Poll: How do you learn?

Question: What are your top 3 preferred methods of learning?

  • Written tutorials
  • Video Tutorials
  • One on one (in person)
  • Live web tutorial
  • Peer groups
  • Instructor led workshops (in person)

0 voters

Have another way you prefer? Post it below!

1 Like

I strongly prefer written material (tutorials, reference, datasheets, etc) to any other method.


Definitely in my top 3 mainly for search ability. Why is it your preference @jasoncoon?

I agree on the search ability, and also that it’s the easiest to follow along at my own pace. No pausing and un-pausing video, I can stop and start at any time, easily skip ahead, review, etc.


Usually i make the magic blue smoke escape, then i know what not to do… not the most efficient way but it sure is fun :slight_smile:

I can remember making so much blue smoke at CSIRO when i was a 10 year old kid they had to evacuate the whole building.


Test and observe is a great way to learn in my opinion. You will learn quickly and may even discover something completely new. If you survive.
But seriously I studied this recently and some people respond to audio more, some video and some to repeatedly doing the same task physically.

This poll lacks the learn-by-doing (a.k.a. @Hootie81 magic smoke) method. It’s my preferred too :smile:

Mmmm - the smell of burnt ICs!! :slight_smile:

Of those options, written tutorials is really the only one I like (for similar reasons to those described above). I’m always annoyed when I want information and it’s only available via video. I don’t generally have time or the scheduling flexibility to deal with workshops, live tutorials, etc. And those have similar problems as videos – I can’t go at my own pace, easily skip around, etc. I’ve been working with technology for a long time. Usually I can get the info I need pretty quickly as long as it’s written down in some reasonably accessible format. Even with written documentation, I almost never read the whole thing. I skim for the parts I need, look at example code or schematics, etc.

1 Like

Adafruits easy to follow tutorials is what gave me the confidence and early successes that kept me moving forward quickly and eventually I ended up here at Particle.io with the AMAZING Photon & Electron platforms :smiley:


Crap - totally forgot to add “Learn by smelling” :nose: :fire:

For sure. I’m curious, were there any common characteristics amongst people who were more receptive to the same method?

Great response @sharding. It’s such an efficient way of learning. I think this method works really well for experienced developers. As a veteran in technology, how would you recommend a newb to get started?

Awesome! Doesn’t it feel great to successfully replicate a project and even better to make it your own?! Do you have any cool projects to share based on what you learned?

I was studying content creation for a training course when I read this and have tried to incorporate these elements into course material.
Here is an interesting article about this.

Indeed, looks like that would be first choice for most respondents so far on this forum. It would be interesting to do an identical survey on forums from a variety of interest areas, I suspect there would be differences and maybe a correlation between groups and learning types.

Obviously everyone has their own learning style, but I think for newbies, the ability to ask questions in a low-pressure and low-judgement way is important. So 1:1 in-person can be awesome, but obviously it doesn’t scale. I’d say next choice is likely to be either workshops or live tutorials, again where questions can be asked. But even for newbies, the big drawback of those is that the student has to adapt to the schedule of the teacher or workshop. The great thing about written tutorials is that they can be consumed whenever someone has time. If that’s coupled with a good way to ask questions (like this forum), it can still work pretty well. I’m probably just biased against video, but I kind of feel like recorded video tutorials give you the worst of both worlds – you can’t as easily move at your own pace, but you also don’t get the interactivity of a workshop or live tutorial. But I’m sure there are some people who like them, and certainly there are topics that benefit from them (in fact, just the other day I watched a video on YouTube to learn how to properly apply caulk to a sink…).

Oh cool. Thanks for sharing. I’ll check it out.

Totally agree with you. I tend to watch videos, though, for things that may require technique (such as your example of properly applying caulk). Thanks for your input on this topic. I can’t wait to put up the option of AR and VR! Not because it could be better… depends on what it is really. Just shows how much we’ve progressed in tech and just gives us more learning options.

You make some good points particularly about pace of learning. Any classroom activity that I have ever engaged in has been limited by the slowest learner in the room. This can end up in a situation with that person being the only one benefiting from the course because all the others have lost interest.
There is a similar issue with videos, many are very badly made by SMEs, so the content is spot on but the presentation, especially speed of delivery, terrible.
Video can be very powerful when properly done and can be a great compliment to text-books and practical material. Some people need the video to be engaged.
Have you seen H5P’s interactive video content type?
If this is done properly it should challenge all learning types.
You are right about newbies, a good coach or community is great to build confidence and understanding quickly.