Learning Styles: Design Your Personal Learning Space

We have already discussed the basics of Dunn and Dunn’s Learning Styles; with it you could personalize your online education in myriad ways, custom-fitted so that you could make the most out of your online education. To review, we could individualize our learning styles by varying 5 different factors: (1) environmental, (2) emotional, (3) sociological, (4) physiological, and (5) psychological. Each of these categories has its own particular mix of elements that we could tweak and change. In this article, we’ll be discussing how to customize environmental and physiological factors to fit one’s learning needs. These are just some basic considerations when personalizing our learning spaces. There is not right or wrong answer here; the key to designing learning spaces is that we need to experiment and vary so that we could experience what works first hand.

Customize your learning environment

Let’s take a look at environmental factors first. Given any kind of learning space, we could vary the conditions of light, sound, temperature, and lay-out so that one could study better. Some people like to work with a bright light right overhead, while others would want to work under a study lamp under dark, immediate surroundings. To find out what you prefer, take stock of how you studied before and how beneficial it was then use that in your study space. If you’re still not sure, invest in a study lamp then move it around to achieve the best lighting for your studying space.

Temperature and sound are the other factors that we could vary. If you’re not sure about how to go about it, try to find a place with air conditioning and with an electric fan. Vary the combination of the two that would best fit your learning needs, and you’ll have something that you could work with. With sound, are you the type to use earphones, use speakers, or prefer quiet solitude? Whichever of the three types you choose, it would be best to have an mp3 player nearby so that you could vary sound as you may.

Study lay-out is also important but a bit trickier than the others. Taken broadly, you learning space could be your bed or a comfortable couch – an informal lay-out – to a wide study table with shelves that are nearby. This spectrum could also vary according to the place or kind of room you are in, for example do you prefer the kitchen table, the dining table, or a small lap table to work with? The kind of seating could also vary: do you prefer the couch, an armchair, a lounge chair or sturdy wooden one? Taking all these considerations in mind, you could best vary the lay-out and furniture so that you could study better. As it is, your learning style follows your lay-out.

A more personal learning space

Physiological factors are the other variations to a personal learning space. Just to summarize, physiological factors consider hearing, touching, viewing, experiencing, intake, time, and mobility as the key elements to a study space. For example, although environmental factors consider sound, physiological factors consider the type of music you want to listen to. Elements of touch are varied according to the type of tools you use to study: do you need a pen, pencil, marker, or a highlighter? Study spaces could also vary in terms of the visual elements in and around it: should there be decorations on the walls, a motivational poster, or would window suffice? Some would also want the kind of study that engages the senses (i.e. experiencing) rather than just reading a book, so if you’re the type to prefer experience over books, probably you’d need a dozen contraptions in your study area or a separate but nearby work table. Intake is all about the kind of food you eat, for example, do you like munching on chips while you study, prefer coffee, or don’t rely on any kind of intake at all? Time, on the other hand, is about the optimum hour you choose to study: are you a morning person or a night person? This is very important in designing a personal space because, for example, if you’re a night person and you need work done during the day, maybe it would help to find a study space that has low lighting or find a dark room while using a desk lamp as the only illumination. Last thing to consider (but certainly not the least) is the amount of mobility that is given you by the study space you choose. Are you the type to walk around while studying or the type to stay put hunched over your papers? Obviously, your choice of study space would benefit from considering mobility also.

In terms of importance, we should consider the design of learning spaces according to this order: study lay-out, mobility, time, experience, visual, then with all the other factors varied according to preference. This just means that the first thing to consider in a study area is its lay-out and so on; you’ll find that this is the optimum way to define a personal learning space. This way, whether you’re still pondering how to read a textbook or just finding ways to maximize study, nothing beats an individualized learning space.

Leave a Reply