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Saturday, June 23, 2018


February 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Industry News

Individuals learn and process information in different ways. Many studies have been done to understand and determine the types of learners and the best way(s) in which they learn.

So, is it learning style or learning preference? Let’s take a look at what those words actually mean.

Learning is the acquisition of knowledge or skill gained through education. It is the permanent change in knowledge, understanding or behavior.

Style is a way of doing something, especially a way regarded as expressing a particular attitude.

Preference is the view that one course of action or choice is more desirable than another.

I’d like to refer to it as a “learning preference,” since it is an action and a desirable choice. After all, isn’t it the learner that is responsible for their learning? If they aren’t, learning will not occur.

As a practice, training curriculum is developed by instructional designers using adult methodology, which at its basis is consideration for both the content, (“what”) and the way in which content is presented, (“how”). Instructional designers understand that for true knowledge transfer to take place, the individual’s learning preference (“how”) must be apparent.

Many studies describe the learner’s preferences as either one or a combination of the following (V-A-K):

  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Kinesthetic

Visual – Learner needs to see something to learn it.

Examples: Read recipe, look at map, write down notes, watch scenario being played out

Auditory – Learner needs to hear something to learn it.

Examples: Listen to instructions, discuss options, ask questions/listen to feedback, talk through scenario

Kinesthetic – Learner needs to do something to learn it.

Examples: Try activity for self, handle new equipment, test-drive item, role-play practice scenario

It’s important to recognize the different learning preferences and incorporate them into the training methods to reach the different types of learners.



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