Accommodating Different Learning Styles

It should come as no surprise that everyone learns differently, and that we all have different learning style. The variety of preferences and styles of learning in just one class alone can make it difficult to be an effective trainer.

There has to be a way to make sure everyone gets the most out of your class, right? Absolutely! The key is to incorporate various methods of teaching into your training facilitation. Doing so will allow you to cast a wider net in your instruction to, hopefully, catch all of the learning styles in your audience.

Let’s break down the most common types of learners and some helpful ways to teach to them:

Different Learning Styles: Visual Learners

Individuals who possess a visual learning style prefer to learn from seen or observed elements such as pictures, diagrams, demonstrations, and films. They’re also good at retaining information they read and work well from lists or written instructions. They might use phrases such as “show me” or “let’s have a look that that”.

Methods for teaching visual learners:

  • Use maps, flow charts, or webs to organize materials and concepts
  • Use pictures to describe concepts
  • Use multiple colors and color code course material
  • Utilize diagrams to help the learner visualize parts of a system

Different Learning Styles: Auditory Learners

These individuals prefer the transfer of information through listening. This can be in the form of spoken word, sounds, or music. These learners will tune into the things they hear and might use phrases such as, “tell me” or “let’s talk it over”. They’re better at performing tasks after listening to instructions from an expert.

Methods for teaching auditory learners:

  • Read off instructions and use verbal commands
  • Utilize time for group work or group projects
  • Use video and audio in presentations
  • Utilize question and answer segments in your lessons
  • Ask students to summarize material

Different Learning Styles: Kinesthetic or Tactile Learners

Kinesthetic (movement) or tactile (touching) learners prefer physical or hands-on experiences. They’ll be the ones that say, “let me try” or “how do you feel?”. They prefer perform new tasks by learning as they go. These learners like to experiment hands-on - without reading instructions first! During classes, they’re likely to read ahead in an outline to see what’s next or focus on the big picture of a lesson before reading the material.

Methods for teaching kinesthetic/tactile learners:

  • Plan an activity as part of a presentation
  • Create a “skills lab” to allow for hands-on practice time
  • Plan breaks to keep students from sitting too long
  • Suggest they use different colors and drawings when taking notes


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