Online courses offer a great deal of flexibility and numerous benefits for today’s busy students. Classes fit your schedule and allow you to complete work at times that are convenient for you. There’s no need to commute to campus, and you don’t have to worry about juggling work or childcare schedules to accommodate class. It is important that you understand a bit about learning online in order to increase your academic satisfaction and success. Most students have a dominant learning preference when it comes to the ways in which they best understand and process information. These preferences are known as learning styles. Knowing a bit about your particular learning style can make a big difference in how well you understand and retain information. Auditory learners understand and remember best through listening. Fortunately, most online coursework usually has some type of auditory component to support students such as yourself. There are also lots of ways for you to incorporate auditory strategies into your studying. Follow these study tips if you are an auditory learner.
Take Advantage of Auditory Tools
If your instructor offers any listening resources to supplement online coursework, be sure to take advantage of it. Things like podcasts, PowerPoint presentations with narration, video lessons or any other type of media you can listen to will surely be of benefit to an auditory learner such as yourself. You can even record yourself reading your notes or textbook and listening to it later as a study tool.
Listen to Music
Music playing in the background can be a distraction for some people. However, it is often soothing and even necessary for students who are particularly responsive to sounds. If you like to hear music when you study, use that to your advantage. Choose songs that motivate or energize you. Go with tunes that put you in a positive mindset. Do be aware of any kinds of music that can be jarring to the senses or distracting.
Form a Group
If possible, get a group of your classmates together to study. There may be a group component to your course, which is great because you can bounce ideas off of your peers and have discussions about the material with regard to real-world implications. Having a small study group outside of class over Skype or other form of interactive means will allow you to hear each other’s take on the information. In fact, a great strategy is for group members to take turns teaching a portion of the material to the others so everyone can hear the concepts spoken out loud, maximizing your auditory learning style.
Talk to Yourself
Sure, your family or roommates may think you’re crazy, but that’s okay because you’ll be learning effectively. You can always read your textbook aloud in order to hear the words and better remember them. Another option is to have a friend read your study guide to you and have you answer the questions. You could also make flashcards to quiz yourself with or to review with a partner.
You can be as creative and out-of-the-box as you want to be with your study routine. People who learn by listening frequently remember facts well when they utilize a mnemonic device to jog their memory. Mnemonics are sentences to which the first letter of each word corresponds with the first letter of a word you are trying to remember. For example, math students often learn the mnemonic Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally to help them remember the order of operations, or which parts of a math problem to computer first. By the way, the order of operations goes Parentheses, Exponents, Multiply, Divide, Add and Subtract. There are lots of other ways to be creative with your memory tools such as making up jingles, writing rhymes or stories to correspond with what you’re learning.
Make It Personal
Sometimes what you’re learning in class can seem rather abstract, making it difficult to relate to or remember. Consider ways in which you can make the subject you’re studying relate to your own life experience. You may even wish to find someone to talk to who can relate to the information on a personal level. Making it personal helps to clarify concepts. If you can’t find a way to do this, consider making an appointment to discuss the topic with your professor by phone. Hashing a topic out verbally and hearing another’s take on the information is a great way to understand it.
These study tips should give you a good start on finding ways to meet your learning style needs. You’re always encouraged to contact a Brighton College representative to learn more about our programs and the best available options for you.