By: Marissa Gerritsen

I: Purpose and Importance to College Students

The purpose of this wiki is to explore the different ways in which people learn by examining the different learning styles and theories. The three basic learning styles will be explored as well as the learning styles presented by Howard Gardner in his multiple intelligences theory. People learn in different ways and no one learning style is better then another. There are many benefits to knowing your learning style. Knowing how you learn and how you relate to the world can help you make smarter choices. This is important to college students because by being aware of their learning style, students would then be able to target areas that need improvement and bring extra focus to those areas of learning. Furthermore, by being familiar with their learning style, college students could then be presented with study techniques that complement their learning style.

II: Background Information

Intelligence is the ability to solve problems that are useful in a situation. Learning is the development of knowledge and skills through study, experience, or by being taught. It is a change in behavior that results from experience. According to Howard Gardner, intelligence is an ability to solve problems or fashion products that are useful in a particular cultural setting of community (Smith, 2008). As stated in the video below, learning is an active process that occurs through experience and practice.


III: Three Basic Learning Style

People process and learn new material in different ways. The three most common styles of learning are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Most people learn best through a combination of the three learning styles. People depend on their senses to learn and tend to use one sense more then the others (Instructor Magazine). The below link will take you to a quiz to determine your learning style.

Visual Learners

People that are visual learners learn by seeing and looking. Visual learners like to see what they are learning. They learn best by reading, watching a demonstration, or by looking at graphs and charts. Though visual learners find it easy to look at and interpret graphics, they tend to have a difficult time focusing while listening to an explanation (LearningRx, 2013). Visual learners tend to remember things that are written down and learn better in lectures by watching them. Common characteristics of visual learners include:
  • Sitting in the front
  • Taking numerous, detailed notes
  • Closing their eyes to visualize something they are trying to remember
  • Benefiting from colorful presentations and illustrations
  • Finding something to watch if they are bored
(Three Different Learning Styles, 2009).
There are many helpful study tips for visual learners. These vary from turning notes into pictures, charts, or diagrams, to making notecards to study. Some other tips for visual learners are as follows:
  • Color coding notes and key concepts
  • Learning the big picture first before focusing on the details
  • Avoiding distractions while in class or studying such as doorways and windows
(Wong, 2006)

Auditory Learners

Auditory learners learn by hearing and listening. They would rather listen to someone explain a concept to them then read about it. Their main way of learning depends on hearing and speaking. Auditory learners tend to concentrate better with soft music playing in the background; however, they find any other noise to be a distraction (LearningRx, 2013). They also remember information better by reciting or verbalizing the material. Common characteristics of auditory learners include:
  • Talking or humming to themselves when they are bored
  • Summarizing main points out loud while studying
  • Reading out loud
  • Difficulty with understanding maps, charts, or other diagrams
  • Sitting where they can hear a lecture without having to be able to see what is happening before them
(Three Different Learning Styles, 2009).
There are quite a few study tips for auditory learners. Since they learn best by hearing the information, it is best for auditory learners to verbalize the material. This would include repeating the information out loud in their own words. Other helpful tips include:
  • Studying in groups where they can discuss the information
  • Recording lectures so they can go back and listen to them
  • Reading aloud
  • Listening to wordless background music while studying
(Wong, 2006)

Kinesthetic Learners

Kinesthetic learners learn by doing and touching. They like to take a hands-on approach to learning new information and better process the material in this way. Typically, it is difficult for kinesthetic learners to sit still and they learn best by actually doing an activity related to the material (LearningRx, 2013). They need to be active and would much rather show how to do a task rather then verbally explain how it is done. Other common characteristics of kinesthetic learners include:
  • Making gestures and speaking with their hands
  • Sitting someplace where they can easily get up and move around
  • The need to take frequent breaks and be active
  • Moving around when bored
  • Preferring to work in groups
  • Communicate by touching
  • Having a difficult time remembering what was seen or said but can remember what was done
(Three Different Learning Styles 2009).
Study tips for kinesthetic learners often involve some form of physical activity and movement. Even though it is difficult for kinesthetic learners to sit still while studying, writing things down makes it easier for them to understand. Other study tips for kinesthetic learners include:
  • Taking frequent study breaks
  • Doing an activity while learning new material such as reading a textbook while on a treadmill
  • Working while standing
  • Taking classes that involve demonstrations and fieldwork
  • Chewing gum while studying
(Wong, 2006)
It is important for a person to recognize their learning style early on so they can adjust their study habits, thus making studying easier and less stressful in the future. By understanding how they learn, individuals can maximize the time they use to study by incorporating different techniques depending on the various subjects and concepts. People tend to have a clear preference for one learning style over the others, even though people usually use a combination of the three learning styles. Even though a person may be more comfortable with one particular learning style, it is important to practice the other learning styles as well so the other styles can be used just as effectively (Learningrx, 2013).

IV: The Multiple Intelligences Theory

The multiple intelligences theory was introduced by Howard Gardner. According to this theory, there are at least eight distinct intelligences possessed by everyone. It also states that if you find a task or subject easy then you are probably using a more developed intelligence, while when performing a task of difficulty, you are probably using a less developed intelligence (Carter, 1999). This theory challenged the traditional idea of general intelligence measured by IQ tests. In the past, it was believed that intelligence was single entity that was inherited. It was also believed that humans could be trained to learn anything that was appropriately presented to them. However, researchers currently believe that there are a variety of intelligences. It is thought that each intelligence is independent of one another and that each one has its own strengths and limitations (Smith, 2008). Howard Gardner was one of the main contributors of the shift in the view and theories of intelligence.

Howard Gardner

Howard Garder was born in Pennsylvania in 1943. Gardner had an older brother that died in an accident before he was born. Due to this, his parents limited his opportunities for risky physical activity and encouraged intellectual and creative pursuits. He went to Harvard University with the intention of studying history since he wanted to become a lawyer. However, Gardner had Eric Erikson as a tutor, thus sparking his interest in social science and psychology (Smith, 2008). As stated previously, Howard Gardner was one of the main contributors of the shift in the view and theories of intelligence. Gardner viewed intelligence as "the capacity to solve problems or fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural setting" (Smith, 2008). He believes that there are at least eight distinct intelligences possessed by everyone, and that each individual has developed some intelligences more fully than others.

The Eight Distinct Intelligences

The eight intelligences proposed by Howard Gardner in his Multiple Intelligences Theory are: verbal-lingusitic intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, visual-spatial intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence, musical intelligence, and naturalistic intelligence. Howard Gardner considers verbal-lingusitic intelligence and logical-mathematical intelligence as intelligences that are typically valued in school. He considers musical, bodily-kinesthetic, and visual-spatial intelligence to typically be associated with the arts. According to Gardner, interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence known as personal intelligences (Smith, 2008). The below link will take you to a quiz to determine your more dominant intelligences.

Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence

People with verbal-linguistic intelligence are word smart and communicate well through language. They possess the ability to communicate through language, meaning they are good at reading, listening, speaking, and writing (Carter, 1999). Linguistic intelligence involves sensitivity to spoken and written language. Howard Gardner associated writers, poets, lawyers and speakers as having verbal-linguistic intelligence. Verbal-linguistic learners are often interpersonal learners and have easier time remembering information that they hear and then say themselves (Smith, 1999). Some study tips for people of verbal-linguisitic intelligence include:
  • Rewriting notes
  • Outlining the chapters that are being taught
  • Reciting the material
  • Discussing the information
  • Working in study groups so you can have an opportunity to explain the material
  • Reading the material and not highlighting more than ten percent of the information

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

People with logical-mathematical intelligence are logic smart. They possess understand logical reasoning and problem solving. This means that they are good with patterns and sequences, as well as math and science (Carter, 1999). People with this intelligence are strong at carrying out mathematical equations and are able to logically analyze problems. According to Howard Gardner, having this intelligence involves the ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think logically. People that have logical-mathematical intelligence understand the material best after taking time to think about it (Smith, 2008). Suggested study tips for people with this intelligence include:
multiple intelligences3.png

  • Studying quiet settings
  • Stopping periodically well reading to take time to think about what you have just read
  • Writing short summaries of the material and what it means to you
  • Thinking about why the information is important and what it relates to; don't just memorize the material
  • Taking time to think about the material after it has been taught

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

People with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are body smart and take in knowledge through bodily sensation. They possess the ability to skillfully use the physical body. This means that they are good at working with their hands and have good coordination (Carter, 1999). This intelligence entails the potential a person has to use their body to solve problems. Gardner believes that mental and physical activity are related (Smith, 2008). Bodily-kinesthetic learners like to apply knowledge to the real world and experience things for themselves. Study tips for this type of intelligence are as follows:
  • Discussing what they have just learned to someone else
  • Thinking of practical uses for the course material
  • Using flashcards with other people
  • Studying in groups
  • Teaching the material to someone else
  • Recite the information while pacing

Visual-Spatial Intelligence

People with visual-spatial intelligence are picture smart and understand spatial relationships. They also possess the ability to perceive and create images. This means that they are good at visual art and graphic design (Carter, 1999). They also interpret charts and maps well. People with visual-spatial intelligence remember what they see best. This includes diagrams, flow charts, time lines, and demonstrations. They tend to forget spoken ideas and words. Helpful study tips for people possessing this intelligence are as follows:
  • Adding diagrams such as time lines, charts, and graphs to notes whenever possible
  • Connecting related facts in notes by arrows
  • Color-coding notes so that everything related to the same topic is in the same color
  • Organizing notes so it is easy to identify the main points and supporting facts/details so you can easily see how the material is connected

Interpersonal Intelligence

People with interpersonal intelligence are people smart and relate well to others. They have the ability to notice the moods, motivations, and feelings of others. People with interpersonal intelligence work well with others. This means that they are good at cooperative learning, teamwork, and social activity (Carter,1999). Teachers, salespeople, political leaders, and counselors are examples of people with a strongly developed interpersonal intelligence. People with interpersonal intelligence have similar learning habits as those with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. Like people with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, people with interpersonal intelligence like to experience things for themselves and apply the material to real life situations (Smith, 2008). They learn best by explaining and discussing the material with other people. Other study tips include:
  • Studying in groups
  • Teaching the material to someone else
  • Pacing while reciting the material
  • Using flashcards
  • Thinking of practical, real world applications for the information

Intrapersonal Intelligence

People with intrapersonal intelligence are self smart meaning they have the ability to understand their own behavior and feelings. People with intrapersonal intelligence are very independent and enjoy alone time (Carter, 1999). Howard Gardner views people possessing this intelligence as having an effective working model of themselves with the ability to recognize information about themselves to regulate their lives. People with intrapersonal intelligence have similar learning habits as those with logical-mathematicl intelligence. Like people with logical-mathematical intelligence, people with intrapersonal intelligence need to take time to think about the material they have learned in order to retain and understand it (Smith, 2008). Study tips are as follows:
  • Not just memorizing the material, but actually understanding why it is important
  • Taking time to consider the causes and effects involved in the information
  • Writing brief summaries about the importance of the material and what it means
  • Study in a quiet setting

Musical Intelligence

People with musical intelligence are music smart. They have the ability to create meaningful sound. They are sensitive to sound and good at music. This intelligence involves having skill in performance as well as an appreciation of musical patterns (Carter, 2008). People with musical intelligence are able to recognize musical tones, rhythms and pitches. According to Howard Gardner, musical intelligence runs in a structural parallel to verbal-lingusitic intelligence. Musical learners can be energized by music an have strong memories that are associated with rhymes (Smith, 2008). Study tips for people with this intelligence include:
  • Writing a rap or song about the topic
  • Taking study breaks to listen to music
  • Playing instrumental music while studying
  • Creating rhymes out of vocabulary words
  • Beating or tapping out rhythms while studying

Naturalistic Intelligence

People with naturalistic intelligence are nature smart. They have the ability to understand features of the environment. Naturalistic learners feel energized when they are connected to nature (Carter, 1999). Suggested study tips include:
  • Studying outside as long as it is practical and is not distracting
  • Taking breaks to do something related to nature such as taking a walk or going on a bike ride
  • Relating abstract information to something in nature
  • Learning about areas related to nature
It is important for a person to be familiar with what intelligences they possess so they can bring focus to their weaker areas (Carter, 1999). It allows individuals to understand and acknowledge their own strength and weaknesses. It is also beneficial for teachers to know the intelligences and learning styles of their students so they can decide what methods to use while teaching as personalize each students' education if possible (Green). Classroom benefits of knowing your intelligence includes the ability to "convert" the material taught in class to something beneficial to your learning style while studying (Carter, 1999). You can also ask for additional help in your weaker areas. Furthermore, being familiar with your learning style and the intelligences you possess presents you with study techniques that complement the way(s) you learn.

V: Motivation for Choosing this Topic

I chose this topic because I have always found it interesting how people learn in different ways. What works for some doesn't necessarily work for others. This is a prime example between my brother and I. In order to fully grasp a concept, I need to make notecards and flip through them multiple times before the information starts to sink in. For my brother to, all he has to do is read aloud the material once, maybe twice, to understand and remember the material. I find the differences in how we learn to be intriguing which is what compelled me to choose learning as the topic of my wiki project. I was familiar with the concept of visual, auditory, and bodily-kinesthetic learning styles, but I was curious as to if there were other theories regarding intelligence and learning; thus furthering my motivation for choosing this topic.

VI: Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important for people to know their learning style, intelligences, and how they relate to the world so they can make smarter choices. If an individual knows their learning style, they can then be presented with study techniques that complement their style, in turn making them better workers. Individuals could also target areas that need improvement and then bring extra focus to those areas. It is important to know your learning style even as an adult because even though you are done with your academic career, you are still continuously learning. You will continue to learn throughout your whole life and if you do not know your learning style, you will not be able to process information accordingly or retain it (Morgan). Therefore, it is important to be familiar with the way you learn, no matter what your age is, so you can adapt your study techniques to become the most effective learner you can be.

VII: Reference Section

Bishop, C. C. (1999). Learning Styles: Why are they important. In Learning Styles. Retrieved November 21, 2013

Green, N. L. (n.d.). Multiple Intelligences. In Gardner's Multiple Intelligences. Retrieved November 21, 2013

Morgan, J. (n.d.). Why your own learning style is important to you. In Effective Study Tips. Retrieved November 22, 2013

Purpose. (2009). In What's Your Learning Style. Retrieved November 22, 2013

Smith, M. K. (2008). Howard Gardner, Multiple Intelligences and Education. In Infed. Retrieved November 22, 2013

Three Different Learning Styles. (2009). In What's Your Learning Style. Retrieved November 22, 2013

Train the Brain. Get Smarter. Guaranteed. (2013). In LearningRx. Retrieved November 22, 2013

Wong, L. (2006). Academic Enrichment Learning Styles. In IUPUI Bepko Learning Center. Retrieved November 22, 2013