Just as no two snowflakes are alike, no two learners in your training sessions will be the same either. They’ll enter your classroom, webinar or webcast possessing differing levels and varieties of work experience, personal outlooks and job enthusiasm. Not only this, but they’ll also approach the material through the lens of their various learning styles.
Which learning styles
Generally speaking, trainers try to appeal to three kinds of learning:
So why should you care about your students’ different learning styles? Will it really make a difference in their ability to soak up the information? Yes! Most experts agree that gearing your lessons toward these diverse learning styles will certainly help your students.
Here are a few ways how you can appeal to each of these unique learners in your training sessions.
You can never have too many photos, graphics, charts and other visually stimulating images for these learners. Essentially, the more videos you show, the more slides you have, and the more attachments or in-room documents you provide, the better these students will be. While they may be great note takers and engaged learners when presented with highly visual or descriptive examples, they may find it difficult to listen for long periods of time. So keep the images coming to keep them engaged.
These students are the best traditional learners who benefit from simply listening to the content presented to them. While this is great for those in a normal employee training session in the workplace, if you will be training through webcasts or webinars, make sure there is plenty of audio content to keep them interested. Otherwise, they may mentally check out during your session.
Don’t forget to ask questions. Auditory learners don’t just benefit from your voice or the presenter’s, they can listen to anyone with good ideas.
These participants are your hands-on, fully involved learners. As such, they present the biggest challenge. Try to incorporate sections within your courses that allow learners to perform concrete tasks as they are learning the material. This way, they can solidify what they are learning.
What are some concrete things they can do? Type! Ask for questions during webinars and webcasts. In the traditional classroom, ask them to complete an exercise. Other ideas online include polls, asking people to share stories or ideas that reinforce the information presented, or submit their own examples.
The perfect training: a combination of all three
By including graphics, some parts where you’re just talking, and active exercises — asking for ideas, providing polls, or requesting they share information — your training will appeal to everyone. That means attendees will walk away with something.
Bear in mind, too, that attention spans are dwindling. People are only really paying attention every 23 seconds or less. These days, trainers have to compete with not just laptop email, but buzzing mobile devices. Many trainers these days inject those polls and information more often to get people focused. Otherwise, your kinesthetic learners are most likely to check out.
More than that, ensuring you’re meeting all three learning types ensures your course or session is meeting its objective with your audience learning the information needed.