Learning is an important experience for people of all ages, but is effective only when done right. There are different types of learners; each with a specific way of learning. Research shows that there are many ways to remember and process information. We all experience the world in our own way, and this is how we learn better.
Students with disabilities are taught in a different way. We follow this to ensure they learn effective. A similar approach is needed for each student out there, as their learning style may not be the same as another student. Understanding these different types of learning will have a huge impact on how teachers manage students, create group projects, and personalize one-on-one courses.
Without understanding and recognizing these different learning styles, teachers could end up leaving a handful of students lagging behind their classmates, partly because their unique learning styles are not involved. Learning styles and preferences come in different forms, and not everyone belongs to the same category.
In a previous article, we covered different learning styles. Continuing the discussion forward, in this article, we will discuss different types of learners and how to teach them effectively.
Visual (Spatial) Learner
Visual learners retain information more effectively by using visual aids such as pictures, movie clips, colors, charts, and diagrams. They also have a good understanding of visual data presented in maps, charts, and graphs. Students who learn by sight understand information better when it is presented visually. These are your doodling students, list makers, and note-takers.
Visual teaching methods for learners
- Get students to visualize using phrases, such as, “Imagine,” “Let’s see what you would do.”
- Avoid large blocks of text.
- Use storytelling for visualization
- Color or highlight the important points in the text.
- Color-code and organize all the materials you provide as this helps organize things in their minds.
The kinesthetic learner learns through movement. Learning exercises and role-playing are very helpful. They enjoy engaging in acting out events or touching and manipulating with their hands to understand concepts. These types of learners may find it difficult to sit still. They are usually good at sports or like dancing and may need to take more frequent breaks while studying.
Methods for teaching Tactile Learner
- Let them interact with physical objects or solve puzzles.
- Provide real-world examples, such as case studies.
- Invite them to teach some of the content of the lesson to other members of the class.
- Standing and walking exercises are very effective.
- Use physical exercises and provide hands-on experiences.
Verbal (linguistic) Learner
Verbal learner prefers to use words and language skills when speaking and writing, such as, reading, writing, listening, or speaking. They like word games, puns, and rhymes, etc, and are usually powerful speakers.
Methods for teaching verbal learners
- Invite them to discuss or demonstrate.
- Include quizzes in your classroom.
- Utilize role-playing games, such as interactions between employees and customers.
- Suggest that they re-read and rewrite their notes, including summaries.
- Use of written and oral teaching activities.
Aural (auditory) Learner
Aural learners have to hear something to process it. They prefer to read aloud when presented with written material and enjoy lecture format learning. These types of learners respond to sounds, music, recordings, rhymes, rhythms, etc. They can remember conversations well, and music triggers an emotional response in them.
Methods for teaching aural learners
- Let students work in pairs to explain concepts to each other.
- Use mnemonic devices and rhymes.
- If reading is required, suggest audiobooks.
- When explaining a story, play relevant sounds on your computer.
- Initiate group discussions so that their auditory and verbal processors can properly take in and understand the information presented.
Logical (mathematical) Learners
Logical or mathematical learners use logic and structures to learn effectively. If you’re good at numbers and statistics, you are most likely a logical learner. Logical Learners are particularly good at analyzing cause-effect relationships.
Methods for teaching logical learners
- Add critical thinking exercises.
- Provide statistics and facts.
- After presenting evidence, ask them to draw a conclusion.
- Provide the class with problem-solving tasks.
- Challenge them to work things out for themselves.
To summarize, there is no wrong learning method or superior type of learner—each type has specific pros and cons. All styles reflect personal strengths and can help a person remember information more effectively. Although it may seem strange to others, you need to use your strengths by trying to learn new information, to truly capture it. Embrace all types of learning. By switching the teaching method, you can keep students’ attention longer and make the learning process more enjoyable.