Famous scientist Albert Einstein once said, “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”.
Fast-paced organizations try to build efficient workplaces by hiring the best candidates. But once they are hired, few companies focus on getting the best out of them. All employees have different learning styles. Underutilizing or overlooking this style can make it difficult to encourage or retain employees in an organization.
So what are the different learner types and how do we embrace different learning styles?
Different Learner Types
To understand the different types of learning styles in the workplace, you should understand the VARK model. In 1992, a researcher named Neil D. Fleming discovered that learning doesn’t have hard and fast boundaries and there can be different learner types. Here are the four distinct learning types, Visual, Aural, Reading/Writing, and Kinesthetic, which come together to form the VARK acronym:
- Visual Learners
Visual learners prefer to use photographs and graphics to access and understand information. They respond well to charts, diagrams, symbols, and other forms of data visualization.
Auditory learners are most successful when they’re presented with vocal content. They use repetition as a learning technique and benefit most from lectures and group discussions.
Reading And Writing Learners
Those who prefer reading and writing learn most successfully through words. They tend to be note-takers and avid readers and can easily translate abstract concepts into words or essays.
Kinesthetic learners best understand information through active, hands-on participation and use all their senses to learn. They don’t do very well in conventional work-settings because of their active nature.
Different Types of Learning Styles
While the Vark model was revolutionary, Howard Gardner, an American development psychologist, took it a step further. In 1983, his Multiple Intelligences theory broke down learning abilities further into eight different learning styles:
- Visual Learning Style
In the visual or spatial style, learning happens through visual aids, diagrams, images or graphs. Learners may need to map out their thoughts or information to process them better. For example, visual learners may learn more from a movie adaptation than from the original book.
- Linguistic Learning Style
Linguistic or verbal learners access and process information through reading, writing, listening, and speaking or a combination of these methods. For example, if a linguistic learner wants to embrace a new skill, they would like to first read and then make notes about it.
- Logical Learning Style
Logical and mathematical types of learning styles help learners categorize information. This type of learner will use logical reasoning to successfully process information and be quick to recognize patterns. Logical learners tend to be good at strategy games, such as chess.
- Auditory Learning Style
Auditory or musical learning involves sound, music, and rhythm to retain information. Many people find additional sounds distracting when they’re working. It’s not so for a musical learner. They use background music to understand complex subjects.
- Kinesthetic Learning Style
A kinesthetic learner learns by physically or sensorially engaging with information. They require activity to process and retain information better. Kinesthetic learners often take up woodworking or gardening to get hands-on experience.
- Naturalist Learning Style
Naturalist learners need to be outside, experiencing, and working with nature to process information. They like to observe how things work in real life and love experiencing the world around them. They often end up becoming scientists or horticulturists.
- Interpersonal Learning Style
Interpersonal and social types of learning styles rely on collaboration or group activities. These learners are better at bouncing ideas off others and are good at using their emotional intelligence. They’re often team players and good leaders.
- Intrapersonal Learning Style
Intrapersonal and solitary types of learning styles are seen in people who learn successfully on their own. These learners tend to process information at their own pace and prefer to work independently. They often enter creative fields.
Modern-day organizations do their best to keep up with changing times. This encourages employees to step out of their comfort zone and upgrade their knowledge or skill-sets. Harappa Education’s Learning Expertly course will help you reflect on your learning style. Kolb’s Learning Cycle model, for instance, can help you learn, unlearn, and relearn from life’s experiences. Become a self-motivated and agile learner today!
Explore topics such as Learning From Experience, Kolb’s Learning Styles, Professional Development & Learn Unlearn and Relearn from our Harappa Diaries blog section and hone strategically thinking skills in business.
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