So naturally, we all know that people are different. And one of the most interesting things that I have learnt as a business psychologist and from my own personal development is that people have different preferences for learning. Not everyone picks up data from the world in the same way. Some people are more visual (they need to see things to remember them), others are more aural (so listening/tuning in to sound data), other people need to read/write to pick up data, and other people are kinaesthetic (which means they feel an answer or need to do something to learn it). Figuring out who you are and how you learn will help you in work and will help you know yourself well. It’s a way to make your life easier. And chances are you are multi-model because as humans with five senses, we can use all of them to understand how the world works, but some are naturally stronger than others which depend on you. These are called your preference learning modalities. Let me take you on a deeper insight of each learning preference and then offer an empirically valid quiz at the end to help you understand yourself better.
People with this preference usually like getting information from maps, diagrams, infographics, graphs, flow charts, and shapes. They usually have a strong mind’s eye and can see structures or images in their mind. When studying, they prefer things to make sense for them using meaningful symbols and graphs, but it needs to be more than just words in boxes as that is more fitting to people with reading/writing preference. They might get easily distracted by limited visuals in a presentation or loads of images in a presentation. So when creating content for a visual learner, you need to ensure a good balance with meaningful visuals. A good example of a visual learner preference is:
People with an aural/auditory preference tend to learn best when they involve themselves in a group discussion, listen to the radio, talking through a situation, music, questions and answers, or emailing/texting as it’s informal and written as short bursts of data and written as it’s spoken. Guitar is a good example of this because it involves listening to a sound and generating the same sound as the riff you just listened to. By recalling the sound, you are tapping into your auditory memory. Also, chatting with friends about ideas or a past experience is a good example of aural learning.
People with this preference tend to learn best through words. Not surprisingly, many teachers and students have a strong preference for this as it is the most trained mode. People with this preference tend to prefer essays, assignments, reports and manuals when collecting information to learn. This mode preference is very often used in conjunction with all the other preferences as language is a big part of how we learn. If you prefer learning through books you are most likely a reader/writer learning.
People with this preference are feelers and doers. They learn best by hopping into the learning situation and learning as they go. They learn best using muscle memory and experiencing life personally, or even watching a simulation or someone else experiencing/demonstrating something (which is also combining visual and kinaesthetic learning). It is very common for someone to learn through practising, for example, yoga or learning the guitar. But as you can guess, learning the guitar needs both auditory and kinaesthetic do learn, so multi-modal is a common demand for people with kinaesthetic learners. Also, the same for cooking. Cooking involves visual and kinaesthetic to create something delicious. The chief needs to cut onions, taste the food to feel if it’s a good flavour, and most likely learnt by watching a visual representation and practising cooking. It should also be note that an assignment explaining what and when through goal-setting, for instance, in a coaching session with me, is instructing you to kinaesthetically do something. So, it’s an everyday preference for all, but how we record the instruction might differ depending on the person.
So, I’ve mentioned multi-modal a few times, which is human. But let’s dig a little deeper.
As known or explained by previous examples, life is multi-modal and people have a tendency to learn in all the ways if they have access to all senses. Being a multi-modal learner means that people get a broader and wider understanding, which is why humans have naturally do it. However, as I am trying to explain, people have a tendency to draw on one preference more than others.
If you are interested in finding out more or what to see what your preferences are why not use this link: http://vark-learn.com/the-vark-questionnaire/
If you are looking for ways to spend your time learning, have you ever thought about starting a side hustle or taking up a new hobby? Test out your new knowledge on how you learn and use it for some good! I’m happy to chat about it over a 20-minute discovery session.