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20 July 2007

How Do You Learn?

Most of us have heard news stories about the breakthrough research studies that seem to show people learn in different ways. And while I know this isn't the "official list" I thought I'd just share mine with you. (If you want the standard ones you can go here.)

  • Listen: Are you able to listen to someone else explain something and then turn around and do it yourself?
  • Watch: Do you need to watch someone else do something before you are able to do it yourself?
  • Read: Are you the king or queen of the 500 page manual? Can you read how to do something and then do it yourself?
  • Try: Are you a hands-on learner? Do you need to actually try something and make mistakes in order to do it well yourself?
Like I said, fairly simple and to the point. But do you know which of these learning styles works for you? If you needed to learn something quickly - what would you do?

Ask for help? Buy a manual? Watch an online tutorial?

And another important question: Do you know how the people you supervise learn? Have you figured it out by watching them? Or better yet, have you asked them?

I'd have to say that I'm somewhere between "watch" and "try" based on the way I have picked up web design (html, xml, css, flash, javascript, etc.). It really helped to watch friends do web design, but then when I bought the software myself and took hands-on tutorials and created test sites - it all came together.

I've never been able to read an entire manual or listen to a podcast and translate that into a skill. But I have friends that can...

How about you?