SDV 100: Chapter 3
Learning Styles: Learning About Learning
Learning Objective: After completing the textbook reading and reviewing this slideshow, students
will define the term multimodal learning and identify two means by which they could strengthen
lesser preferences of learning.
Greetings! Today we are going to introduce the concept of multimodal learning and share tips on how
you can identify ways to strengthen your lesser preferences for learning. Since you have already
completed the learning styles assessments in our textbook, you will want to refer to the results of your
VARK assessment during this presentation. I’ve included a slide with the definitions of each VARK
learning style for your quick reference.
First, let’s start with a quick exercise. Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Put the pen in the hand you
normally write with and write your name. (Pause for writing of assignment). Terrific! Now put the pen
in your other hand and write your name again. (Pause for writing of assignment). Great! It’s a little
more challenging that second time, isn’t it? The same is true for learning. Just as we have a preferred
way of writing which feels natural and comfortable to us, we also have preferred ways of learning.
Research has shown that often the most successful students are the ones who can learn in a variety of
different ways, or are what is called multimodal learners, meaning that they learn in more than one
modality. Multimodal learners are more flexible than those students who have a strong preference for a
single modality. One caveat – the students who are multimodal often find that they have to engage
multiple learning styles to feel they have really and truly learned a concept. Maybe multimodal learners
look like this – this student sure looks engaged in multiple ways.
If you are not part of the 56% of the population tagged as multimodal learners, how can you challenge
yourself to learn in different ways – in ways that perhaps don’t come as naturally or as quickly?
Visual Learners: To increase your visual learning style, adopt one of the following practices:
1. In reviewing your notes, draw pictures to illustrate key points. For example, if you were learning
about the life cycle of a frog, you could draw pictures of what a frog looks like at each stage of
2. In reading or reviewing notes, use highlighters or colored pens to draw attention to important
3. Use graphs, charts, maps and flowcharts to emphasize key concepts. For example, if you were
reviewing the steps to creating a particular meal, you could draw a flowchart to describe each
Aural Learners: To increase your skills as an aural learner, utilize these recommendations:
1. Form a study group or find a study partner who you can discuss key topics or ideas with. Spend
the time talking out loud.
2. Read your notes or textbook out loud.
3. Record your instructor’s lectures (with permission) and listen after class or listen to any podcasts
of class information. For example, in our class you can access podcasts that summarize each
chapter of our textbook.
Read/Write Learners: To expand your read/write learning style, adopt one of these practices as you
1. Take detailed lecture notes; the goal is to take notes that are nearly word-for-word what the
faculty member shares. This may take some practice, so make a connection in class whose
notes you trust, and ask to use those to fill in any gaps.
2. Write out your lecture notes multiple times. For example, condense your lecture notes by
typing them and then write the notes on index cards. To practice being a multimodal learner,
use different colors to record your notes or draw pictures to illustrate key concepts or use
different colored note cards for different concepts.
To expand abilities as a kinesthetic learner, utilize one of these suggestions:
1. Pay attention to real-life examples that teachers share; make sure you take detailed notes about
2. Use case studies to help grasp abstract principles. For example, if you are having trouble
understanding a concept, create a scenario (like our textbook does at the start of each chapter)
to illustrate the idea.
3. Go on field trips or review photos, exhibits, samples, etc. to enhance your learning.
Don’t forget that the main point is to practice using non-dominant learning styles to expand your skills
as a learner. And, please remember, if you have any questions, I am available during office hours or by
appointment, and I welcome the opportunity to speak with you more about how you can maximize your
potential as a learner!