Learning Styles: An Overview
What is the overall goal of your corporate training? Whether it is to streamline tasks more effectively, modernize your systems, or develop soft skills, at the core of every training workshop, the objective is to teach your participants what they need to know to effectively take on their roles at their organization. When teaching a group of individuals, everyone will have different ways that they encode and retain the information they are being given. This is referred to as learning styles. There are four main learning styles that trainers should be aware of when preparing their content. They are visual, audio, reading, and kinesthetic learning. Many people fall under one of these categories as their learning style. Like how each individual you are training is unique, the way they learn most effectively is also unique. Being able to understand the main learning styles and how to accommodate them in your workshops can make you a better trainer so you can meet your organizational goals effectively.
Visual learners retain information most effectively when it is shown to them through images, graphics, and videos. They can comprehend new concepts best through diagrams, charts, and other infographics. Having things to look and refer to when taking in new information will help them absorb information in the best way. Accommodating visual learners in your training can be done by organizing your training content using maps, charts, or diagrams. You can also use color code highlighting in your content to better organize your information for a visual learner. Our training materials include PowerPoint presentations that will complement our training content and suit the needs of the visual learners in your workshop.
Auditory learners process information best through listening to the information from a speaker. In lecture style teaching, they are excellent listeners and retain information through a training style that provides opportunities for verbal dialogue. In a classroom style, instructor-led training workshop, auditory learners will do well taking in the verbal information from the presenter. However, in an online learning context, auditory learners would take in new concepts best with virtual instructor led training or training content with voice overs or audio recordings. The key to eLearning for auditory learning is to make sure the audio included highlights the key parts of the on-screen content. This will keep the learner engaged and avoid redundancy. To accommodate auditory learners in your training, be sure to speak clearly about the concepts and encourage dialogue on the material. Asking your trainees questions about the materials will increase discussion and promote better retention for auditory learners.
Reading/Writing learners have arguably the most suitable learning style to more traditional teaching styles. These types of learners retain information best through reading and writing. This can be through examining text, books, case studies, manuals, or anything where they receive their information through written words. Our text-based materials have clearly written content well-suited to reading/writing learners. Our training manuals and quick reference sheets provide an ideal format to consume information through a text. Reading/writing learners also retain information well when they are given the opportunity to write out what they are learning through notes, quizzes or essays. Getting their ideas out on paper will help them better absorb the content they read.
Kinesthetic learners are commonly also referred to as hands-on learners. They learn best by actually practicing what they are learning how to do. This can be through simulations, walkthroughs, or working with physical objects or software. These learners do best with using experiences and their senses to learn. Some ways to accommodate kinesthetic learners are to give physical tasks to complete that are relevant to the training, such as working through a type of software you are training on. Kinesthetic learners also learn well with role-play scenarios, which can be useful for soft skills training. Visualization can also be used to help kinesthetic learners better understand situations in which the material they are being taught can be used.
Other tips for accommodating unique learning styles
Finding ways to make learning engaging and fun can accommodate multiple learning styles at the same time. A common trend in today’s corporate training industry is gamification. Finding ways to make elements of your training feel like a game can increase the energy in your training sessions. There are many ways you can utilize your training content to use gamification to increase your knowledge retention such as:
Ice Breakers – Use ice breakers as a warm up and to build trust and comfortability within your group of participants. Ice breakers are typically presented as games or exercises that can be done to help gain a better understanding of the topics being discussed, or simply to give your participants an opportunity to get to know each other better. This can help promote collaboration throughout your workshop and increased engagement.
Quizzes – using an online platform to initiate fun and interactive quizzes can increase participants interest in the content and can allow a trainer to gauge their participants understanding of the training. Creating some friendly competition through team-based quizzes can provide a more motivating environment for your participants.
We all have our own learning preferences. It can sometimes be challenging to be an effective trainer when people all process information differently. By having a general understanding of these learning types and how to incorporate them, you can reach the majority of your participants. Our training materials have various types of formats to accommodate different learning styles such as PowerPoints, quizzes, flip chart notes, and exercises. We also have add-on options for video companion kits and self-publishing books. This wide range of training formats allows you to adjust your training to your participants needs. Learn more about how you can get a head start on your training with our materials and get started with a free course sample today!
Posted by Zachary Myers on