Learning Styles

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When you deliver a training session, you will soon notice that learners have different preferences for receiving information. The three primary learning styles are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Although we can learn in all three ways, most people have a preference for one of these styles over the others. To be effective with a variety of learners, training must incorporate strategies that appeal to all three learning styles.

Here are some training strategies that appeal to visual learners.

Visual learners may be bored by lectures. Combine PowerPoint slides with lectures to garner their attention. Also, show videos, movie clips, or online visual media. Write key words and draw images on a flipchart or whiteboard. To create a good environment for people with this learning style, you can also show and explain diagrams. Ask them to draw a picture. Include plenty of content in your handouts. Provide extra material to read after your session.

Here are some training strategies that appeal to auditory learners.

Auditory learners typically enjoy lectures and may be able to learn from them, with or without taking notes. Some may find reading tedious or difficult, but appreciate hearing material read out loud. To create a good environment for auditory learners, use lecture, question and answer segments, and discussions. Play a song to illustrate a point or use background music when appropriate. Auditory learners enjoy having breakout groups to discuss the content and hear the perspectives of others. Also, allow time at the end of the session to summarize your main points and allow for additional questions.

Here are some training strategies that appeal to kinesthetic learners.

Kinesthetic learners may get restless with long or frequent lectures. They can become quickly bored if they’re not active. Taking notes helps them concentrate on a presentation. Using a highlighter helps them when they’re reading material. To create a good environment for kinesthetic learners, use creative activities that get people out of their chairs and doing something interesting. Put Play-Doh, pipe cleaners, stress balls, or other objects at their tables so they can do something with their hands. Hold standing discussion groups in the four corners of the room. Take frequent stretch breaks, even if you don’t leave the room.

Click to open interactivity Check your understanding of the three learning styles.

Check your understanding of the three learning styles.

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