Everyone learns differently, that’s nothing new. I like to tell our trainees, “It’s not the lesson you planned, it’s how you planned your lessons” that makes the real impact in your training.
You may have created a brilliant lesson plan on paper, but if you don’t have a strategy to actually carry it out, you are heading for some unpleasant surprises!
Pictures, images, and spatial understanding are the preferred learning media of visual learners. These learners love to see lessons come to life, and often sit at the front of the class to not only get a full view of their teacher’s body language and facial expressions but also to avoid potential visual obstructions and distractions.
Tips for You: Visual learners are your detailed note takers. They think in pictures and learn best from visual displays, slide shows, posters, clips and other visual tools. Sometimes, simple things like writing an outline of your training on a presentation slide will also satisfy your visual learners’ desire to take notes and capture everything in their own creative and vivid manners.
Auditory learners rely primarily on sound for their learning. Information is often best acquired through verbal lectures, discussions, and mini-presentations.
Tips for You: Auditory learners interpret the underlying meanings of words through listening to the tone, pitch, speed and other phonological nuances of your speech. Auditory learners enjoy reading text aloud and may even bring a tape recorder to record your lecture.
These are people who learn best through words regardless of whether they are communicated in speech or writing. When learning something new, people who belong to this category prefer hearing a detailed explanation over viewing a physical, visual demonstration.
Tips for You: Verbal learners thrive in a traditional classroom lecture. However, they are also very interpersonal and welcome opportunities to interact with words and sounds through discussions, asking questions and teaching others.
Your kinesthetic learners prefer using their body, hands, and sense of touch to explore the world. These students tend to have trouble sitting for long periods of time, but with the right strategy, you may be able to enthrall these energizer bunnies.
Tips for You: Kinesthetic students are easily distracted, adding hands-on activities will allow these active learners to touch, feel and experience the fullness of their lessons.
These people prefer using logic, reasoning, and systems. You may find them to have a keen sense for numbers, sequence association and problem-solving.
Tips for You: As an instructor, you can feed your logical students by including activities that involve multi-step processes, and data collection. You could break things down into worksheets, tables, and charts.
Group learning streamlines the learning experience of social/interpersonal learners. They are quite verbal and are always anxious to apply what they have learned in interactive settings.
Tips for You: Give them a chance to learn through meaningful activities. Incorporating peer editing, peer teaching and group discussions into the curriculum will dramatically enrich the learning experience of these happy talkers.
As the name suggests, they’re quiet and can work alone with minimal directions from the instructor. Oftentimes mistaken for the shy ones, solitary learners can be quite extroverted when given the opportunity.
Tips for You: The desire for self-study keeps solitary learners away from active, voluntary classroom participation. In a group setting, your solitary learner may seem reserved, inactive or even indifferent.
So there you have it!
It’s not just about learning types, it’s about giving your students a well-rounded and complete learning experience. Ultimately, by shaking things up and incorporating different teaching techniques in your teaching techniques, your audience will always be fully engaged.