Have you ever noticed that we all learn a little bit differently? Anyone trying to help a kid with their homework can quickly attest to that fact! There are 7 types of learning styles that are commonly discussed. Knowing your personal learning style can help you maximize your professional development budget. Pick courses and tools that will help you, not collect virtual dust (or that guilt from not utilizing it). Ready for a quick overview of the different types of learning styles?
7 Types of Learning Styles
Howard Gardner, of Harvard, did a large amount of research into learning styles and how we acquire information in educational settings. He narrowed it down to these 7 types of learning styles:
- Visual (Spatial): ways that to appeal to visual learners are the use of pictures, diagrams, infographics, videos, and give visual prompts for important details or cues to take in the information (such as a structured note guide).
- Aural (Auditory-Musical): clues that you are an aural learner are you like the use of background music, voice-over narration of presentations, videos of the task being described to you while you are seeing the task completed.
- Verbal (Linguistic): ways that verbal learners are engaged is by having access to note guides, transcriptions of any videos, written passages of the information you are learning about. As well as additional resources on the topic for you to explore later.
- Physical (Kinesthetic): strategies that physical learners to have included in the process are built-in learning breaks to apply the newly acquired skills you have learned, information is broken up into smaller chunks to digest, and/or a provided a note guide to make notes or doodle in while learning.
- Logical (Mathematical): logical learners are engaged by using statistics and data, note guides, the use of models, or getting to design things. Is this your jam?
- Social (Interpersonal): if you are a social learner you want to create social connections to further your learning so ways to continue the conversation with the instructor or other learners is appealing. Also, Facebook or Zoom chats and face-to-face sessions are a great learning environment.
- Solitary (Intrapersonal): as the name implies, these learners don’t want to be engaged in a direct way. Clearly established learning outcomes are appealing and well-rounded and complete resources to help achieve the outcomes will satisfy this learner.
As you can see, some of the strategies appeal across multiple learning styles and we can be more than one learning type. We tend to excel in courses that fit our style and have materials that support our preferred learning style(s). Which type of learning style do you think fits you?
Why should I care which of the 7 types of learning styles I am?
As they say, variety is the spice of life! Taking a course or learning about a tool in the same format over and over and over can lead to a learner disengaging from the content. Our brains get bored! Or worse, we think we know what the outcome is so we tune it out. Speaking of bored, if you want to kill some time and you still cannot figure out your learning style here is a free but slightly painful quiz to take!
Having some variety in how we get new information will make the information and learning process more enjoyable. Also, it might prompt us to share what we have learned with others. That is a sign that we truly mastered the course or tool, a great sign of professional development and growth. You know, the main reason you actually took the course or bought the tool, remember? 🙂