There’s a whole bunch of sayings that are often thrown about to help remind us that everyone is unique; ‘different strokes for different folks’, ‘to each their own’, ‘it takes all kinds to make a world’, etc. However, this fact is quite often forgotten, and has sometimes been overlooked in areas in which it matters most, like education, for example, which in the past had more of a one-size-fits-all approach.
We know that if we sit 100 people in a room, no 2 will be the same. What appeals to, works for, or moves one person, might not have any effect on the other 99.
The same is true of the ways in which we learn. Remember when you were in school and you shared a classroom with lots of other students? Even then you may have noticed that not all activities and tasks motivated you the same, or helped you to internalize the materials in the same way. And I assure you, it wasn’t just you.
Why is it important to know the different learning styles?
Although everyone uses various systems or styles of learning, we each have a dominant or favorite learning style; we use one more than the others. Knowing our style or that of our students can be very useful to optimize and get the most out of the learning process.
To do that, it’s important to design our teaching resources and activities to cater to every learning style. This will help all our students consolidate their knowledge. Not only that, but it’ll have other positive effects too, such as:
- When they receive the information in their dominant learning style, they’ll be able to understand it better, and this will improve their self-esteem. ‘Great, I understood that; I can do this and more!’
- When they feel more confident and see that they’re progressing with ease, it’ll increase their motivation to keep learning. ‘Let’s go, what’s next?’
- Happy student: happy class. When we understand things and can solve them successfully, we feel unstoppable. Each student will give their best and this leads to greater confidence in other skills like collaboration and teamwork too.
Have we convinced you? Then it’s time to introduce you to the different learning styles. We’ll also help you identify each one and foster them with awesome interactive resources. Let’s go!
The visual learning style is most people’s dominant style; no less than 65%! If you’re one of these people, it means you assimilate information better when you receive it visually.
Your learning style is visual if…
- You have a natural talent for memorizing images.
- It’s harder for you to learn something if it’s explained to you verbally and without visual aids.
- You like to use mind maps, sketches, diagrams…
- You like to look at the most important information first. There’ll be time for details later.
- Have you ever been told you’re very observant? That’s a sign that your learning style is visual.
How to strengthen visual learning
To make the most of this learning style, our best ally will be content in images and which presents the information at a glance.
Check out this interactive image template. You can create your own, using whatever image, map, or gif you want. Enrich it with the necessary information and you’re all set. This image is worth so much more than a thousand words!
And what about this interactive checklist? Simple and eye-catching, it will help your students assimilate the information visually and organize their ideas.
After visual, the next most common dominant learning style is auditory. If you find it easier to remember information you hear or that is explained to you orally, you’re probably part of this group. No wonder podcasts are becoming more and more popular, because they facilitate the transmission of ideas and knowledge in an ordered way and help maintain attention, especially for those who favor this learning style.
Your learning style is auditory if…
- You like learning through oral explanations. Even reading things aloud and listening to your own voice helps.
- You can understand what you hear easily and remember it later.
- You’re a fan of studying and discussing things in a group.
- Presentation and oral evaluations are no mystery to you.
- It’s likely that you’re good at languages and music.
How to strengthen auditory learning
People with this learning style know for sure that listening works better than reading. However, it must be done in a structured way and step by step.
We love that Genially is so visual, but we’ve also thought about those who learn better by listening; that’s why you can add audio to your creations. Want to take it a step further and lend your own voice to it? You can record and insert voice overs or other recordings in your geniallys. You can find all the details here. Start warming up those vocal chords!
For example, you can share your knowledge or tell a story with a video presentation like this one. It’s like a 2-in-1, because you’ll be adding the power of your audio or narration to the visual magic.
Although the kinesthetic style is less dominant, more and more people now identify with it and feel that they learn better when they can do, try, and manipulate things physically. Although it develops more slowly, the learning acquired kinesthetically lasts longer. In other words, it’s more memorable and harder to forget.
Your learning style is kinesthetic if…
- You like learning by doing, experimenting, practicing, and simulating.
- You concentrate better when you’re moving.
- When you’re explaining something, you gesticulate a lot and you can’t not use your hands.
- Practical exams are no problem for you; you’re like a fish to water!
How to strengthen kinesthetic learning
People with this style of learning don’t want to sit back and watch, they want action. A maker culture is their life philosophy. To encourage them, get them to create their own geniallys and see how easy it is!
Depending on the subject, their age, and their interests, there are lots of alternatives: presentations, reviews, infographics, posters, or even their own gamified content. Let them surprise you! To get started, give them a template that’s super easy to edit, like this flashcard. You can add whatever you like: images, text, videos… They’ll learn by doing and at the same time create a fantastic resource which can also work for visual and auditory learners.
They’ll soon want more and more and might even want to try creating from a blank canvas. It’s only a matter of time 😉
And remember, variety is the spice of life. Your classes will be much more fun and memorable if you combine different resources. Don’t be afraid to try new things and create different and original content, especially if it’s as easy as it is with Genially!