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Anthony
Anthony

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What Is Your Learning Style?

As a current student I’ve come across many types of professors and teaching styles. We tend to focus on the type of teaching style as whether we can be successful in class, but we don’t really ever look at our individual learning style when we look for good professors or mentors and vice versa as mentors look for potential mentees.

I’ve discovered that I am a very visual and hands on learner, and that I need someone to break down each individual step for me so that I can really understand the process and reason to why something is done. It is very difficult for me to open up a textbook and begin to teach myself on a subject but many people can, and thats great! We shouldn't believe that one learning style is superior to the other, but I do think it is important to know what kind of learner we are and how to surround ourselves with the people and resources who can support us in that way.

In learning how to program I’ve come to learn that being a self motivator and self teacher are very, very important qualities to have. They are important because more often than not you are learning new languages and frameworks in your free time rather than in a class sitting through lectures. If you come to find you may not be the strongest at self teaching or self motivating it may be a good idea to push yourself to be the best self teacher/motivator you can be.

We can achieve this by developing productive habits. A productive habit can be as simple as reading articles frequently. (dev.to has become one of my productive habits)

So, do you really know what your learning style is? Do you understand what kind of resources you need in order to be successful in longterm learning? (institutional education or otherwise)

We need to ask ourselves these questions not only to understand ourselves, but so that we can be efficient in asking for and receiving guidance.

Why It Is Important To Understand Learning Styles As A Mentor/Teacher

As a mentor or anyone really in a position that manages/oversees Jr. Devs and interns it's really important that you understand the learning styles of said Jr. Devs. its important because newcomers will be nervous, they will be afraid, and they will need to learn A LOT before they become self sufficient and are able to handle projects on their own.

To get them to this point of self sufficiency they need to be taught and molded. This can be done more effectively if it is understood HOW they learn. Whether they need paired programming to watch an experienced dev create and alter, or they are very efficient visual and self teachers that they just need to be pointed to the right resources.

Do You Have Any Teaching Or Learning Styles That You Have Found Effective?

Have you come across any valuable teaching styles or learning styles? Do you think that being a self learner and being self motivated are crucial to be successful in the world of software engineering/Tech?

I Would love to hear your thoughts on styles of learning and teaching, past experiences and the likes.

Top comments (1)

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Michael Akanji

Taking it from the Tail. If you are self motivated, you would definitely come easy to being a self learner...

Getting back to the main topic. Learning and Teaching Styles that works..

Learning Style
Firstly I have to mention, when it comes to learning, I am exactly the definition you mention above. I need practicals/visuals to understand while wishing for a tutor. But down the line, I found a way to learn by my self which I am just gonna summarize using programming language as an example.

  • Read the book provided with the language. Alternatively find a resource and stick with the resource through thick and thing.
  • Understand what you read and Practice each topic.
  • Never leave a topic until you understand the How, Why, When etc of it.
  • Pick up a project to apply what you have learnt..
  • When you forget how to do stuff, go back to the topic thats related to what you want to do in your resource..
  • goto step above.

Teaching Style
The key i found to this in my years of teaching is FUN.. Make what you wanna teach fun. Nobody forgets something easily if its a good memory. while every wishes to forget the bad memories. but wants the good ones to stay. Yes, sometimes we have students that are introverts and all. Psychologically I most time read such student to be one thats not wanting to get hurt, so the key here is make yourself a reliable and trustworthy friend. Before you know it, they'll tell you all their secrets. that way they will want you around most times. making it such that your class wont be one they'll wanna miss and also be punctual to every one your classes.

After you achieve the connection above with every of your student. They would mind telling you whenever they are confused on a topic, even before you ask if they understand what you have been teaching so far.

Now the teaching technique I use is by relating every thing I teach to daily activities. i.e If I am teaching about control structures, I wouldnt just go on and on with the gibberish part of it as it is new to them. I would rather give a life scenario of them sending a friend to get em snack e.g Ben get me Pizza if its fresh, else get me Sausages. then i relate it to the control loop I am teaching. That way, they'll understand that even if they forget how to do an if-else, they'll check there note and recall in a jiffy.

The top of all is ask em to choose a case study of choice. you all work on it and find solutions to problem arising in each step of the way. this way, they get to see how what they've learnt is applied in real life.

In the end, make a key thing to them to always know where to go when they find it hard to understand something. show them some examples. Google search in their present, Make references.

PS: As they see you as their guru, even if you remember something. Once in while act like you don't and go check your reference. that way they also would know you are not perfect but knows the time to ask for help.

Its funny, I dont know i would type this much.. lol.

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