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Types of Learner

Some Scientists believe that there are 3 main types of learning styles: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. This was expanded through research in the 1970’s and since then has widely influenced education and training. Neil Fleming’s VARK model is one of the common and widely used frameworks today and categorised learning into visual, auditory, reading-writing and kinesthetic. To expand on Fleming’s model, Howard Gardner developed the multiple intelligence theory – the seven learning styles.

More recent studies say that any analysis of styles tries to put people into boxes and trying to only give them material that matches their “style” of learning isn’t going to make them retain information any better. Most people benefit from a range of teaching techniques, and utilising different learning methods can actually improve learners’ adaptability.  Nevertheless, it’s true that there are a variety of learning methods which people respond to. So, just for fun, we’ve produced an explanation of the 7 styles.

Have a look through each one: do you find them all equally engaging? Is there one (or more) that you prefer above the others? Maybe you have your own learning techniques that aren’t even covered by any of the “learning styles”! Or perhaps you find one style more useful for one type of learning, but when learning German verbs or mathematical formulae you know you prefer another? How effectively we learn isn’t just affected by the medium, but the content too.

While the 7 styles theory isn’t going to give you your one definitive style, you might still pick up a few useful techniques for the next time you have to do a spot of revising!  Plus we’ve included a link to a quick quiz to help you analyse your style if you are still puzzled.

1. Visual (spatial) 

Are you a visual learner? 
Do you need to draw things out?
Are you constantly doodling? If you find it easier to understand something if it is in a diagram, you are probably a visual learner. Knowledge or concept maps use visual symbols as a way to express knowledge, concepts, thoughts or ideas, and the relationships between them. These are a great tool for visual or spatial learners as you can draw connections or use colour coding to group ideas.
By representing information spatially and with images, learners are able to focus on meaning, reorganise and group similar ideas easily, and utilise their visual memory to learn. 


2. Aural (Auditory-Musical)
Are you an auditory learner?
Do you dislike reading?
If you need someone to tell you something out loud to understand it, you are an auditory learner. You depend on hearing the information to fully understand it, rather than just reading it from a book. Group discussions are a great way for auditory learners to grasp new ideas.
Auditory learners have the aptitude to notice audible signals like changes in tone, or pitch to name a few. For example, when memorising a phone number, an auditory learner will say it out loud first and take note of how it sounded to remember it.

3. Verbal (Linguistic)

Do you love words and writing?

People who find it easier to express themselves by writing or speaking can be regarded as a verbal learner. You love to write and read. You like to play on the meaning or sound of words such as tongue twisters, rhymes and so on. You’re familiar with the definitions of many words and regularly make an effort to learn more meanings of new words.

Techniques used by verbal learners involve mnemonics, scripting, role playing and anything that involves both speaking and writing. 


4. Physical (Kinesthetic)

Are you a physical hands-on learner?

Are you a hands-on type person?

In this style, learning happens when the learner carries out a physical activity, rather than listening to a lecture or watching a demonstration. Those who have a preference for kinesthetic learning are called ‘do-ers’ and much prefer hands on learning. Kinesthetic learners make up about five percent of the population.


5. Logical (Mathematical)

Do you have a logical learning style?

Are you great with numbers?

When you like using your brain for logical and mathematical reasoning, you’re a logical learner. You easily recognise patterns, and can connect seemingly meaningless concepts easily.  Logical learners often lean towards classifying and grouping information to help them further understand it.

You excel in numbers and are fine with doing complex calculations such as basic trigonometry off the top of your head! 


6. Social (Interpersonal)

Are you a social learner?

Are you a people person?

Other learners prefer social or interpersonal learning. If you’re at best in socializing and communicating with people, both verbally and non-verbally, this is what you are; a social learner.

People often come to you to listen and ask for advice. They do because of the apparent sensitivity you have to their feelings, moods and even motivations. You listen well and empathize with what others are thinking and going through.


7. Solitary (Intrapersonal)

Do you have a solitary learning style?

Do you prefer working alone?

You have a solitary style if you are more private, independent and introspective. Your concentration is at its best when you focus on your thoughts and feelings without the distraction of others.

Authors and researchers often have a strong solitary learning style. However, having a good solitary grounding is evident for many top performers in a range of fields. Being able to learn introspectively works well with some of the more dominant learning style discussed above.

Summary
So in summary:

  • Visual (spatial): You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
  • Aural (auditory, musical): You prefer using sound and music.
  • Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.
  • Physical (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands.
  • Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning, and systems.
  • Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.
  • Solitary (Intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study.

It is recognised by many that each person prefers a mix of learning styles. Some people may find that they have a dominant style of learning, with far less use of the other styles. Others may find that they use different styles in different circumstances. There is no right mix. Nor are your styles fixed. You can develop ability in less dominant styles, as well as further develop styles that you already use well. 

Click on the following links to free fun quizzes to help you determine how you learn best.

https://arden.ac.uk/what-type-learner-are-you
https://www.how-to-study.com/learning-style-assessment/ - longer with more questions

Workplace training for visual learners can be tailored to include presentations with plenty of diagrams, videos, and charts.  Auditory learners prefer speeches, audio recordings, and training that includes plenty of opportunities for dialogue.  Workplace training for reading/writing learners can be tailored to include manuals, handouts, quizzes, and presentations.  Kinesthetic learners like simulations, walk-throughs, and sessions that include building or working with physical objects. Logical learners respond well to workplace training that includes opportunities to distil multiple concepts into one big idea perhaps coming up with plans for the future.  Social learners thrive on team learning activities, role-playing, and group discussions.  Training for Solitary learners should be tailored to include opportunities to work through the content at their own pace, as well as a balance of collaborative activities with those that allow them to work independently.

At Housing Systems...
When designing training at Housing Systems we usually try to take into consideration learning styles by using different techniques that you’ll see in our training.

Whatever your learning style you’ll gain something from our training.