DEV Community

loading...
Cover image for Why you might not be learning as effectively

Why you might not be learning as effectively

lyqht profile image Estee Tey Originally published at community.codenewbie.org ・3 min read

As a #CodeNewbie, a common means of learning here is to:

  • read articles to improve your knowledge,
  • and later write your own to internalize your learning.

However, I want to point it out explicitly that...

Your learning style could be a reason why you feel that you are not learning as much as you intend to despite doing the actions above.

How you learn affects heavily:

  • how much you are enjoying the stuff you learn and
  • the pace that you are learning them.

Therefore it will be beneficial for you if you can identify what kind of learner you are and what you can do to learn better.


Learner Archetypes

There are 4 common learner archetypes according to the VARK model (Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, Kinesthetic).

https://www.mysimpleshow.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/04145930/500x300_VARK_Oct_27_2016.png

Image retrieved from mysimpleshow

Below is my subjective view on how the 4 types of learners would learn and how content creators can cater their content for the various kinds of learners.

  1. Visual 🖼️
    • For visual learners, pictures are especially louder than words for them.
    • Including images such as charts, screenshots, memes (use with precaution, consider your target audience) in articles will help these learners learn better. Break down into bullet points instead of giving text walls.
  2. Auditory 💬
    • Most people think in words rather than pictures. For auditory learners, they take this same process to the external world to learn.
    • They would be the main supporters of podcasts, audiobooks and narrated tech videos.
  3. Reading/Writing 📝
    • The nature of programming languages meant that **there is no running away from text, articles and documentation for learning the syntax and concepts of programming. Every CodeNewbie has a side of a Reading/Writing Learner.
    • However, with how static text can be, it will be great if every writer puts in more thought in how and why they are writing articles for their target audience.
    • Given that the speed of reading is faster than listening, that there are learning platforms popping up which emphasize on this fact such as educative.io, codeacademy.
  4. Kinesthetic 🙌
    • The hands-on learners!
    • By hands-on, it may differ from person to person on whether they learn effectively by following a tutorial guide in hands-on or they experiment for themselves.

Aside from the VARK model of learner archetypes, there's also another renowned categorization of learners illustrated as an infographic by Funders & Founders.

https://64.media.tumblr.com/f26e3143dcf0322227285b88f9cbc1db/tumblr_mpsanrnCp21s6bw99o1_1280.png

You can see there's some overlap of learner types, and these archetypes again are not absolute.

You could be a mix of the archetypes! You may prefer having a mix of different mediums to spice up your learning ✨ These archetypes just make it easier for you to identify your learning style.


Learning Routine

Sometimes, aside from your learning style, your routine also matters.

e.g. I have a developer friend who likes to head to the gym physically after work before he heads onto the mental gym and learn 💪

For me, I'm pretty lazy when it comes to physical exercise nowadays with COVID19. But if I still feel like being productive after work, I will make sure to take a nice shower 🚿, physically walk out of my house 🚶‍♀️ and grab a good dinner 🍚 before staring at my computer again.

Both of these routines are intentional to force a cognitive switch from work mode to learning mode. Sometimes you could even have a parenting mode or a play mode, it is important to relax and be conscious about your mental state - be aware whether you are ready for learning.


Conclusion

Knowing what helps you to learn better is beneficial for you in choosing the resources you pursue in the limited time that you have set aside for productivity, and also how you might want to structure your routine to learn.

So what archetype are you? Is there any learning routine you are taking on now that you would like to share with the community? And what else do you want to see #CodeNewbie to help you improve your learning experience? Let's discuss~ 🎵

Discussion (5)

pic
Editor guide
Collapse
mrrcollins profile image
Ryan Collins

Unfortunately, the theory of learning styles has been debunked:

What is more important is if you are of the growth mindset or fixed mindset. Since you are reading this, there is a pretty good chance that you are of the growth mindset. The growth mindset means you know you can learn new things, and that skills and intelligence are not fixed at birth.

Collapse
lyqht profile image
Estee Tey Author

Definitely agree with the utmost importance of having a growth mindset! Without it, we won't be striving to be better or learning how to be better.

The growth mindset concept does not negate the helpfulness of understanding your learning style; understanding yourself in mindset, behaviour as well as preferences would help to complement one's growth.

Collapse
arashnrim profile image
Arash

Great article! It's interesting to know about actual research that has taken place out there that aims to help us better understand ourselves as what kind of learners we are. It's fascinating that most of us somehow fit within a select few types of learners, and that makes it much easier to improve how we learn.

I've been introduced to the VARK model of learner archetypes, and I have to say that I prefer the Funder and Founders model to the VARK one. I find that the VARK model can remain vague and unclear especially to learners who feel like they lie between multiple archetypes. On the other hand, the Funder and Founders model offers more specific types.

If anything, I'm likely an ease and copy learner, but our learning methods can change and adapt as we continue to grow! Thank you for writing and sharing this article!

Collapse
lyqht profile image
Estee Tey Author

I'm glad that you like it 😄 and yes definitely agree with you that our learning style will change over time!

Collapse
lyqht profile image
Estee Tey Author

Personally, over the years, I discovered that my learning style leans heavily towards the Kinesthetic/Copy learner archetype. Perhaps, it is my previous experiences in F&B jobs and interests in martial arts years ago that cultivated my learning style by copying moves & then self-experimenting.

There are often many failed attempts of copying moves that are done by my trainer and colleagues, and in those failures I learn to think more in-depth of:

  • why I am doing things a certain way
  • whether there is a way I can do it better

This learning style eventually transferred over to my existing learning process of how to code, program, build and engineer solutions eventually.