Chapter 2 Learning Preferences


This module recognizes that all people learn differently. Learners have different learning preferences, strengths, and challenges, and they can utilize different strategies to make their learning most effective. Learning preferences include the mode or combination of modes that learners tend to prefer or respond well to, including aural, visual, verbal, and kinesthetic. Some people learn well by specifically including one or more of: reading, listening, speaking, watching, or practising. Memory is most enhanced when a combination of modes are used. Some types of learning work better with some modes. For example, when it comes to learning to ski, it is much more efficient to practice it than to read about it. Along with the type of learning and the preference of the learner, it is good to note that individual learners have different strengths and abilities. Utilizing these to the fullest makes for better learning.

Along with preferences and strengths, learners have different challenges. These can come in the form of learning challenges or challenging circumstances. Learning challenges can include learning disabilities of varying degrees, or if not diagnosed disabilities, learning struggles that have impeded ability to learn in the past. Challenging circumstances that affect learning can include temporary or long-term circumstances that impact ability to learn such as losing a loved one, medical conditions, or dysfunctional living conditions. These often have a negative impact on learners’ abilities to be successful at school.

Identifying and recognizing all these factors impacting learning will help you to examine different strategies and supports to help you to maximize your learning at post-secondary.

Learning Objectives

In this chapter on “Learning Preferences,” students will:

  • Identify own learning preferences and strengths.
  • Recognize how personal learning preferences affect perception and processing information.
  • Recognize learning differences and challenges and their impact on learners.
  • Examine different applicable strategies.


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Student Success Copyright © 2020 by Mary Shier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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