Have you ever pondered or considered what type of learner you are?
Whilst undertaking a training and development course, it was fascinating for me to think about this question.
Perhaps you learn by viewing a video on Youtube, or by listening to an audio file or prefer a diagram/mindmap?
We are all very different in the way we enjoy our learning and to get the best experience, we need to acknowledge our preferred learning style.
Around the 1920s, phsychologists recognised three main areas of learning and developed the VAK Learning Syles Model. This recognised that we learn in three main ways (or a mix of all three).
Visual – learn best through our vision when viewing the information presented in pictures, diagrams, video and flow charts.
Auditory – learn best through our hearing when listening to audio files, through lectures, one to one or group discussions.
Kinesthetic – learn best through hands on and practical approach such as demos and props that can be felt or touched.
Sometimes we can feel bored if the trainer/or tutor is not teaching using a vareity of methods to suit different types of learners.
In addition to the VAK Model of learning, Neil Fleming a teacher from New Zealand launched another variation to the above in 1987, which slipt the Visual component into Visual and text into Read/Write creating the VARK Model. This type of learner prefers reading or writing words, repetition and note taking.
With the rise of the use of the Internet, there has never been a better time to learn the way we enjoy most, think of Youtube and the millions of tutorials that can be accessed at a touch of a button? The audio files that can easily be downloaded onto your Ipod, or the readily available pictures and presentations or flow charts that can be downloaded and viewed on your laptop?
You probabhly have a good idea of what your learning preference is as you can cast your mind back to your early school days. Is your preferred option to a problem to draw it out, talk about it with others or build a model of the problem?
If you are still unsure of your learning style, you may be able to identify it by considering these scenarios:
- Think about the last time you were angry with someone – Did you address your concerns face to face, with eye contact, ring them up to discuss issues over the phone, get annoyed by throwing something against the wall in anger or write a message or email to clarify your annoyance?
- Think about the last training you attended – Do you remember the great video what was part of the lecture on Youtube, the interesting diagram or the hour lecture on your favourite subject, or the hands on experiment you did?
As a teacher or trainer at work, do you think about your learners and how best to engage them in the learning experience? By using varied teaching methods, people begin to enjoy their learning.
The main thing is to keep learning and be passionate about and totally interested in the subject you are taking the time out to learn about.
Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
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