Study Skills

Study Skills

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Visual/Spatial Learners



Visual/spatial learners are people who like to look at the big picture. They learn information best when it is presented in large segments, instead of as individual facts. Many visual/spatial learners are very organized, liking everything to have a place. Visual/spatial learners can generally tell when something is not balanced or centered, and they rotate objects in their minds to better understand the image as a whole.

Because visual/spatial learners excel at seeing the total object, remembering details can be difficult for them. They also may have problems focusing in rooms with background noise, since they are taking in everything surrounding them. Also, environments that are too hot or cold, are uncomfortable, or that have bright lights may make it difficult for these learners to concentrate. As with other types of learners, there are strategies and tactics visual/spatial learners can use to succeed both in and out of the classroom.

When studying, visual/spatial learners should have as much as the big picture placed in front of them. They should try to memorize this big picture, so that the image can be recalled when questions about details need to be answered. Instead of using outlines to study, visual/spatial learners should use concept maps. These maps visually outline and connect ideas, including the sequence of the ideas and the conclusion. Also, try to use visual aids, such as videos, projection presentations, drawings, and maps.

Technology is a great tool for visual/spatial learners. They can create their own programs and multi-media presentations as both study tools and final projects. Three-dimensional models can be made on a computer and studied for additional support. Also, it is easy to replay something that has been recorded over and over again for review.

In a classroom setting, there are tips to help the visual/spatial learner concentrate. For example, these learners can lessen distractions by sitting away from doors and windows. When taking notes, visual/spatial learners may want to draw graphs or other illustrations to help them learn new material. When reviewing material, it may be helpful to create study sheets with blanks on them. These serve to help guide the learner to remember the correct answer.

When reading through source material, visual/spatial learners should highlight and underline key words and phrases. They should look through each chapter or unit to try to understand the main idea of that section by looking at graphs, pictures, charts, and maps. Finally, while reading, visual/spatial learners should think of visual cues to associate with the text. This will help them remember the information in the future.

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