Want To Become An Effective Trainer? Know Your Students’ Different Learning Styles!
Good trainers teach, but great trainers also learn. Aside from delivering amazing lessons, they also observe how students process their lessons. After all, as trainers, our goal is to pass on knowledge to our students, and this is impossible to do if the way we train is simply not getting through to our learners.
While anyone can certainly become a trainer, what makes effective trainers a cut above the rest is how they can spot the different learning styles in their classroom and use the most appropriate teaching method. This ensures your students will naturally absorb your lessons and actually put them into use, instead of forcing them to memorise information.
A rewarding session awaits both you and your students, especially if you understand how their brains are wired to absorb information.
What can you exactly gain by knowing your student’s learning styles?
The Role of Learning Styles in an Effective Teaching Strategy
Understanding how students think is crucial when planning a training session. It is like a game plan for a sport or competition, only here you are anticipating your students’ moves in how they would take in the information you give to them. Being successful in this area ensures that not only will students come for the lesson but stay for the skills they are going to learn.
Of course, students also have to play their part when it comes to learning. Training is a team effort that requires the full participation of both trainer and learner alike. If your teaching strategy is in line with the learning style of the student, it significantly lessens the strain on part of the student as they can absorb information more effectively.
It also goes without saying that if the teaching and learning styles are in tune with each other, the performance and quality of output of students rise. By removing barriers to teaching such as increased difficulty and complexity, it allows actual learning to come sooner.
How to Identify Learning Styles and Create Effective Learning Strategies for them
While at first their inclination towards a certain approach might not be apparent, you must look out for clues and other signs that your student prefers to learn in such a manner.
Below are the 4 learning styles and the ways you can integrate them with your teaching:
- Visual learners can be categorised into two types, wherein the first type of people known as visual-linguistics learn information through written language, often preferring to write down tasks or taking notes during lectures to gain knowledge.
- The second type, the visual-spatials, are not as able when it comes to written language, instead opting to have visual materials such as charts and videos to suit their learning style.
- Implementing a teaching strategy to suit their learning styles involves introducing graphs, charts, pictures and other kinds of visual aids to speed up the learning process, as it can help them remember information.
- Auditory learners on the other hand, perform best when presented with sounds, as they process those signals with the greatest ease. Talking to colleagues or recording conversations helps them to focus on the information that will be used.
- Accommodate learners of this type by having them verbalize the questions, holding discussion groups to brainstorm an idea and developing internal dialogues between you and your students.
Kinesthetic and Tactile
- The last category are the kinesthetic and tactile learners, which use touch and movement respectively to learn information being taught to them. They value the role of external stimulation or movement as it helps them focus on the task of learning, making use of their body and hands.
- Formulating a teaching strategy to suit kinesthetic learners makes use of sessions that involve stretch breaks and activities that are geared towards movement.
- Tactile learners, on the other hand, can be recommended that they have toys such as koosh balls and Play-Dough, or by allowing them to highlight reading materials.
A beauty of knowing these approaches is that you can actually combine all four styles in appealing to the visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile learner in them. When done in an interactive manner, you can teach your learners how to memorize and absorb information through the use of their eyes, ears, body and hands.
Knowing how to identify learning styles and creating an effective training strategy is what separates great and effective trainers from the rest. If you want to become an effective trainer, you have to know how to identify learning styles and create a training strategy that will be most appropriate for your students. This will give you benefits such as:
- Lessons are internalised rather than memorised, enhancing learning as knowledge is ready for practice instead of being stuck in the mind.
- The effectiveness of trainings are boosted as you are able to get what information you want students to learn across, since you are able to stimulate their minds into learning.
- Students are made more receptive to learning since your teaching strategy will be more aligned to how they learn.
The 4 primary learning styles you need to be aware of are:
- Visual – Primarily makes use of their eyes in learning, and are further sorted into visual linguistic learners and visual-spatial. Particularly include visual aids if your students have a preference for ‘seeing’ their lessons.
- Auditory – Prefers their ears and inputs through sound when processing their lessons. Use every opportunity you can get to have you and your students talk to each other, as speech is the most used way we create sound.
- Kinesthetic – Puts the senses of their bodies into use in terms of processing information given to them. Having activities that make learners move can be beneficial when teaching them during a session.
- Tactile – Performs best when their hands, especially their fingers, have something to touch. Provide or allow for materials that allow for the use of touch to help them with their lessons.
Now that you know what learning styles are there and how to apply them in your training sessions, go out there and hit the ground training!