Do you learn best when you can touch and feel what you’re learning? If so, you have a tactile learning style. This means that you learn how effectively when you can interact with information hands-on. Many people are tactile learners, and there are ways to use this to your advantage to succeed in school.
This article will explore the tactile learning style and how tactile learners can use their strengths to succeed in school.
What Is Tactile Learning?
Tactile learning is a form of learning that emphasizes the use of touch to gain information about the world. The sense of touch is one of the most important ways we interact with our environment, and it plays a vital role in many aspects of our lives.
It is often combined with other types of learning, such as visual or auditory learning. For example, a tactile child learning how to tie their shoes may learn by visually watching someone else tie them while practicing on their shoe simultaneously.
Tactile learning can be an essential part of early childhood development, as it can help children learn about the world around them and develop crucial fine motor skills. Tactile learning style can also benefit older children and adults, as it can help them retain information and improve their problem-solving ability.
Characteristics of a Tactile Learner
Tactile learners often have specific characteristics that set them apart from other learners. Some common characteristics of tactile learners include the following.
1. Love Hands-on Activities
Tactile learners often prefer hands-on activities to more passive activities, such as listening to a lecture or watching a movie. They usually like to touch, build, and experiment with objects. Thus, they may prefer science experiments, building blocks, or playing with tactile toys.
2. Have Good Fine Motor Skills
Students who learn best through touch often have strong fine motor skills. This lets them easily handle small objects and make precise hand movements. They may excel at puzzles, computer use, or crafts.
3. Need To Move
Some students learn more effectively by touching and moving, even if it means being disruptive to others. People with tactile learning styles often pace, fidget, or squirm while trying to absorb new information.
4. Difficulty With Visual and Auditory Information
Tactile learners may have difficulty processing information that is presented visually or auditorily. They often need to see or touch something to understand it.
6 Learning Strategies That Work for Tactile Learners
Succeeding in school can be a challenge for tactile learners. They often need to work around their learning style, such as finding tactile ways to learn information that their teachers and professors present visually.
To help tactile learners succeed in school, here are six learning strategies to consider.
1. Take Notes by Hand
When taking notes, tactile learners often find that the old-fashioned pen-and-paper method is the best way. Unlike notes taken on a computer or phone, hand-written notes provide a physical connection to the material that can help to improve memory and retention.
In addition, the act of writing can serve as a memory aid, as the act of physically forming letters helps solidify the information in the mind. For pupils with a tactile learning style, taking notes by hand is often an excellent way to ensure they will remember the information later.
2. Use Tactile Tools When Possible
For many people, learning is a primarily visual process. They take in information best by seeing it written down or displayed in some way. However, for tactile learners, physically interacting with the material helps to improve understanding and retention. Flashcards and physical models are tactile tools that may help these learners retain and process information.
By handling and manipulating the cards or models, tactile learners can better understand how the material fits together. This hands-on approach can also help make the material feel more natural and concrete, making it easier to remember later.
3. Move Around While You Study
Many students have to sit for long periods while studying, which proves challenging for tactile learners; they usually need to move to stay concentrated.
One way to allow this movement is to study in a place with plenty of space, such as at a large table or on the floor. This will enable tactile learners to spread their materials and move around as they please.
Another option is to study in short bursts, with frequent breaks in between. This will allow tactile learners to get the movement they need without sacrificing too much study time. A standing position can also give tactile learners the movement they need while still allowing them to focus on their work.
4. Make Use of Technology
A wide range of technology available can be used to help tactile learners succeed in school. For example, many phones and tablets now have features that allow users to take notes by hand. This can be an excellent way for tactile learners to get the best of both worlds — the tactile experience of writing by hand combined with the convenience of digital notes.
Other apps, such as those that allow users to create virtual flashcards, can also be helpful.
When it comes to studying, tactile learners can use technology to listen to lectures or read materials. This way, they can get the necessary information without sitting still for long periods.
5. Associate Information with Physical Objects
One common challenge for people with a tactile learning style is remembering abstract concepts that cannot be physically touched or manipulated. To overcome this, try to associate the information with physical objects.
For example, if you are trying to remember the different parts of a plant cell, you could label each part with a different color of a post-it note. Then, when you need to recall the information, you can visualize the physical object (the post-it note) and the associated concept (the plant cell part) together.
This technique can be used for any information, no matter how abstract. By associating it with a physical object, you can make it easier to remember later.
6. Have a Study Partner
When you have someone to study with, it can make the process much more enjoyable — and effective. Tactile learners often thrive when they have somebody to talk to about the material they are trying to learn.
Not only does this provide a much-needed break from all the information input, but it also gives tactile learners a chance to hear the material explained differently. This can be extremely helpful in solidifying understanding and ensuring that everything is remembered.
Plus, tactile learners often feel more accountable and are less likely to procrastinate when they have somebody to study with.
A tactile learning style is a great way to learn, and there are several ways to make it work for you. Whether you like to get your hands dirty in the garden or prefer to keep things more organized with flashcards and puzzles, finding the proper tactile learning method can make all the difference in your studies.
Everyone learns differently, so feel free to experiment until you find a tactile learning method that works for you.
What is an example of tactile learning?
Tactile learning involves processing information by touching and feeling objects. One of the most common examples of tactile learning is learning how to tie shoelaces by trial and error, practically by using hands.
How do tactile learners study?
Tactile learning style is also called multi-sensory learning style because tactile learners study by physically touching some objects or trying something practically to grasp the concept.
What are the four main learning styles?
1. Visual learning style
2. Auditory learning style
3. Reading/writing learning style.
4. Kinesthetic (tactile) learning style.
What are some characteristics of tactile learners?
Some of the common characteristics of the tactile learning style are:
Maximum learning by being physically active in an environment.
Enjoys working with different tools and materials they can manipulate.
Learn more information from instructors who use labs and in-class demonstrations.
Typically people with tactile learning styles do not like reading and instead want to perform practically.