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How do you absorb knowledge? Reading or listening?

 
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I am probably the exception again, but for me the best way to learn something is reading a book by myself in concentration (silence no interrupts). Am I alone in this? Lately the management heavily promotes things like "interactive dojo hands on". I cannot get it into people's head that maybe that works for most people, but not for me. Seriously, we have some website with video lessons on it, and subtitles for the hearing impaired. I sometimes stop such a video and start to read those subtitles instead of listening, because then I somehow understand it better. Strange?
 
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No. it isn't strange at all. As you say it is well‑known that different people learn differently, but as well as reading you shou‍ld most probably put the learning into action because doing it will help you remember much better.
 
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I used to be a math teacher, so i've had a lot of classes on educational theory.  It's pretty well known in those circles that there are diferent styles of learning. In fact, here is a website that gives a fairly high-level overview.  Based on my 2-seconds of analysis, you seem to be a Solitary learner.

No style is good or bad, better or worse than any other...but people do need to understand that what works for them may not work for you, and vice versa.

I tend to be a physical learner - i learn best by doing something. Whenever I am in a class, I take copious notes, regardles of what handouts are available. The act of writing it out by hand helps cement it in my brain. And then I almost never look at the notes again.
 
Jan de Boer
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fred rosenberger wrote:Whenever I am in a class, I take copious notes, regardles of what handouts are available.



Interesting. I remember that when there where no handouts, class was hell to me. I did not understand anything because I could not and write, and listen at the same time, and I wanted to reread what was said and I had nothing.

Thank you for your answer, I was beginning to feel a little like the odd one out, and you say there are more people like me. That encourages me.
 
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Jan de Boer wrote:for me the best way to learn something is reading a book by myself in concentration (silence no interrupts). Am I alone in this?


Ooof. Huge (and interesting) question.

For me: it depends very much on what I'm trying to learn. For a task, I tend to like something visual; for theory, I prefer a book. And I DO mean a book - don't like Kindle; and don't like 'browsing' PDFs - I want something I can take to the pub with me without having to worry about it getting nicked if I go to the little boy's room.

On the other hand, having never learnt how to speed-read, I tend to like stuff that I can take in in bite-size chunks - which is just one of the reasons I love Effective Java so much.
I've probably read every page of it at least ten times, but I've never sat down and read it from cover to cover ... same with this one and this one.

My 2¢.

Winston
 
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Lately I have noticed people posting questions about video tutorials here, and I'm astonished that people can learn programming from a video which shows somebody pressing keys and clicking buttons in an IDE. Maybe there are learning-from-video skills which I never acquired in my youth (since watching videos wasn't even a possibility then) but for me it's at best irrelevant and more likely distracting that the video is showing me what keys to press. For me to learn about programming, just show me the code example along with the commentary and let me download it and fiddle with it myself.

Now if I wanted to, say, improve my tennis serve, then a video tutorial would be just the thing. Reading an article on a website probably wouldn't be that helpful.

Anyway, now that Fred tells me there's a "Solitary Learner" learning style, I'd have to say I'm one of those people. That's without even following the link to find out what the other styles are.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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As a spin‑off from this thread, how do you persuade management that a particular style of learning doesn't suit everybody?
 
Jan de Boer
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Exactly Campell, that is part of the issue. Managers mostly have a different character than developers. They probably are not solitary learners.
 
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