July 10, 2009 | | Comments 0
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Correlating study tips with learning styles

It can be helpful for adult learners to identify their own learning style so they can determine study strategies that work best for them. The main types of learning styles are:

    • Right brain
    • Left brain
    • Auditory
    • Visual
    • Tactile

What kind of learner are you? Visit www.StrategiesForNurseManagers.com to download a free tool to assess your auditory, visual, and tactile learning preferences. You can also use this tool to assess others’ learning styles as well.

Click here for a fun quiz that will help you identify your right-brain or left-brain characteristics.

The right hemisphere of the brain is devoted to the creative aspects of learning and depends on music, visual stimulation, color, and pictures to process information. The left hemisphere of the brain is concerned with logical, reality-based functioning and is some-times labeled the academic portion of the brain.

Auditory, visual, and tactile learners all approach studying and education in a different way. There are also differences between the approaches of left- and right-brain learners. But armed with knowledge about particular learning styles, nurse managers and staff development specialists can help learners (and themselves) develop effective study habits.

Here are some study tips geared toward different learning styles.

    Right-brain study tips:

  • Read assignments before class to help absorb details.
  • Learn to write outlines to organize assignments and to exercise the left portion of the brain.
  • Add visuals such as color, illustrations, or graphs to study notes.
    Left-brain study tips:

  • Organize study and assignment schedules with outlines and lists.
  • Sequence steps in a logical manner when studying. For example, if learning about cardiac circulation, outline in chronological order how blood moves throughout the body.
  • Participate in study groups that require verbal interaction and debate.
    Visual study tips:

  • Find a quiet place to study that does not have a lot of auditory stimulation such as a television, radio, or people talking.
  • If study space is limited, wear ear plugs.
  • Take detailed notes when studying and organize these notes from the detailed to the big picture.
    Auditory study tips:

  • Play soft music in the background to enhance study effectiveness.
  • Use auditory cues to help remember important points.
  • Record written notes and listen to your notes to help with comprehension.
    Tactile study tips:

  • Take frequent stretch breaks.
  • Listen to pre-recorded study notes while exercising or place written notes on a stand when using a treadmill.
  • Incorporate psychomotor skills as part of learning whenever possible.

What are you doing to incorporate all of these different learning styles? Do you include notes that helps a little bit of every style?

Source: Learning Styles in Nursing Education: Integrating Teaching Strategies into Staff Development

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Filed Under: Healthcare communicationHot topicsStaff motivation

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Sarah Kearns About the Author: Sarah is an Editorial Assistant in the patient safety group at HCPro, Inc. She contributes to two monthly newsletters; Briefings on the Joint Commission and Briefings on Patient Safety, and manages four e-zines; Accreditation Connection, AHAP Staff Challenge, Nurse Manager Weekly, and Healthcare Training Weekly. She also helps research new products for the patient safety and nursing market. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2008 where she earned her bachelor's degree in English.

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