Learning styles refer to the way in which different learners assimilate and retain learning. Not every individual will understand through the same form of elearning style. That’s the catch, learning is an individual process that needs to be designed specifically suiting the learner needs.
To make learning effective, it is necessary that the trainer is aware the learners’ learning style. Maybe one learner is comfortable grasping content through verbal instructions, whereas the other learner may be comfortable via a visual medium.
So, these are the underlying aspects of learning that need to be mastered before engaging in actual learning. Individualized learning approach has gained momentum in the education and training industry. To make people especially adult learners engage in learning is a task.
How would you motivate learners to learn?
The primary step would be to understand their mode of learning.Individual’s learning style is influenced by their prior experiences, their cognitive, emotional and other environmental factors. In short, every learner is different. As a trainer/ educator it is significant that you understand these differences and accordingly design the most effective learning program.
Broadly the different learning styles are categorized as
Visual learning –
Visual learners are better at grasping and retaining concepts through pictorial representation of concepts. When it comes to depicting something say a concept of teamwork, includes various images representing the same. While having a presentation incorporate movie clips or short documentaries to put across the concept more effectively.
Visual cues are the key to keep such learners engaged. For them a theoretical presentation may become a heavy dose of unnecessary information overload. Ultimately the result would be no understanding of concepts and the essence of the entire learning would also be lost.
Therefore, it is of utmost necessity to match learner with his suitable learning style.
Aural learning –
Well aural learners are a bit difficult to tackle because generally educators add some element of visuals to the learning process, yet learners who primarily have orientation towards sound based learning will need voiced mode to facilitate successful learning.
How do you achieve the essence of aural learning? To start with ask learners to use their own voice, say while listening they can ask questions when required or in group assignments where they need to constantly interact with their group. One way could be to ask learners to jot down notes and read them back to themselves. This way they’ll have their own voice going back to their heads. This is the catch; it will enable them to retain what they read better and for a longer period.
Moreover, such learners can use podcasts and presentations with voice over as a mode of learning too.
Verbal learning –
Although like aural learning, this involves the trainer to have the charge in his hands, because here we have the trainer talking and the learners keenly listening. Yet the point of difference here is, learners who have a command over their speaking skills benefit since they verbalize information and present confidently when required.
Such learners assimilate and retain learning better when explained using acronyms which are easy to remember. Further to engage such learners, role plays, reading out aloud, recreating a situation or dramatization of concepts can be an effective way of giving hands on experience to learners.
Physical learning –
Learners who are always in motion while talking or expressing thoughts, they make use of their hands way more than normal learners, are physical learners. Such learners when asked to explain a concept can only do it when they have an in depth understanding of it. They can put it across more effectively when they make use of hands, gestures to emphasize on the important points.
How would learning be made more interesting for such learners? Add activities that involve physical exercises say solving puzzles or other objects that can help them be part of the learning process.
Moreover, they can also be made to pen down their thoughts and come up with solutions for problems, how would that help them? Answer is writing is both a mental and physical activity. Ultimately their hands and mind both are in simultaneous motion.
If we look at these elearning styles, they vary greatly, yet they are integrated in a way or two. Learners can be a mix of all these or maybe one. Recognize the difference and accordingly use the suitable learning style.