Issues of Style: What You Need to Know About Learning Styles
How do you learn best? Each of us has a preferred learning style – the style in which we can learn most efficiently. That style is often defined using these three dimensions:
- Active or Reflective? Active learners attain understanding by doing or applying information. Reflective learners like to think things through before doing.
- Sensing or Intuitive? Sensing learners like facts, are rule-oriented, and feel comfortable with repetition and routine. Intuitive learners are more interested in the relationships between facts, resent repetition, and like to innovate.
- Visual or Verbal? Visual learners are more likely to retain what they see. Verbal learners remember words – spoken or written.
Do all of these descriptions sound a little bit like you? Most adult learning styles fall somewhere in the middle on all three dimensions. If you would like to check your own style, here is a good site: http://www.engr.ncsu.edu/learningstyles/ilsweb.html.
As training and education professionals, our challenge is to create learning experiences that will work for a wide range of adult learners – not just ourselves. How? One way is to incorporate a variety of instructional strategies into your course design. For example, you may wish to present “how-to” information in written form for the verbal learners, as well as streaming video demonstrations for the visual learners.
The chart below lists instructional strategies that work best for each category of learning style. You will find strategies for both classroom and online learning modalities. Just mix and match strategies to create training that is effective across a wide range of learning styles.
|Someone with this Learning Style:||Is likely to learn effectively from these types of Instructional Strategies:|