Many of our instructors have never been in a position of teaching other adults and the prospect can be quite daunting. We try to mention the fact that there are many different learning styles and we do attempt to touch on each of those during our trainings. But, to expand our knowledge of these learning styles, I wanted to discuss them a little bit:
Visual learners – these folks will learn best through pictures and illustrations, which are found in our visual presentations as well as through illustrations in the manual.
Auditory learners – this is more than just listening, it’s often putting things to music or using other sounds in the learning or memorizing process. I’m reminded of an episode of “Cheers” when Coach was teaching Sam about Albania (“Albania, Albania. You border on the Adriatic.”) and he used a sing-song method. I will be honest that I don’t do a whole lot with music in my classes, but I’ve observed others who do use music in their teaching methods and I always think what a good idea.
Verbal learners – these folks learn most effectively from words, both in written form and through speaking. This method is probably most often employed in our training events. The faculty members are speaking/lecturing to the audience and we provide a written manual.
Kinesthetic learners – these are people who learn best through movement. Obviously, our physical skills rely heavily on kinesthetic learning, but we also encourage the use of “fidgets” to assist the kinesthetic learners during the lecture portion of our training. Sometimes people need to be venting some physical energy in order to actually learn.
Social learners – people who learn best through group activities or partner work. We encourage activities that build teams and we often ask people to partner up with someone they feel comfortable.
Solitary learners – this is someone who learns best studying by themselves, using things like practice tests and self study guides (such as what we use during training).
In a short training period, it may be difficult for you to identify each learning style of the people you are training so it is always a good idea to employ several different methods so you may help all your participants maximize the learning experience.
What are some other methods that you utilize in your trainings? We would love to hear from you!
Nikki Wince – Mandt Faculty Supervisor