A Student's Brief Overview of the Global Learning Style
An overview of global learners, who are intuitive decision-makers for whom interpersonal connections are important, solving complex problems and put things together in innovative ways.
Global learners are intuitive decision-makers for whom interpersonal connections are important. They like to take their time when learning and think things through. They may have emotional responses to learning. They like to learn through stories and anecdotes and can often imagine what happens next. They tend to see the big picture and overlook details. They can solve complex problems and put things together in innovative ways, but they have trouble explaining how they did it. They often don't see connections right away, but then suddenly everything clicks.
Global learners will enjoy classes that are very conceptual and involve lots of imagery, such as literature, philosophy, psychology, and religion. Try to take classes that interest you immensely. Enroll in classes that entail group projects. Seek professors who will give you significant feedback and who have a good sense of humor. Since you need help in connecting new concepts to past learning, it may help you to take several classes with the same professor. Look for colorful textbooks.
- Pay particular attention to the beginnings of lectures that set the tone and help you see the big picture of what will be said.
- If the professor is explaining a concept you don't understand, ask him or her to give an example.
- Talk to your professor if you are having difficulty seeing how course components connect.
- Ask your professor for samples of assignments.
- Be careful in classes that require significant participation. You often miss the opportunity to participate because you are thinking about what you want to say. Sometimes you'll need to take a risk and raise your hand before you've thought your comment or answer through.
- Surveying reading material before you read it will help you tremendously.
- Blocks of study time that are relatively long and devoted to one subject at a time mesh well with the global learner's style. For example, you may want to devote each night of study to a given subject. However, global learners also need to take frequent breaks.
- You will probably be able to multi-task while studying and can tolerate noise.
- You are comfortable studying in dim light.
- Study groups suit your style.
- Though you will be tempted to skip steps in projects that require them, you may not always be able to do so. Your inclination is to avoid asking for explanations, but you may prevent mistakes by doing so.
- Be careful in tests, such as in math, in which you are required to show your steps. Your natural inclination is to dislike dealing with the steps, but your grade may depend on doing so.
- Be careful with time management. With your tendency to think things through slowly and deliberately, you may find time slipping away from you.
Discover more about learning styles in our article, What's Your Learning Style -- and How Can You Make the Most of It?
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key academic terms by going to our College Success Glossary.
Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., is an educator, author, and blogger who provides content for EmpoweringSites.com, including MyCollegeSuccessStory.com. Katharine, who earned her PhD in organizational behavior from Union Institute & University, Cincinnati, OH, is author of Dynamic Cover Letters for New Graduates and A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market (both published by Ten Speed Press), as well as Top Notch Executive Resumes (Career Press); and with Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., Dynamic Cover Letters, Write Your Way to a Higher GPA (Ten Speed), and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Study Skills (Alpha). She curates, crafts, and delivers compelling content online, in print, on stage, and in the classroom. Visit her personal Website KatharineHansenPhD.com or reach her by e-mail at kathy(at)astoriedcareer.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.