Open Accessibility Menu

How To Take Effective Notes For Each Learning Style

All students have different learning styles. Let's use an example – in early math classes, some students will best understand multiplication and division concepts by seeing it done in front of them. Many of us may have grown up with traditional “chalkboard” style teaching – but as educators have proven, not every student will fully absorb these concepts through classic visual instruction.

Over the years, the academic community has done a great job of addressing issues involving different learning styles. Educators now agree that some students learn best through hands-on techniques, whereas others are more suited for auditory instruction (hearing concepts explained in addition to visual demonstration). For others (especially younger children), these concepts often make more sense using real-life objects. Here's a great summary from one of our previous blogs:

“Learning type can be separated into three categories – visual learners, auditory learners, and tactile learners. Some students won’t understand fractions by being told 4/8 is really ‘one half.’ However, when visualizing a pizza with 8 slices, they suddenly understand that 4 slices would indeed be half the pizza! It is crucial for a student to recognize how mathematical concepts actually relate to real life in order for them to truly understand the material.”

During class time, students are expected to take adequate notes that allow them to study and review the material they have learned. Note-taking is a required skill for students of all ages, but as we've discussed – not everyone retains information the same way. Here are Tutor Doctor's tips to take effective notes for each learning style!

Tips for visual learners:

  • Draw or doodle images that will help you to better recall and visualize concepts. This can be very helpful when reviewing the material (and especially while studying later).
  • Watch instructional videos that further demonstrate the concept being taught.
  • Make visual associations with important facts to help remember difficult concepts or ideas.

Tips for auditory learners:

  • For reading comprehension, many students benefit significantly from audio books.
  • Use technology to your advantage – watch internet videos, for instance, and focus on listening to (and absorbing) ideas first before immediately writing them down.
  • It might sound strange, but try listening to classical music or nature sounds. Many auditory learners are able to focus best with soothing (but non-distracting) background noise.

Tips for tactile learners:

  • Review concepts using hands-on approaches. For instance – the mathematical idea of a cube's volume might not make sense to a student simply by learning the formula. Being able to physically hold a cube and measuring length, width, and depth in real life helps bridge these concepts to tactile learners.
  • Again, use hands-on approaches to help clarify difficult concepts! There's a reason why many science museums have interactive displays with volcanoes and different types of “lava” flow for students to experiment with - concepts like density and viscosity are often better understood through witnessing real life examples.

Throughout any student's academic career, note-taking will be a required skill at all levels of education. At Tutor Doctor, we believe it's important to address the individual learning style of each student!

For some extra tips on taking effective notes in class, watch our video below!