View Full Version : Any tips on learning science for a visual thinker?


OhLookABunny
04-29-17, 11:05 PM
Hope this is the right forum for this.

I was a liberal arts major in college - creative writing to be specific. Also went back to get a second degree in studio arts but ran out of money so dropped out. I've loved science fiction for decades and want to write it - and science in general interests me.

The issue I'm having is that I want, at age 55, to acquire the basics of the science classes I didn't take in high school or college. Physics, chemistry, biology etc. And more specialized things like genetics, earth science, and the recent new ones like astrobiology. First I need those basic ones. I've acquired recent used textbooks in each, and I want to learn by reading. The books have good illustrations in most cases; I tried to find ones that looked as though they'd be good for a visual thinker.

But there are times when I feel like I'm trying to hold too much in my mind, like it won't all fit, or even if it does, it won't get stored in my brain for very long. I mostly learn things by reading and forming mental pictures. I process spoken information by projecting the words on a "screen" in my mind. This sometimes impedes my comprehension if the information comes in faster than I can convert it to a visual format.

Curiously, I don't tend to enjoy trying to learn from videos. It's a combination of impatience and maybe a mismatch between the pace of the video and my mental pace. There are some exceptions - National Geographic's and BBC's are usually appealing and easy to follow. I could probably find others if I knew where to look.

Anyway, hopefully you get the picture - I would like to hear from others who relate to the visual learning style who have found helpful ways of grasping more abstract or technical science concepts and retaining them, and being able to build on the basics. Oh, and I really get lost in math. Probably should have mentioned that earlier. :doh:

Thanks for any help! :)

dvdnvwls
04-30-17, 12:20 AM
One tip: Learn from whatever kind of source, but for yourself afterwards, turn it into drawings or diagrams or pictures as one of your study routines. Often, the act of drawing for yourself makes more difference than someone else doing it for you.

Also, since you're a visual learner, don't discount the act of writing out info for yourself to see. Even copying from a book can be surprisingly powerful for some people.

Quiescent
05-28-17, 08:55 PM
Daydreaming through a book and pausing to absorb the information always helped me. Research skills can be learned in Universities, and images galore on Google. You might like that Google has a scholars search engine for all abstracts and books, studies, news, etc. Bookmark articles, abstracts, news, studies, etc. For references​.

ginniebean
05-29-17, 02:43 AM
Visual learners do very well with cue cards.

stef
05-29-17, 03:34 AM
take notes;
and then make a nice handwritten summary, of your own notes
I"m also a visual learner, and least in my case, there was a lot I could only remember if it was actually in my own writing.

dvdnvwls
05-29-17, 01:15 PM
take notes;
and then make a nice handwritten summary, of your own notes
I"m also a visual learner, and least in my case, there was a lot I could only remember if it was actually in my own writing.
...partly because of the look of your own writing, but also partly because the act of doing the writing puts the information into your brain in a certain special way.

peripatetic
05-29-17, 03:18 PM
i like stef's idea. try having conversations...like reading them with another person and discussing, so you can form those mental pictures. it's also always good to approach a topic with another perspective to consider.

good luck!