Saturday, April 3, 2010

Learning Styles

I recently had a chance to reconsider my learning style.  Usually this is done with about 30 questions in a survey asking you to choose the most desired way of doing certain things.  For example:

I find it easiest to remember:
a) faces
b) names
c) things I have done

You would tally up the number of "a", "b", and "c" answers in the survey.  Mostly "a" answers are in this case visual learners, mostly "b" answers are auditory learners, and mostly "c" answers are kinesthetic learners.  Kinesthetic learning is where the learning is accomplished by the students performing a physical task rather than by listening or observing.  I wasn't really surprised that I was a primarily a visual learner with some kinesthetic thrown in for good measure.  I always learned more history or geography when teachers would show films rather than lecture.  I also enjoyed projects where I could construct something.  I did also have a little auditory learning in my selected answers as well.

Knowing my learning style certainly helps me consider what my teaching style is.  Consider the first few minutes of the following video on Steve Jobs, the CEO and co-founder of Apple...



I think it's clear that Steve Jobs' learning and therefore teaching style is primarily visual.  My guess though is that he also has a good measure of auditory and kinesthetic styles as well.  Steve's presentations are also very hands-on and he certainly can lecture.  He is considered one of the most effective presenters of our time and Apple enthusiasts look forward to his keynote presentations with much anticipation.

As an Instructional Designer, I think it is crucial to include a balance of all learning styles in your training.  Odds are you will have a cross section of various learning styles in a classroom and each should be addressed as much as possible.  As a teacher you could even conduct a learning style survey at the beginning of a course to tailor your upcoming teaching to your audience.

Consider this however; If you were teaching a bunch of graphic artists, your first instinct might be that they were all visual learners as the nature of their profession would suggest.  You might be right, however ask yourself if a bunch of graphic artists simply want to watch training or will they learn more from doing?  Well probably a little of both, however my guess is the scale may even tip toward the doing (kinesthetic).  This is why even if you think you know your audience, offering a variety of learning styles in roughly equal division is best for a typical classroom environment.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Pay Attention: Digital Learners

Every Instructional Designer and Training Consultant should watch this short video. Generation Y or the Millennial Generation is entering the workforce right now. We need to train to them just as if digital was another learning style.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Did you know?

Did you know?
Organizations provide an average of
  • 30 hours of training per employee
  • 37 hours for technical employees

On average, 564 employees are serves by one trainer.

Older and/or senior employees receive the most training.

The most used training practice in the workplace is Tuition reimbursement plus paid conference attendance.

The 100 best companies spend the most on training and employees.

Great Motivational Video for Training