We all have a variety of learning styles and online training only becomes relevant and relatable when it resonates with our style of learning.
A learning style refers to our personal approach to learning, how we prefer to internalise, assimilate, process and then apply knowledge. If we take on eLearning or any kind of training that suits our innate learning style, then we can retain and implement knowledge effectively and easily.
Therefore, it is important to acknowledge the need for a variety of online training styles. Here, we look at the key styles of learning and how online training can be designed to match them.
Different Styles of Learning
Learners of this style relate to voiceover or audio learning. This style of learner will find facilitated sessions (Instructor Led Training) to be the most relevant. They will also find online recordings of Instructor Led Training and webinars to be incredibly useful. In online training, they would also gravitate toward courses that use audio to support the learning path.
These are learners that require visual cues. When it comes to online training, these learners would prefer animations, graphics, infographics, videos and other impactful visual options.
These learners require an experiential model in learning. This is where online simulations, what-if analysis and breakout sessions (when they would perform the task) become important.
These learners find the text based approach to learning to be the most stimulating. As they find text relevant, they are comfortable with text based PDFs. Reference articles, and presentations. When it comes to eLearning they would choose a higher focus on text and would dislike visual learning techniques as they would find this distracting to the content itself.
Why it is Important to Map your Training to Assorted Styles
Most online training courses are implemented to assorted profiles of learning. This is accomplished through a multimodal approach. Here, we look at the VARK model of learning and the need to add a multimodal approach to learning.
The Limitations of the VARK model
The VARK model can be used as a foundation to arrive at primary categories of learners – but this is too basic and simplistic. We do not learn through a single approach all the time.
Taking on a Multimodal Approach
Many of us have a combination of learner styles and this is known as multimodal learning. Our preference for a given approach to learning can alter depending on the subject matter, our proficiency, and our interest in the content.
Instructional designers of learning must take this into account when creating training.
How can you customise your online learning to accommodate different learning styles?
An instructional design will have access to the learning mandate as well as the business mandate and important learner aspects. However, they may not have enough information on the preferred learning style of learners. With this mind, most eLearning training courses will be designed to a rather basic profile of learners.
So, what approach should you take?