quiet place or through the use of earplugs, you can maximize your visual learning processes.
  • Create charts, outlines, graphs, lists, timelines or diagrams to map out important concepts you need to retain. After you create these, you can use them in the future as reference material in your massage practice.
  • Use color-coded sticky notes or highlighters to illuminate important passages in your notes and textbooks.
  • Look at the pictures, illustrations and charts in a text before you begin reading.
  • Read the descriptions of home-study courses to see what instruction styles are used. That way, you can target which instructors use more visual aides than others in their lectures.
  • Take detailed notes on everything you’re taught, and then organize those notes to study for exams. Flash cards with concepts, terminology and diagrams can also help you process what is being taught.

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