What are the main learning strategies? (+7 methods to improve learning)

This post will be focused on explaining what the main learning strategies are. We will be explaining each strategy in detail while discussing various methods to improve learning for students. Since everyone learns in a unique manner, implementing only one style or strategy in a classroom will not be effective for the learning process. Making students understand their styles better ultimately leads to better learning.

What are the main learning strategies?

The main learning strategies are explained in the list below. These strategies are based on the VARK model

  • Visual learning where students learn through visual processes

Students who use visual learning tend to absorb information through visual processes. This means they require visual aids to respond better to learning. These visual aids can be shapes, patterns, graphs, maps, diagrams, photos, videos, etc.

When students learn through visual processes, it is important for instructors to show them the relationship between different ideas visually. When this method is implemented, students tend to learn quicker and can apply principles in a better manner.

  • Auditory learning where they learn in auditory forms

In this strategy of learning, students take in information through the auditory form. It can be both while the concept or idea is heard or spoken. Many students who use auditory learning need to speak or explain the concept aloud to sort their thoughts. Saying things out loud help these students learn the concepts in a better manner.

Students who use this learning style learn better when the instruction is through discussion, or lectures. It can also be videos where there is emphasis on the speech. They also find that they grasp the concept better when they repeat the lessons back to the educator or group activities that require explanation of ideas.

  • Reading or Writing where learning is through words

In this form of learning, students use words to learn a concept. They need to read or write about a certain topic in order to retain the information. These types of students do well in assignments that require a lot of writing. Thus, they require activities like quizzes, essays, analyzing and describing diagrams, etc.

  • Kinesthetic learning where concepts are learnt by actions

Kinesthetic learning is when students learn a concept by doing. They require more practical hands-on exposure in order to retain information. Using tactile stimulations and experiences, these students understand and apply the information better. These students need personal experiences or simulations to learn a certain concept and are more prone to experimenting.

Methods to improve learning in the classroom

Educators and instructors can use many different ways to enrich and improve the learning process in the classroom. The most effective ways are explained below.

  • Making learning fun by using gamification

In this method, video games are used to teach certain concepts. There are many games and applications that help in learning. Learning using this method makes the process fun and interactive for students.

  • Using collaborative learning for better teamwork

Collaborative learning requires a group to work together with a common aim. With different individuals bringing in different mindsets and perspectives, it allows a concept or topic to be seen from different angles. In this way, the process of learning is enriching as well as interactive.

  • Using visual tools to encourage visual learners

Using visual tools like flowcharts, diagrams, pie-charts, etc. can immensely help students in the learning process. The tools can also be video clips or movies, thus increasing the spectrum of learning.

  • Visualizing a concept to learn it

Visualization as a concept involves using our minds like a theatre to learn or experience something. It is a great and simple learning tool. In the process of visualization, all the senses, not just vision, are involved in learning a certain concept. This creates a better understanding of the topic while improving the information retention levels.

  • Asking for regular feedback after discussions

It is important to create an environment where honest feedback is encouraged. This not only improves learning but also checks the level of understanding in the classroom. Feedback can also be used to bring new learning strategies into the classroom for the betterment of the education process itself.

  • Using spaced repetition for better retention

If the focus is on knowledge retention, then spaced retention is a wonderful strategy. Using this method, content can be reinforced for both learning and applying a certain concept. This not only allows the students to grasp the information, but also retain the information more effectively.

  • Using auditory tools like songs and rhymes

This is particularly useful in younger students and can be strategized for learning new vocabulary. It can also improve pronunciations, grasping meanings and antonyms while constructing sentences. This method can also be used to teach core concepts and processes in the classroom.

Conclusion

This post focused on explaining what the main learning strategies are. We have also explained each strategy in detail while discussing various methods to improve learning for students in the classroom.

Frequently asked questions:

What are the most effective learning strategies?

Learning is different for everyone. It is essential that instructors know different strategies that can be implemented for different types of students in the classroom. Some of the most effective learning strategies are explained as follows.

  • Using  imagery to teach concepts

In this strategy, students use their internal imagery to learn concepts. They use imagery to elaborate on the topic at hand and thus grasp the information stronger.

  • Asking students to summarize the learning

After being taught a certain concept, students can be asked to summarize or paraphrase it. Instead of the whole topic, important or key points can be summarized. This not only allows better knowledge retention but also reduces misunderstandings. The summarizing can be vocally or through a written form.

  • Using elaborative interrogation to improve analytical skills

In this learning strategy, students answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions in relation to a specific topic. This allows students to look at concepts more deeply, thus allowing better retention.

  • Mock tests to improve information retrieval

Mock tests or practice tests are one of the most effective learning strategies to use in a classroom. In this strategy, questions are provided which students have to actively review and answer. Through this method, the information is more consolidated while memory is also strengthened. It also improves the understanding levels of students.

What do you mean by learning strategies?

Learning strategies are techniques that help students learn a certain concept in an optimal manner. They are also used for better knowledge retention, information retrieval and understanding. There are numerous learning strategies that instructors can choose from and use depending on factors like size of the class, intellectual capacity of the students, learning goals, etc.

Why is it important to have learning strategies?

By using learning strategies, students can understand concepts better. These strategies help to make the process of learning effective and more efficient. They can also help students focus on strengthening their positives and thus personal development as well.

What is the best learning style?

Among the four styles of learning, kinesthetic learning is known to be the most efficient of them all. These learners are more hands-on and thus more practical in their approach. They also are more prone to experimenting. However, these learners might not do well in a traditional learning environment and may need more resources to help them in their learning process.

How do you help students develop learning strategies?

For students to develop learning strategies, they need to be ready to focus and pay attention. Here are a few methods that you can use to improve the learning in a classroom.

  • Practice mindfulness to relax and focus

When students practice mindfulness, they can focus better. Mindfulness increases their levels of awareness and also allows them to regulate their emotions and energy levels. Since the students are not only relaxed but also focused, learning takes place in a better manner.

  • Creating a supportive environment

While instilling a supportive and helpful environment, instructors can improve the quality of learning that takes place in the classroom. When students know they are being supported and encouraged, they help each other in return. This creates a collaborative environment, making the process of learning fun and effective.

  • Using movement while teaching

Learning becomes more effective when physical movements are incorporated. This allows associations to grow in the brain while allowing more information to be retained. It also helps in information retrieval.

  • Take sensory breaks when necessary

Sensory breaks allow students to destress and bring their emotions back to an optimal level. Sitting still and paying attention for long durations can make students cranky and fidgety, decreasing the quality of their learning. Sensory breaks allow them to regain lost concentration and can also be used as a relaxation technique.

  • Focusing on growing together

Getting the entire classroom focused on growing and developing together will create a positive environment for learning. This growth mindset itself can be implemented by using strategies like goal-setting, delegating tasks, creating a mission statement, writing a contract, etc. When all the students are focused on growth, they help and support each other in the learning process. They also make the learning more meaningful and effective.

If you like this article, please post your comments or questions below.

Citations

https://trickle.app/drip/20982-four-learning-strategy-types-improve-the-learning-process/
https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/57734/distracted-these-four-learning-strategies-can-help
https://www.nature.com/articles/npjscilearn201613
https://educationonline.ku.edu/community/learning-styles-what-teachers-need-to-know
https://www.edapp.com/

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