3 Learning Styles and Strategies to Excel in Becoming a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Professional
An Overview of Learning Styles
Cognition is described as “'thinking, and it encompasses the processes associated with perception, knowledge, problem-solving, judgment, language, and memory. Scientists who study cognition are searching for ways to understand how we integrate, organize, and utilize our conscious cognitive experiences without being aware of all of the unconscious work that our brains are doing.” To maximize your course learnings, it is helpful to gain a better understanding of how you piece together your own conscious cognitive experiences. With class resources, homework, and exams as some of your main materials, you can interact with them in a way that turns a “surviving” learning mindset into a “thriving” learning experience.
The three main learning styles are visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Considering them more closely will help you to have more focus, better information retention and writing quality. You'll also feel less anxious about academic performance evaluations and enjoy the learning process. Have a look at the main pillars of the above learning styles to begin identifying which ones you resonate with most:
- Visual: Seeing information represented as images really helps you, sometimes has a strong ability to memorize and/or recall learnings, and writing things out or watching concepts in action is ideal for you.
- Auditory: Hearing and speaking things out loud helps you learn best, especially in the explanation of directions, ideas, and even discussions.
- Kinesthetic: You benefit most in a learning environment from interacting with others or the material and learn well by dynamically engaging in real-time.
You can apply the following learning styles as a student and make a difference in your AFPA success. Remember that learning is an ongoing process. Therefore, it's important to understand and incorporate strategic study tools during your professional certifications.
AFPA Course-Specific Advice for Each Learning Style
For Visual Learners
Our courses are vast in reading and literature, which may be a plus to you as you prefer really seeing what you’re learning. At the same time, more complex concepts can feel abstract if you can’t visualize them. For that reason, we encourage taking notes as well as breaking complicated ideas into bite-sized summaries when you’re a visual learner here at AFPA.
Stanford raises an important point that understanding complex ideas is similar to conveying complex ideas: They both require reliable go-to's such as diagraming a concept, breaking the concept down into stages or layers, comparing aspects of the concept to other familiar concepts for contextualization, taking the whole picture of the concept into account, and finding common ground between groups within concepts to explain their interconnections.
Mindfulness also involves the ability to visualize written content while also taking the time to comprehend and consolidate them. With our world’s ever-expanding range of visual stimuli, it can be incredibly difficult, even for visual learners, to look at just one thing for extended periods of time even though they can identify them at rapid speeds: “The human brain can process entire images that the eye sees for as little as 13 milliseconds” (Trafton, 2014). What's the reason? There are many visual distractions, including phones, social media and lights.
The goal is to understand the text and not add to it. When studying, you should read in small chunks, pause to summarize main points, and then turn off all other electronic devices. Even better: Incorporate mentally grounding techniques such as these 15 memory-boosting tricks to help you succeed and stay present during your AFPA courses.
If you still need visual learning tips, here are additionally productive reading techniques:
- Scanning: Scan to identify important ideas only and take note of them.
- Skimming: Focus on the central idea, not every detail.
- Summarizing: Take a summary of the key points every 10-20 pages.
- Summarizing questions: Convert summarized information into self-generated quizzes you can study later.
- Do your homework first. Review the practice test or homework and then look at the text with an open mind.
- Highlighting: You can take your scanning to a higher level by using highlighters and colors.
- Video Time: If you’re particularly stuck on a concept that is visually portrayed via words but lost on meaning to you, ask an expert or search the internet for a video that will encapsulate that same concept with more than just text captions.
For Auditory Learners
Similar to visual learners, our courses will challenge, fulfill, and help grow students as readers and yet your active participation in your own learning makes all the difference.
Reading aloud is a great way to make the text come to life. By this method, you will still employ many of the reading techniques listed above yet you will match it to your main learning style by way of hearing it all: “90% of information is transmitted visually” and yet less than that is supported auditorily. It is generally a good idea to have more auditory support.
Visual learners need to be able to think outside the box when it comes to writing information. According to Cuyamaca College in “Visual learning,” “Essential study skills” by Dr. Wong, and “Study guides and strategies: Visual/spatial learning” by Dr. Lansberger, here are supportive guidelines for students who learn better via audio:
- Record lectures and then listen to them.
- Recite material loudly and in your own words.
- Discussions in study groups are a good way to discuss material.
- Aloud, read textbooks.
- Listen to background music without words while you study.
In moving toward the kinesthetic learning experience, both visual and auditory experiences come into play by way of a learner’s direct interactions with the material.
For Kinesthetic Learners
Kinesthetic learners who step back and think about the big picture may learn more easily. One way to achieve this in the context of the courses is to review the practice exams before you leave. Studying involves constant exposure to ideas and messages the practice exam points out.
A recent AFPA article on Marketing 101 suggested, “Branding and marketing are how you take your invaluable knowledge and communicate it to clients in need. While it can be a hurdle for some to professionally put themselves out there, it is even more significant to make sure that when you do, it is for a well-meaning and well-informed purpose.” Reflecting on this quote during the learning process raises questions such as “why does this material matter?” and “how will this material be tested?” and “in what areas of my profession will this material apply” and “now that I know how the material integrates, how do I sell it?”
Thus, one way to do well in these holistic courses as a kinesthetic learner is to create hypotheses and/or projects for yourself that the information you’re learning feeds into. An activity in how you would market what you’re learning could be one. A task where you’re asked to assess a real client and come up with a nutrition plan for them—such as in our Holistic Nutritionist Certification—is often the assignment where students apply and retain the most information.
Altering your learning environment will also contribute positively to kinesthetic students in AFPA courses with the following recommendations:
- Take breaks.
- Don’t be afraid to physically stand up while working.
- You can study in a café.
- Form a study group.
Every single learning style in these professional and holistic certification courses has the potential to learn and graduate with excellenceYou can learn more. Now is a powerful time to get involved in the health and wellness industry. Your learning time should be used to reflect objectively on your own learning style, and help you make positive health changes.