Learning Strategies

A Learning Strategy is an approach a person uses to help when we study, learn a new task, problem solve, and during daily activities. These strategies guide a person in being active learners, and by developing skills about how to learn, and how to effectively use them in different situations.

Imagine going on a nature hike and there is a steep hill ahead of you. To climb it you may use the rocks jutting out to take a step up, walk sideways up the trail, use a rope or a ladder to help you climb it. Learning strategies are like the steps and tools we used to climb the hillside trail, and they support us with strengthening our abilities. Learning strategy instruction includes such topics as:

  • studying
  • test taking
  • reading comprehension and retaining information
  • time management and organization
  • note-taking
  • planning for essays
  • focus
  • online learning

Learning Styles

Our strategies toolkit is used in many ways. Understanding your learning style or how you take in information best will guide you in which strategies to use.

There are many different learning styles including:


Learn by seeing (i.e. charts, graphs, videos, graphic organizers, PowerPoints)


Learn by hearing (i.e. read out loud, verbal instructions, repeat to a friend, study groups)


Learn by doing (i.e. use body movement, tactile - touch and feel, hands on, rewriting recreating steps, moving while reading)

For further information about learning strategies, such as study strategies, time management, writing, online learning, please check out the College Libraries Ontario Learning Portal.

Notetaking Technology

Notetaking technologies are an alternate method of creating notes than with paper and pen. These technologies offer students the opportunity to make notes digitally, and some of the programs offer the option of audio recording. This feature gives students an opportunity to review the lecture later and to make or add to their notes. An audio recording of a lecture is for the purpose of supporting the student’s accommodation and learning needs. Many of these programs store the audio recordings within their program and maintain privacy.

Examples of Audio Recording Programs

Notetaking Express (https://notetakingexpress.com/)

An online notetaking program that uses audio recording of a lecture and after the recording has been saved, there is an option to request a written summary of the recording. There is a web-based version and a mobile app. Mohawk College has a subscription to this service for students registered with ALS.

Glean (https://glean.co/)

An online notetaking program that uses audio recording of a lecture, and the students develop their notes during and after the lecture. It includes several features, such as audio clean-up and transcription. There is a web-based version and a mobile app. Mohawk College has a subscription to this service for students registered with ALS.

LiveScribe Pens (https://us.livescribe.com/)

It is a notetaking device that includes a specialized notebook and a pen with a built-in microphone. Students handwrite their notes in the notebook while it records, and the audio syncs with the word(s) or drawing. Available for equipment loan for students registered with ALS.

Digital Recorders

An analogue hand-held device used for recording lectures for notetaking purposes. Students either keep the device themselves to record from where they are seated, or they arrange with their professor to leave it near the front of the class for recording and better audio quality. Available for equipment loan for students registered with ALS.

Notability (https://notability.com/)

An iPad app where students take notes, draw, or annotate images. The audio feature syncs the audio recording with what words and pictures the student types or draws in the moment.

OneNote (https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/microsoft-365/onenote/digital-note-taki…)

Microsoft’s digital notebook program offers several different features (annotation, audio recording, math assistant), and can be used in a variety of ways (e.g. for research, notetaking, task lists). It is available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, and syncs across platforms.

Video Recording Program Options

Video Conferencing programs, such as Zoom

Many video conferencing programs offer the ability to record meetings and turn on live transcription. In Settings, the host has the option to enable the recording and transcription features, and then either the host or the participants can save the recording.

QuickTime Player on Mac

A built-in app on Mac computers that gives the option of screen capturing.

Contact ALS Icon

Have Questions? Need Assistance? Want to Book an Appointment with our Learning Lab Staff?
We are here to help. Contact Accessible Learning Services by email at als [at] mohawkcollege.ca (als[at]mohawkcollege[dot]ca) or by phone at (905) 575-2122.