Everyone learns differently, that’s nothing new. However, over the years the different styles of learning have usually been cut down to visual, physical (learn-by-doing), or audible. Truth is, we could probably dissect each of these learning three styles down even further and arrive at a handful of sub-levels.
Learning is a complicated concept as everyone is unique in their own way, and learns in their own way as well. That said, it is still very much possible to classify a learning style into one of seven categories. Perhaps you fall into one of the following:
- Visual: These people prefer to use pictures, images, diagrams, colors, and mind maps.
- Physical: These are the “learn by doing” people that use their body to assist in their learning. Drawing diagrams, using physical objects, or role playing are all strategies of the Physical learner.
- Aural: People who prefer using sound (obviously), rhythms, music, recordings, clever rhymes, and so on.
- Verbal: The verbal learner is someone who prefers using words, both in speech and in writing to assist in their learning. They make the most of word based techniques, scripting, and reading content aloud.
- Logical: The people who prefer using logic, reasoning, and “systems” to explain or understand concepts. They aim to understand the reasons behind the learning, and have a good ability to understand the bigger picture.
- Social: These people are the ones who enjoy learning in groups or with other people, and aim to work with others as much as possible.
- Solitary: The solitary learner prefers to learn alone and through self-study.
In reality, we all probably fall into each category, depending on the learning that is taking place. Some topics lend themselves better to select styles, and a combination of multiple styles helps to solidify the learning that takes place. When possible, you should always strive to create learning that engages a variety of these styles. Not only will it be helpful for the learner, but it also will go a long way in learning retention.
Using an online learning approach that includes videos, reading, audio, exercises, social forums, and the like is a great way to hit on multiple learning styles. If you create learning for a living as an instructional designer or teacher, then blending your learning approaches is an effective way to make your learning stick.