How to know which types of learning styles work for you

At every level of education, people have their preferences and methods which work best for them. To be able to maximize your learning abilities, it helps to understand what learning style is most efficient on an individual level. More often than not, people identify themselves as either auditory or visual learners. But if you were to ask, “what are the 7 different learning styles?” you will come to see that you may lean towards more than one style.

What Are Learning Styles?

Learning styles are the way by which students prefer to learn. One’s desired learning style is a factor of cognitive ability, emotions, and environmental factors.

In fact, many people actually tend to learn in similar ways, as in by seeing something in practice or listening to step-by-step instructions. For this reason, some experts are less likely to categorize learning into styles and are more apt to present it as different options that students can choose what works best for them.

How to know which types of learning styles work for you
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The 7 Learning Styles

Theorist Neil Fleming coined VARK as a model for learning. VARK stands for: visual, auditory, reading/writing preference, and kinesthetic.

However, this model can be further expanded into the following 7 different learning styles:

1. Visual

Visual learners prefer to see things drawn out or in graphs to understand concepts. If you like to doodle, draw, or create mind maps, it’s likely that you’re a visual learner. Visual learners use images and symbols to connect concepts and be able to see relationships between ideas. It’s common for people who become architects, designers, engineers, and project managers to prefer this style of learning.

2. Auditory

This style is also known as aural or auditory-musical. Such learners like to listen and hear information in order to process it optimally. Those who lean towards aural learning are able to notice the nuances between pitch and tone. Some professions that bode well for auditory learners include: musicians, speech pathologists, sound engineers, and language teachers.

3. Verbal

If you love words and writing, you’re likely a verbal learner. Linguistic learners enjoy reading and writing and enjoy word play. Some techniques that verbal learners employ to soak up information could include role playing and using mnemonic devices. Verbal learners are likely to become writers or journalists or work in politics and administration roles.

4. Physical

Kinesthetic or physical learners are hands-on. Rather than watching a demo or listening to directions, physical learners like to perform the task. Some careers that are well-suited for kinesthetic learners include: EMTs, physical education, or working in the entertainment industry as singers or actors.

5. Logical

Logical learners have a mathematical brain. They can recognize patterns easily and connect concepts. To understand ideas, they prefer to group them into categories. Logical learners are most often found in math-related professions, like accounting, bookkeeping, computer science, or research.

6. Social

Social learners are known as interpersonal learners. They can communicate well both verbally and non-verbally. Social learners have a distinctive sensitivity and an empathetic nature. This is why they often work in social fields that help others, like counseling, coaching, or teaching. Social learners tend to also thrive in a sales environment because it relies on interpersonal connections.

7. Solitary

Intrapersonal learners like their solitude. When you think of this type of learner, you can imagine an author or researcher who spends a lot of time with their own thoughts and works best with the least distractions.

Summary Of The 7 Learning Styles

As you can see from learning about these styles, you may find yourself fitting into more than one of the above. As mentioned, most people do align as visual or auditory learners, but there are certain situations in which one learning style can help maximize the ability to process new information.

What Type Of Learner Are You?

If you’re interested in learning more about the type of learner you are, you can take online assessments and quizzes that offer insight. Through a series of questions, these assessments analyze your responses to identify your preferential learning style.

How To Apply This Knowledge In Your Learning Routine

If you’re currently a student, you may be able to find ways to leverage your learning style in practice. Even if you have graduated already, you can use your learning style in the workplace as well.

For example, if you’re an auditory learner, it could be a good idea to create songs about information to better recall facts.

Or, if you prefer to learn visually, then you can create visual presentations or mind maps. As a solitary learner, you can ensure you set up a quiet space to study, or if you’re more of a social learner, you can create a study group with peers.

How to know which types of learning styles work for you
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

How To Learn Online Successfully

No matter what type of learner you are, you can apply your learning style to study online. In fact, online colleges are growing in popularity because they are self-paced, flexible, and more affordable than traditional on-campus colleges.

With resources online, you can choose how you learn best by applying your learning style to the course’s material. This holds true for the University of the People, which boasts a diverse student population from over 200 countries and territories who have varying learning styles and preferences.

However, no matter your learning style, UoPeople sets you up for success by providing you with a quality education that is filled with a curriculum that provides you with all you need to know to work in your field of choice.

Which type of learner are you and which learning style fits you the best?

Studying is not all it takes to attain academic success. You also have to study the right way. There are various learning styles, and choosing one that fits your type is crucial when it comes to achieving long-lasting results. The academic tutors and authors of ACAD WRITE have collected the key facts about sustainable learning.

Most students pursue an individual strategy when preparing for exams — some with better results than others. Many rely on learning methods that only serve the short-term memory, i.e. they quickly memorize huge amounts of material for an exam and forget it right after. This might be enough to get along in college but will later lead to difficulties in the job life. Oops!

Hence it is important to develop a sustainable learning method that suits your learning type. Several scientific areas offer answers to the question as to which role our senses play in processing information. As a matter of fact, the capacity to memorize information varies between individuals. Something that one person remembers easily, another might find difficult to memorize. The perception channel through which we perceive information (visual, auditory, tactile) plays a significant role in memorization. As a consequence, there are distinct types of learners, which have to employ a particular strategy in order to achieve the best results.

Which type of learner are you?

Sustainable learning

How to know which types of learning styles work for you

This model distinguishes between visual, auditory and tactile learners. While some learners do particularly well at memorizing information that was perceived acoustically, others do better with visual or tactile perception. In addition, there is a fourth learning type, the communicative type, who achieves the best results by interacting with others. The different types of learners can actually be observed in everyday campus life: While students who are good at memorizing information that was perceived acoustically hardly have to prepare for an exam if they have attended all the lectures, others do better if they skip class and focus on the visual/written material.

You Heard It: The Auditory Type

How to know which types of learning styles work for you

The auditory type of learners has a talent for processing information perceived by the ear. They easily follow verbal presentations and memorize most of the content. They also remember what they talked about on the phone and prefer audio books over print. When they learn by themselves, they tend to read the text aloud and thus memorize it more easily. Background noise is usually perceived as a great disturbance.

Short fact:

It is recommendable for auditory types to seek a quiet learning environment and read the study material aloud.

The auditory type of learner does especially well in exams asking questions about topics which were covered in the lectures, while those about a text which had to be read quickly can be tricky.

Better Look Twice: The Visual Type

How to know which types of learning styles work for you

The visual type of learners is good at memorizing things that were either seen or read. They are often statistics junkies and love infographics because they process visual information very well. Presentation without any visual guidance tends to bore them. They do much better when they explore a topic by reading and doing their own research. Many such learners are so good at memorizing visual information that when they learn a foreign language, they do not only memorize the words but also where exactly they are written down in their vocabulary book.

Short fact:

Visual learners achieve the best results with mind maps and flash cards that visualize the information.
This type of learner performs best when describing processes that they can visualize. Topics handled solely in lectures cannot be memorized well.

Just Do It: The Kinesthetic Type

The tactile or kinesthetic type gets the best results when practically applying new knowledge. Such learners have a talent for understanding and memorizing things that they have tried or experienced themselves. They like to disassemble things and put them back together, they love visiting expositions and are never shy to conduct an experiment.

How to know which types of learning styles work for you

Short Facts:

The kinesthetic type approaches a topic more easily by creating a model or trying things out.

Tactile types perform best at multiple choice tests and exams that ask for short definitions, while essay writing could be somewhat difficult.

Let’s Have a Talk: The Communicative Type

The communicative learning type has a pronounced talent (and desire!) for social interaction. Communicative learners study most successfully if they discuss topics with their peers. Explanations that are the result of a dialogue are memorized easily. Interpersonal experience, whether in the classroom or in a study group, promises the best result.

How to know which types of learning styles work for you

Short fact

This learning type performs best when discussing the material in study groups.
Communicative learners do really well in seminar groups and contribute a lot in interactive classrooms. They are bored by typical lecture “chalk and talk”.

Study with Success: Mix and Match!

Many personality traits that we show as grown-ups can be traced back to what we experienced during our childhood. Did you know, for example, that people who helped with garden work when they were a kid show above-average motivation for learning and also do better at processing new information? Solving 3D jigsaws and doing mental exercises have positive effects as well — and even burns calories!

Numerous studies show that diverse learning methods promise the best results. The more sense an information appeals to, the more likely it is to stay in our memory. So, if, for example, an auditory learner remembers 50% of the information perceived with their ears, additional visual/tactile/communicative comprehension of the material will increase the memorization rate even more.

The more you know about the best learning style theory suited to you, the better prepared you’ll be when it comes to learning a new skill or concept – no matter the subject.

So, what’s your learning style? Find out below!

Quiz Results

How to know which types of learning styles work for you

Visual Learning is a style where a learner uses visual elements such as graphs, charts, maps and diagrams to understand particular information.

You learn the best when you can actually ‘see’ what you are studying.

Study Tips for Visual Learners:

    When you are trying to remember a particular chunk of information, try closing your eyes to visualise it Draw little diagrams and other illustrations where possible and relevant when taking notes Use highlighters to colour code you work, to help you distinguish between the different kinds of information you are learning about Watch videos about the things you are learning about When you’re taking notes, try to replace words with icons or symbols wherever you can

How to know which types of learning styles work for you

What is Aural Learning? If you are an Aural Learner, information resonates best with you when you hear it.

This typically happens when the information is presented in a spoken language format, i.e. when in a lecture or while having a conversation. Music tends to play a massive role in your memory and general learning.

Study Tips for Aural Learners:

    Join in or form study groups wherever possible Record classroom sessions or lectures to then use to supplement your written notes and help solidify your knowledge Participate in classroom discussions as much as possible Ensure that there is no chance that your study space will be interrupted by auditory distractions Repeat facts, quotes and other snippets of information out loud and over and over, while having your eyes closed

How to know which types of learning styles work for you

Verbal Learners are great with all things words – this includes both written and spoken.

They take in information best when it is read, as well as if it is discussed verbally or listened to. Verbal Learners tend to make great writers and public speakers.

Study Tips for Verbal Learners:

    Pair up with a buddy to run a mini lesson – teach them what you’ve learn from your own notes, to help solidify your understanding Summarise your notes and read them out loud to yourself a number of times Create flashcards to place around your study space Reflect on notes and rewrite them in your own words Incorporate mnemonic learning styles such as rhymes, poems and other verbal concepts to help you remember the material you are learning

How to know which types of learning styles work for you

Kinesthetic Learners use their sense of touch and the ability to move about to help them learn best.

Kinesthetic Learning is essentially using hands-on experience to learn – you need to be ‘doing’ to understand and remember concepts.

Study Tips Kinesthetic Learners:

    Take consistent study breaks and step outside for some fresh air Be physically active while you are studying – don’t limit yourself to a desk; try walking about with your notes as you read the material out loud When you are trying to learn something, see if you can close your eyes and ‘write’ the information in space as you picture it Create physical representations of the content you are studying wherever possible, i.e. a model or replica Try to always be doing something physical when you are studying, i.e. Squeezing a stress ball

How to know which types of learning styles work for you

Logical Learners generally do well when studying maths and logical reasoning.

They learn by seeing connections and seeking out relationships between concepts. Deductive reasoning to find solutions comes with ease to Logical Learning types.

Logical Learning Styles and Tips:

    When looking at your learning materials, try breaking down the content into segments, then finding ways in which these chunks relate to one another Always approach your content by understanding its processes, rather than using repetition to help to absorb this information Try to apply a step-by-step sequence to your learning wherever possible Use lists to categorise the information learnt Create your own charts, graphs and other visuals to help reinforce your learnings

How to know which types of learning styles work for you

Social Learners respond well when they have other people around to discuss their learnings with.

They communicate well with others, both verbally and non-verbally, and like to learn in class environments, social activities or in one-on-one discussions with a tutor or instructor.

Study Tips for Social Learners:

    Discuss what you are learning with family and friends, then have them quiz you Always involve yourself in study groups when possible Get yourself involved in relevant forum discussions – many schools and universities have exclusive forums Seek out a study buddy! Create a presentation with the main points of your learning and then present it to someone that you know

Olivia is a dedicated and creative content marketing professional with expertise in digital content, strategy development and data analysis, all within the education marketing scope.

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How to know which types of learning styles work for you

Implementing the VARK Model For Training Employees According To Their Learning Style

Different people are more receptive to various learning styles, so build your courses in a way that appeals to them all. In general, the 3 most common learning styles are: Visual, audio, and kinesthetic. Everyone is a little bit of each type, but in most people, one style prevails over the other two. Here are some suggestions for effectively training employees according to their learning style:

  1. Aural Learners.
    Individuals who are audio learners do their best when physically listening to the content being taught to them. Traditional in-house training sessions are beneficial to these types of people, as they can hear the information. When you transition to an online training platform, these types of learners will benefit from more voice-over videos, audio recordings, and uploaded in-house training recordings. With an online solution, a big bonus for these learners is that they can always rewind and re-listen to the learning material and really retain the information.
  2. Visual Learners.
    Your employees with this learning style learn best when the training is presented to them visually. Graphics and videos resonate more strongly with these types. Try adding writing tasks to your courses and handouts are great additions as well – something they can look at and reference. Remember that these learner types also benefit from pictures and symbols so remember to add graphs, numbers, and charts to your content so that they absorb the information better.
  3. Kinesthetic Learners.
    These learners retain the most amount of information with their senses, as they learn via experience. This even includes tasting, touching, and smelling. Essentially, these employees learn best by experiencing things hands-on. As an example, if you are training your employees on some new safety procedure, you should also try to give them an in-person scenario to help simulate the situation e.g. how to operate machinery properly. Also keep in mind that these individuals are more emotional when learning, and since online training accommodates audio and visual learners more, it’s important to be creative when training kinesthetic learners. While they are going through their online training, give them physical tasks they can complete simultaneously. For example, if you are the franchiser teaching employees how to cook a dish, have them try to cook it while watching the video at the same time.
  4. Reading Learners.
    These individuals learn best by taking in information displayed as words. Their preferred method of having information presented to them is through text-based material. These learners are perfect for textbook style manuals and learning off of written handouts and PowerPoint presentations.

The VARK model (visual, aural, reading, and kinesthetic) has been questioned extensively. Many trainers believe that labeling learners as having only one specific learning style is not the correct way to go about teaching and training employees. Keeping this in mind, it is critical to understand that there is a multimodal style of learning as well. That is that you can be an aural learner when it comes to a specific subject and be a visual learner when it comes to a different topic.

Again, never forget that people are different so you need to facilitate a training program that is conducive to different learning styles. Your trainees will appreciate it and your business will be better off for it.


Once upon a time lessons were, on the most part, taught in the same way- a teacher would tell information to the class and students were supposed to retain that information, according to CLEP study guides. However, over the last decade or so the importance of differing learning styles has been at the forefront of education. A learning style is a person’s natural pattern of acquiring and processing information. Not all people are able to take in vast amounts of information through verbal lessons, people learn in different ways. Ignacio Estrada once said “if a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn”.


The bible speaks of ‘gaining knowledge’ and ‘increasing in learning’. 2 Timothy 3:16 says all of Scripture is useful for teaching and training in righteousness. As youthworkers we teach scripture, making that scripture more accessible to young people is vital to our work. By applying various learning styles to our lessons, we help them to understand the bible better, in a way that is most helpful to them; this is how we train young Christians in biblical knowledge and application.

Not only will you have a preferred learning style for your own personal learning, as a teacher you will likely have a favoured learning style of teaching so be aware to teach all different learning styles, not just your prefered one. Although it is not always possible to teach a range of learning styles, as we reach out to each person’s abilities and individual preferences we may enable our young people to grasp even better the great wonders of our God.


There are many different learning styles but we will focus on a basic 3: Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic.

Visual Learners process information best through visual elements. They are best aided in their learning when they can see information, whether this be in pictures or text. They like to take notes and make lists and they think in pictures. They may find it hard to listen to someone talking for a long period of time. Be aware of visual learners in your youth group, they may interrupt and can be fast talkers as they try to piece together a picture of information in their head.

Auditory Learners respond well when things are explained aloud or when they read information aloud themselves. The once popular verbal lessons suit them well. Auditory learners benefit from group discussion. You can spot an auditory learner as they tend to speak slowly and explain things well but can get easily distracted by sounds and can hum or sing often.

Kinesthetic learners learn best through hands on activities, problem solving and trial-and-error. They can be some of the hardest students because they have short attention spans and find it hard to sit still for long. They like to touch things and try things out, and can often seem distracted and disruptive.


In my church youth group we have up to 20 teenagers in our bible study and they represent a variance of learning styles, as does any group. Our youth work team purposefully design our programme to cater for different learning styles so that each person can learn to their full capacity. Not only does this help them to learn but it enables them to stay focussed which means they distract the group less and the session runs smoothly.

Visual learners

In the past I have tried a note taking process with some young people called graphic recording. The young people draw a visual representation of the sermon or bible study. This can include words, pictures, mind maps, abstract drawings, arrows- anything that will help them to remember key points. We’ve found this particularly helpful for times when students have remained in the ‘adult’ service, and for visual learners this works really well as they will remember the picture they drew and from there they can bring to mind some topics from the talk.

In a bible study pictures, mind maps, videos and demonstrations can be useful for visual learners. We try to use an array of pictures and words and place them on a table or board as we engage in the bible study, this helps visual learners to stay focussed and lets everyone know what exactly we’re talking about if they’ve zoned out for a minute!

Auditory learners

Auditory learners prefer to hear information rather than read it so we find it helpful to summarise a bible passage after reading it together, particularly if it’s a long passage or a new story. Auditory learners find group discussion really helpful as they can process other people’s ideas and opinions and use this to aid their learning. Most people remember songs (we’ve all got a jingle from a television advert stuck in our heads at some point!) so, in our youth group we’ll sometimes put a bible verse to a tune which helps auditory learners to remember, and they don’t seem to mind it being too corny. Auditory learners can benefit from role play and drama as they can hear the story or express it through words themselves.

Kinesthetic learners

Kinesthetic learners love to get ‘hands on’ with a story so when telling a parable from the bible give them something to feel, or focus on the feelings that people may have experienced. Object lessons are great for kinesthetic learners as it gives them something to touch. Short blocks of teaching will help them to keep focused and learn better so try to mix up your teaching between speaking, discussion, group work, and hands on activities related to the theme. They like crafts and learn well through games which are related to the topic.

It is also important that we continue to learn as we are trying to teach. As I’ve already mentioned, none of us are perfect, and so there is always more to learn. There are always ways we can become more like Jesus, in the ways we think and act.

Continue to read the bible and learn what it says.

Continue to pray and communicate with God on a daily basis.

Continue to talk to your own teachers and mentors in your church.

These are all things that will greatly benefit your relationships with young people. As an example, I have found that the more Scripture I read and know, the better I am able to answer a young person’s difficult questions about their life.

Today’s economy demands that businesses and workers alike continuously learn and apply new information to remain competitive. However, this presents numerous challenges to workplace managers, who must design training programs to fit a diverse array of employees.

Everyone learns differently, which makes it important for managers to identify each employee’s learning style. Whether a worker is a kinesthetic, auditory, or visual learner will determine the optimal method to use when training them. Failure to do this could mean underutilizing or overlooking talent that exists within our organization. By choosing the right program, a team minimizes training time, fully utilizes available talent, and primes the pump for long-term success.

Why learning styles matter in the workplace

In order to train an employee effectively, you have to understand their learning style. This is crucial in a fast-paced corporate environment, where time wasted on ineffective training costs money and slows production.

When employees are trying to learn a new task, mismatches with training methods and learning styles are discouraging. You may misattribute an employee’s failure to effectively learn a new piece of information to a lack of motivation, rather than a mismatch in training style. Avoiding many of these problems starts by tailoring training programs to the needs of individual employees from the get-go.

Identifying your team’s learning styles

Here are some practical ways to identify the three different learning styles of your team members:

The Kinesthetic Learner: Kinesthetic learners gain knowledge through direct experience and practice. They like to dive right into an example project and learn by interacting with the subject matter. Kinesthetic learners appreciate simulations and walk-throughs, but less so lectures or other one-way teaching styles. They benefit less from others sharing their experiences than other types of learners. Given their tendency to explore, kinesthetic learners often take more risks than other learners, which makes for a valuable team member. However, they may require more resources for truly effective training.

The Auditory Learner: Auditory learners absorb information best when it is shared out loud. They learn best from speeches, lectures or one-on-one teaching. Auditory learners may talk their way through a problem or repeat information aloud to aid in retention. They greatly benefit from discussions and learn more by talking about what they know with others. However, this presents many challenges when it’s not possible to easily convey information through words alone, or if there isn’t much room for dialogue in your training system.

The Visual Learner: The Social Science Research Network reports that 65 percent of adults fall into this category. Visual learners assimilate information when it is presented as an image. They learn best when information is broken down into clear sequences or processes and is presented in formats such as graphs, charts, diagrams, and text. They are effective visualizers and work well with self-instruction opportunities. However, they often find auditory learning ineffective and may lose interest during discussions or lectures.

Training your team in the way to go

Once you’ve identified an employee’s learning style, you’ll need to design a training program that’s suited to them. There are three keys ways to collectively cater to the specific learning styles of your team.

  • Embrace diversity
    Embracing diversity allows you to take full advantage of your employees’ strengths. Acknowledging the existence of different learning styles and crafting training materials suited to each one is a good first step in this direction. It’s important to remember that everyone is an individual, and there will be much variation in learning capabilities even within groups. This becomes especially pronounced when people with different learning styles work together in groups. Keep track of individual development and adjust as necessary.
  • Don’t overcomplicate things
    While it’s important to recognize different learning styles and accommodate them, this doesn’t mean you should rebuild your training system from the ground up. You may be able to successfully reach workers with different learning styles by simply supplementing your existing training materials with ones crafted for each style. A simple diagram or workshop might be all your team members need to grasp a new concept.
  • Deliver new information in different ways
    As you develop new training materials, make them accessible to different learning styles from the start. Kinesthetic learners benefit from hands-on training and the experimentation that often accompanies it. Question and answer segments, rhymes, and chances for conversation help auditory learners process material. Flow charts, color coding, and different fonts are great ways to make the material more accessible to visual learners.

Training based on learning styles helps the bottom line

Adapting your training materials to a team’s various learning styles yields a broad range of benefits for the company:

  • Reduce the time it takes for employees to learn a new skill, while ensuring no one gets left behind. This makes it easy for your company to implement a change or shift to a new technology.
  • Get a realistic appraisal of each worker’s strengths and weaknesses, by understanding their learning style.
  • Increase employee engagement and enthusiasm through training, especially by adopting an online training software that allows easier access to company knowledge.

Take the time to discover every team member’s learning style. This shows that the company values them. Also, make learning new skills and constant improvement a fundamental part of your business—this is essential to staying ahead of competitors.

Understanding that everyone learns differently is one of the most important steps for the long-term health of your organization. With the right learning tools in place, your team will find it easier to learn and implement new technologies, and under-appreciated talent may arise. All in all, your organization will develop a stronger institutional capability to learn, adapt, and succeed in an unknown future.

Sha Drena is a digital strategist and inbound marketing expert at Yokel Local Internet Marketing. During the day she works with her team, helping SMBs grow and scale online. During her free time, you can find her designing identities for creative brands, digital personalities, and startups.

How to know which types of learning styles work for you

Plan Creative Class Library Student Teacher Ideas Concept

Each individual learns differently. What works for one person may not work for another. As any good educator knows, teaching one piece of content in different ways can have an instrumental impact on how much information is absorbed by the learner.

While many different learning styles exist, these are the four most important learning styles to be aware of when teaching new material to your employees:

  • Auditory: These types of learners learn best when information is taught via listening and speaking. Examples: Traditional lectures, training workshops, audio recordings, meetings, voice-over videos, etc.
  • Visual: These learners are most receptive to physically seeing the content and learning through the images. Examples: PowerPoint presentations, informative videos, symbols, maps, charts, graphs, etc.
  • Verbal: These learners align with actively reading or writing the words down to grasp the information thoroughly. Examples: taking notes, reading text-based books, company-provided materials, hand-outs or research on the internet, etc.
  • Kinesthetic: These learners excel when they can be as hands-on as possible and physically accomplish the task. Examples: Pairing this learner with a mentor or work-buddy to do immersive tasks or exercises will help them gain and retain their understanding of the new material.

An auditory learner will want you to explain it aloud or through a vehicle to listen and absorb the information. A visual learner will ask you to show them how to do the task on a screen share. A verbal learner will request if there is any written information available on the subject. Lastly, a kinesthetic learner will want to roll up their sleeves and attempt to learn and experience the concept firsthand.

Frequently, companies teach their educational content through a unilateral approach, such as an auditory training lecture or meeting. This type of learning may not be the most effective way to teach all learners in the room.

How can you find out how your team members learn best? Simple: ask.

Once you understand how each team member learns best (and it may be a combination of multiple styles), you’ll see your employee satisfaction and productivity rise.

We all have a way in which we best learn. Odds are, every student in your class has a different preferred learning style, which can make it difficult for you to be the most effective teacher. However, by trying to incorporate various methods into your teaching, you may be able to reach the majority of your students. At the college level, it is expected that students have an idea of how to adapt to most teachers, although it cannot hurt to help them out a little! Below we have the three major learning styles and ways in which you can accommodate them.

Visual Learning Style


Someone with a Visual learning style has a preference for seen or observed things, including pictures, diagrams, demonstrations, displays, handouts, films, flip-chart, etc. These people will use phrases such as ‘show me’, ‘let’s have a look at that’ and will be best able to perform a new task after reading the instructions or watching someone else do it first. These are the people who will work from lists and written directions and instructions.

Tips for Accommodating

  • Use maps, flow charts, or webs to organize materials
  • Highlight and color code books/notes to organize and relate material
  • Have students pick out key words and ideas in their own writing and highlight them in different colors to clearly reveal organizational patterns
  • Write out checklists of needed formulas, commonly misspelled words, etc.
  • Write out and use flash cards for review of material
  • Draw pictures or cartoons of concepts
  • Write down material on slips of paper and move them around into proper sequence. (Can be done on PC too)
  • Use the chalkboard (them and you) to note important information
  • If using the computer, have the student experiment with different font sizes and styles to enhance readability.

Auditory Learning Style


Someone with an Auditory learning style has a preference for the transfer of information through listening: to the spoken word, of self or others, of sounds and noises. These people will use phrases such as ‘tell me’, ‘let’s talk it over’ and will be best able to perform a new task after listening to instructions from an expert. These are the people who are happy being given spoken instructions over the telephone, and can remember all the words to songs that they hear!

Tips for Accommodating

  • Engage the student in conversation about the subject matter
  • Question students about the material
  • Ask for oral summaries of material
  • Have them tape lectures and review them with you
  • Have them tape themselves reviewing material and listen to it together
  • Read material aloud to them
  • Use a talking calculator
  • Have them put material to a rhythm or tune and rehearse it aloud

Kinesthetic or Tactile Learning Style


Someone with a Kinesthetic learning style has a preference for physical experience – touching, feeling, holding, doing, practical hands-on experiences. These people will use phrases such as ‘let me try’, ‘how do you feel?’ and will be best able to perform a new task by going ahead and trying it out, learning as they go. These are the people who like to experiment, hands-on, and never look at the instructions first!

  • Tips for Accommodating
  • Write out checklists of materials to be learned or looked for
  • Trace words and diagrams on paper
  • Use textured paper and experiment with different sizes of pens, pencils, and crayons to write down information
  • Use role play or dramatize concepts. Students can move objects around to dramatize a concept or act out the concept themselves.
  • Ask the student to envision a scene in which the material to be learned is being used or acted out somehow. For example: a student could imagine being a character in a novel.
  • Have the student take notes (on paper, word processor, in textbooks) while reading or listening.
  • Use some form of body movement (snapping fingers, pacing, mouthing ideas) while reciting material to be learned.

Last modified: Tue, Apr 6, 2021, 03:08 by Melissa Kinney

How do you cater to different learning styles?

Site Online Learning | May 21, 2018

How do you learn? What’s your learning style? As organisations move training and development online, make note of the content you need to convey to your workforce plus the mode of delivery. Sometimes it’s not about what you say, but how you say it.

An effective learning solution recognises that people learn at different rates and with different styles. We are not all built the same. This is particularly relevant when you are in the planning stage of developing online learning solutions.

The major learning styles can be divided into the following categories:

  • Visual learners understand content through pictures, infographics and diagrams
  • Physical learners are “doers” and more alert to the physical world. They learn by doing, physically completing activities and tasks.
  • Aural learners are able to retain information by listening
  • Verbal prefers word based techniques
  • Logical learners are analytical and process driven and strive to understand the reasons behind specific activities
  • Social learners enjoy collaboration, brainstorming as a group and shared learning experience
  • Solitary learners are individual and prefer self-study

Read more about the differences here.

What is the secret to creating an effective learning solution for a variety of learning styles?

Invest time in audience analysis and instructional design. Know your learner and know your audience.

Karla Gutierrez’s article ‘The 5 best ways to research your eLearning course target audience’ captures 5 ways to target learning content and develop an effective learning solution.

How to know which types of learning styles work for you

Ask us about online learning and how we can support your learning and training needs!