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What type of learner are you?

By Michael Crump | 15 December 2017

Way back when, the education system was very much binary. If students didn’t get A’s it was because they were seen to be either not intelligent enough or lazy and undisciplined. Either way, the “help” struggling students received was usually via a ruler – that wasn’t for measuring.

Thankfully today we have a much more nuanced view of education and how students learn. But we still often fall back on outdated tropes, archetypes and categories that box people in and don’t reflect their true qualities. Often, education systems focus on a single stream suitable for only one type of learner. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to design various curricula appropriate for different types of learners.

If only somebody could catalogue the different types of learners and define their likely strengths and drawbacks. If only somebody could help people learn what they should do themselves to facilitate their own learning in the most efficient manner.

Fortunately, that’s just what we do here at UpSkilled! Read on and discover the different types of learners we have identified and what it means to learn in these fashions.

The Analyser

analysing graphs

Analysers are realistic, methodical and often disciplined. Online learning is especially well-suited for analysers because they work well alone and are often good at time-management. Nevertheless, motivation can be a problem for anybody and a little feedback can always be useful, so analysers shouldn’t let their comfort with working alone consume them. Analysers are practical and logical; emotion plays little part in their motivations to study. However, analysers have a tendency to be perfectionists and this can lead to added stress. Also, getting bogged down in details can impede an analyser’s ability to see the bigger picture.

The Driver

GPS smartphone in car

Drivers like to be challenged. Challenges motivate drivers to accomplish more which is great, though drivers can bite off more than they can chew on occasion. Drivers are rarely guilty of the sin of procrastination which can be the Achilles heel of most other students. Drivers are hungry for success and their “get-right-to-it” mentality benefits them greatly with online learning because they tend not to waste time.

Drivers need to set realistic and specific goals as they are goal-oriented people. A vague goal could send a driver full-steam ahead in the wrong direction. Drivers are common-sense learners; they want to know how the subject matter can be applied in their lives, so it’s important for drivers to utilise their knowledge to make sure they retain the information.

The Promoter

dark-skinned woman cheering

Promoters are naturally enthusiastic and optimistic. Great, right? Sure it is! But it also means that promoters might be more liable to take on more than they can handle. This can be problematic because once discouragement dampens a promoter’s exuberance it can be difficult to regain that exuberant disposition afterwards. A promoter’s optimism and enthusiasm are good tools for staying motivated to finish an online course. But motivators are also social people and this means promoters must make sure they stay focused on their task. Promoters are often imaginative and curious; learning is often its own reward.

A love for learning is a great motivator, but promoters must maintain their focus to learn the predetermined material to achieve their goal. Learning just a little bit of everything might be fun but it’s unlikely to improve your life as much as learning a lot about a specific topic or skill.

The Supporter

team handshake

Supporters are somewhat cautious and are often not the most adventurous of people. This can be a drawback when trying to tackle a new problem but the flip side is that supporters do not fear hard work, so once they decide on a goal they’ll be dedicated to achieving it. Supporters enjoy working in groups as they value feedback which makes them adept in the traditional classroom setting. But supporters also know exactly what to do and when, which benefits them in the realm of online study. Supporters should break down their goals into manageable steps to avoid getting discouraged.

Supporters learn through experience; if not their own then others’. Supporters tend to connect experiences to past ones they’ve had and try to create meaning this way. Supporters seek meaning and clarity. Supporters are naturally good organisers so logistics and time management are rarely problems for them. However, Supporters generally love to help others, sometimes to their own detriment, so they should be adamant on devoting enough time to themselves and their studies.

Wondering how to launch your career?

Check out the Upskilled Career Guide. It’s a handy way to recognise existing skills and assessing what skills you need. It provides a course planning pathway, including where to begin and how to select a course.

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