What sort of learner are you?

We all learn differently.

The basis of Kolb's (1984) learning cycle was that we learn in different ways - through doing, feeling, watching, and thinking.

Fleming and Mills' (1992) acronym is perhaps one of the easiest typologies to understand. VARK.

Perhaps you recognise that you're better at watching and trying than listening to instructions? Or that you learn more when you read instructions instead of watching an animation?

Visual Learners

Overview: Visual learners learn best from videos, animations, illustrations, diagrams and other visual means.

Characteristics: May close their eyes to recall/visualise things, may not like sounds at the same time. May be good at reading maps.

Useful tools: Spider diagrams, YouTube videos, Slideshare to learn from presentations, flowcharts.

Tools for more tech types: iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and Notes or Nebo app to draw diagrams on the ok.

Auditory Learners

Overview: Learn by listening.

Characteristics: May read to themselves aloud to take in the message. May not look as though they are paying attention to visual presentations.

Useful tools: Podcasts, accessibility tools that read out text, dictation apps.

Tools for more tech types: Wireless earphones.

Read/write Learners

Overview: Learn through reading, reviewing and writing

Characteristics: May take copious notes. May turn diagrams into written words.

Useful tools: Note-cards, rough drafting of notes ready to re-read and write later.

Tools for more tech types: Pen and paper may be better.

Kinaesthetic Learners

Overview: Learn through doing

Characteristics: May use lots of gestures when describing something, 'potter' with tasks often.

Useful tools: Embracing real life - opportunities to mentor others or learn on the job.

Tools for more tech types: The tools that allow you to do!


Reflect on what impact your learning style has on your work and personal life?

How might this impact the way you respond to a complex question or problem?

How might this alter how you respond to others who learn differently from you - perhaps in your team?

Once you're able to embrace your learning style preference you can work in a way that's most effective for you.

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