Like many Australian’s undertaking vocational education and training, beginning or re-entering tertiary education can be daunting.
To ensure your performance is your best, it is important to understand your preferred learning style. The three most common forms of learning in training courses are visual, auditory and kinesthetic.
While most people learn through a combination of these styles, if you are dominant or have a preference for one trait, learning and understanding new information can be a dilemma.
Visual Learners and Online Training Courses
Visual learners have a unique way of taking in and understanding information. They learn best through images, movies, sound, touch, and even body language. Visual learning is an important part of life for all people but is not the right fit for everyone. They make up between 10-20% of the population.
They take in information better when it appears step by step or in chronological order. Visual learning can be a very difficult process when instructions are complicated or involve following multiple steps at once.
Visual thinking often involves images that contain stored memories from experiences. Visual thinkers demonstrate greater accuracy in mathematics problem solving compared to their auditory counterparts.
In addition, visual thinking has been linked to improving memory function. Visual learners are also able to more easily describe their own thoughts and ideas when compared with auditory thinkers.
They prefer images that speak for themselves without the need for text or labels. Visual learning has been shown to benefit individuals working in the field of science, engineering, mathematics, art/graphic design, and architecture.
Visual learning is not only important in the classroom but plays a large role in everyday life. Visual learners often rely on pictures or images when trying to recall memories. The average adult spends approximately 2-3 hours per day consuming information through visual means.
They can demonstrate improvement in their memory function when they use imagery to recall memories rather than verbalise them.
They are often praised for their artistic abilities, however, they tend to struggle with writing and reading comprehension.
They are able to retain more information when it follows a chronological order that allows them to imagine what will come next based on what has already been explained. they want detailed visuals, which can be explained easily by someone who is also a visual learner.
Visual learning is not only important in the classroom but plays a large role in everyday life.
This style of learning is concerned with the ability to see and analyse words, graphs, pictures and demonstrations. Generally, visual learners struggle to understand new concepts through purely listening to a tutor.
People with Visual Learning Styles:
- Learn best and take notes when visual information is being presented
- Like to create their own charts from learning material
- Favour handouts, charts and sheets loaded with information
A visual learner would be well suited to online courses as they have the ability to download and access a variety of learning materials.
Auditory Learners and Blended Learning Courses
Individuals who learn best when they listen to information are called auditory learners. Auditory learners benefit from studying in groups or in locations without visual distractions. They often find written directions more difficult than verbal ones.
Auditory learners tend to have high reading comprehension and many retain what they hear better than what they see, but this is not always the case. Auditory learners should use their skills when taking notes by listening to the lecture rather than trying to copy down every word.
It has been shown that students can score higher on tests if the information is presented orally. Auditory learners usually have excellent reading comprehension abilities because of the connections between hearing and understanding language.
Most auditory learners retain information that is spoken more easily than they do material presented visually.
They benefit greatly by learning in an environment that allows them to concentrate on what they hear. Auditory styles are the most common form of language processing, but some people process language more visually.
They usually do not like working with others on group projects because they become distracted by things happening around them.
They learn best when they can see or feel their books. Auditory learner students will often forget what was written in their text during class and find it easier to remember what was said if their textbooks were available for visual inspection.
They may prefer reading assignments where significant amounts of dialogue are included especially if their people use both types of learning, visual and auditory, in everyday life.
They will often be distracted by other things that are happening in the classroom. Auditory learners tend to be more heterogeneous (diverse) than visual learners because most students learn both ways.
Auditory learners avoid reading in favour of listening to the explanation of topics. These learners usually study well with background music and gain hugely from vocal repetition.
People with Auditory Learning Styles:
- Pay close attention to the tone, pitch and speed of voice
- Learn best from creating recordings and the playbacks of such
- Repeat information constantly until it has ‘clicked’ with them
People preferring auditory teaching methods would appreciate the dual nature of a blended course. Blended training allows students to listen online to information as well as attend traditional classroom-based classes.
Kinesthetic Learners and Face-to-Face Training Courses
A Kinesthetic Learner is someone who learns best through body movements, touching and feeling. Kinesthetic people are often multi-sensory learners, using all the senses in order to learn efficiently.
Kinesthetic learners tend to remember things like how something feels rather than what it looks like or sounds like.
Kinesthetic learners enjoy hands-on activities such as art, drama, music and sports; they also get a lot out of working with tools or other objects which require manipulation of space and time (e.g., pottery).
Kinesthetic-based learning allows for creative exploration within a given structure: These students can be very creative and innovative when allowed this freedom.
When Kinesthetic students receive information that doesn’t involve touch, their attention span is sometimes low.
Kinesthetics are known for having short attention spans when it comes to listening or following written directions. Kinesthetic learners need to learn by touching, moving, doing.
Kinesthetic learners identify learning through hands-on experiences.
People with Kinesthetic Learning Styles:
- Possibly suffer from short attention spans
- Have trouble taking notes from a presentation
- Enjoy being taught practical skills through physical demonstration
The aspect of sitting, listening and writing conflicts with this style and this type of learner would benefit greatly from attending workshops and traditional face-to-face classes.
What is the Benefit of Catering to Your Learning Style?
By categorising your learning style, information absorption is maximised and the time required to learn new skills is minimised.
Knowing your learning style can also help you determine the most suitable mode of study to learn effectively with minimal knowledge.
Specific training methods, training programs, group discussions, and anything alike can be better streamlined to fit the types of learning styles one may have.
Reading learners will not have much use of audio recordings, unlike audio learners who can make the most out of this type of teaching method.
Inspire Courses and Training
Inspire Education offers online, face-to-face and blended training courses in everything from Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to the Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety or Cert IV TESOL. To check out our course page, Click Here.
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