There are many different types of learners. Each one has their own dominant learning preference. Some people learn best through listening. Others have to work hands-on in order to figure something out. In addition, learning styles can be divided broadly into social learners and those who prefer a more solitary approach. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of social learners and discover some study strategies that can help you to become more successful if this is your preferred method.
Characteristics of Social Learners
As a social learner, you are probably a good communicator with others. Whether it’s spoken or in writing, people tend to receive your message well and may even come to you for advice. You thrive on inter-personal interactions and feel energized by them. You’re also a good listener who is able to reflect upon the words, feelings and motivations of others in order to best respond to them. Therefore, it makes sense that group learning works well for you. The opportunity to bounce ideas off of your classmates or the instructor is welcomed, and such collaboration helps you to form an opinion or understanding of the information at hand. In pursuits outside the classroom, you may find yourself on a sports team or involved with clubs in which you can pursue a particular interest with other like-minded people. You may be a social butterfly who seeks out parties or gatherings where you can meet and engage with others. Even if large crowds aren’t your thing, you may find yourself in the corner of the room chatting with one person or a small group. Some of your favorite games are multi-player ones, like board games or cards.
Your preference for social interaction may lead you to certain types of careers. Social people often work as teachers or counselors. Being able to teach, lead and help groups can be very satisfying for many with a strong interpersonal leaning. Coaching or training, whether it be in the fields of sports, industry or consulting, are others areas at which social learners themselves often excel. Sharing information with others is something that may provide you a sense of fulfillment. Social people are often good at sales because they are able to capitalize on their strength in interpersonal communication to inform buyers and to gain their trust. Those in human resources are usually strong in social skills. These professionals have to relate well to others and provide leadership, as well as maintain diplomacy handling negotiations or disputes among groups. One final example of a career in which many social learners excel is politics. Politicians must enjoy engaging with people and be sensitive to meeting the needs of their constituents.
Learning and Study Strategies
Because you thrive on interpersonal interaction, it makes sense that you would learn and study well in a group. If you are not able to meet with classmates in person due to geographical constraints, consider forming virtual study groups through Skype. When studying in groups, one particularly useful technique may be to teach each other. Each person can take a chapter or portion of the material and create a lesson to share with the group. This approach allows you each to become an expert on part of the material and allows interaction between members similar to that of a traditional learning environment. You will also want to be sure to take advantage of any collaborative activities your instructor sets up for the class online. A discussion forum can be just as satisfying and helpful as bouncing ideas off of people in the brick and mortar classroom.
Involve your friends or family in your educational pursuits. Talk to them about what you’re learning or ask them to quiz you before exams. This provides you the social interaction you crave and will make processing the information easier. A way to simulate an interpersonal interaction may be to look online for lectures or interviews regarding the topic you’re studying. Even when studying alone, there are some steps you can take to utilize your preferred strengths. Take time to plan your studying out and set a goal for the kind of information you want to take from the material You can do this in the form of an outline, checklist or graph if it helps. This technique actively involves you in the learning process. It also makes the information more personal and relatable.
Incorporating your strengths and preferences into your studying will aid in understanding, increase your retention of the material and help you to be a more successful, as well as satisfied, student. To learn more about the programs that may be a good fit for your style, contact a Brighton College representative.