The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

The myth of learning styles and the point of studying with variety

Have you ever been asked what learning style you have? You have perhaps been encouraged to consider if you learn best by listening or by reading – or if you benefit mostly from a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learning style. The idea behind learning styles is that you learn more if you adapt your studying to your specific learning style. The fact of the matter, however, is that there is no evidence to support this theory, instead studies indicate the opposite.

Of course, most of us prefer one way of absorbing information over the other. One student might enjoy listening to course literature, another student might prefer drawing mind maps over creating a glossary of concepts, and yet another student might prefer reading on their own at home over studying in a group in a classroom environment. However, doing what you like or what you’re used to doesn’t automatically mean that you will get better results in your studies. On the contrary, people are more similar than different when it comes to how we learn things the best way.

See ex Rogowsky, Calhoun & Tallal 2015 –

Multiple ways of learning are best

It is generally the case that we learn best if we engage and activate multiple senses – in other words, if we use multiple learning styles. It is therefore smart to include both text and visual elements when taking notes and to look at the text in front of you at the same time that you are listening to course literature – and group projects will probably turn out best if everyone comes well prepared.

One student might understand and remember something simply by listening to a person speak, while another student will need visual elements, time to take notes and the option to read a text multiple times in order to understand the same thing. This doesn’t mean that the person who learns from the lecture has a different learning style, it probably just means that they have more preunderstanding, that they have better aptitude for the subject or perhaps that they just slept better the night before. When the difficulty level is raised or the conditions change, everyone needs multiple learning strategies to be able to follow along.

Instead of learning styles, it can be good to approach your studies in terms of learning strategies – and you can never have too many. To create the best conditions possible for your own learning, you can practise on the things you don’t already know, whether it be how you memorise things, how you take notes or how you concentrate on something. In this way you will add tools to your toolbox and prepare yourself for complex learning situations. When one strategy isn’t enough, you have others that you can use.

Try out new learning strategies and share with each other

There is every reason to take inventory of your strategies: What are you good at? What is it that you do when you do this? What do you find difficult? What do you do then? What do you need other or new strategies for? Feel free to browse through the texts here on to see if you can find something new to try:

When you're reading course literature on a screen

In regards to not-taking by hand or on a computer

Efficient group work using digital meeting technology

Give feedback to other and become a better writer yourself

Perhaps there are tools that you can try out in order to vary your strategies. Here are some suggestions:

Accessibility tools – Try having the text read out loud for you while you're reading

Padlet – Write shared notes

Mentimeter – Challenge your study group with polls and quizzes

Studio – Work through material by recording videos

Afterward, ask you coursemates how they usually do things and share your own strategies with them. Contribute to a generous atmosphere where people share their best tips and help each other! Everyone benefits from this.