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Choosing Workplace Learning Opportunities Based on Learning Styles

Instructor: Joseph Madison

Joseph received his Doctorate from UMUC in Management. He retired from the Army after 23 years of service, working in intelligence, behavioral health, and entertainment.

This lesson will explain how managers can choose and create appropriate learning opportunities for themselves, employees, and teams based on learning styles, while providing an example of opportunities that are appropriate to each style.

Catering to Diversity

Universities today reach out to students through brick and mortar institutions, through online social interfaces, and through recorded videos. Schools do this to make sure they can connect with people from all learning styles, leaving no one behind. Organizations can use these same ideas and styles to shape their own training to fit their employees and create more successful learning opportunities.

These approaches are not perfect, since many people will learn in a plethora of ways; however, they will help you understand how you and your team learns. As you create training programs, of course you will need to streamline your processes, one training for all employees, but if you can incorporate all of these learning styles into one training, you will successfully reach all of your workforce. Let's find out more about the learning styles and how you can work with them.

Learning Styles

Businesses hire employees with a variety of backgrounds. Individuals will have differences culturally, socially, and even in how they learn. There are four learning styles that are important to know: auditory, visual, reading/writing, and kinesthetic.

Auditory

Auditory Learner
Auditory

An auditory learner retains information better if they listen to it. Auditory learning is best if the individual can be in a room where their training is happening; however, they still can learn through a remote service as long as it is based on audio and they do not have to read or watch the information. These individuals excel in remembering things they hear so they are excellent in long distance communication.

Visual

Visual Learner
Visual

This type of learner is more successful if they can see what they are learning. This means more than seeing the lecturer in front of the classroom. Instead these individuals work better with images, graphs, and other symbolic representations of what they are learning. This allows them to work really well in face-to-face sessions, online (as long as video is involved), and self-taught scenarios, as long as they can incorporate the visual means to understand the subject.

Reading/Writing

Reading/Writing Learner
Book

A reading learner excels best when they can read and write the information. Book learning and essays are a great way to help this individual to understand the subject best. Emails and handouts work very well, and this learner will be able to express their knowledge best in written form. Do not be surprised if they ask you to send you messages in writing.

Kinesthetic

Kinesthetic Learner
Hands

Also known as a tactile learner, these individuals do better when learning hands-on. They don't want to hear about it, they want to actually go do the work or skill, like speaking a language or rebuilding a motor. Any learning that uses one or all of their senses will reach this type of person better. These individuals are risk-takers and would rather make mistakes and learn as they go along, gaining the experience which helps them succeed in that task.

Combination

Most learners are a combination of the learning styles above, which makes it very important to know your employees' learning styles. It is important to remember no person is alike, so each employee's learning style should be assessed so that trainings and meetings are more successful for everyone.

Learning Opportunities & Examples

Now that we see the different learning styles we can address different opportunities for different styles of learning.

Auditory

Kendra is an auditory learner, so her manager James makes sure to sit down with her and have conversations about what she has learned from trainings. James also records training sessions, so that Kendra can listen to them again later. James has also created a question-and-answer time after every training, so that he can ask questions and explain things that might be confusing.

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