Visual Learning Style: Definition & Characteristics

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  • 0:01 Visual Learning Style
  • 2:33 Facts About Visual Learners
  • 3:35 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Theresa Spanella

Theresa has taught college Writing for 15 years and is two classes from completing a doctorate in Education

Just like we all see the world differently, we all learn differently. This lesson will review the visual learning style and provide the most common characteristics of visual learners.

Visual Learning Style

The visual learning style, often referred to as the spatial learning style, is a way of learning in which information is associated with images. This learning style requires that learners first see what they are expected to know. People with a visual learning style are often referred to as visual-spatial learners.

Visual learners have specific characteristics that make their learning method unique. In school, visual learners typically:

  • Remember what they read rather than what they hear
  • Prefer reading a story rather than listening to it
  • Learn from seeing things written out on a chalkboard
  • Use diagrams and charts to understand ideas and concepts
  • Take notes during class or while listening to presentations
  • Study by looking over things
  • Are good at spelling
  • Use color to organize information
  • Need quiet study time
  • Often prefer to work alone rather than in groups
  • May not understand verbal instructions
  • Ask a lot of questions to seek clarification
  • Need to be able to see the teacher

In addition to unique learning methods, the visual learning style is also reflected in personality and habits. Visual learners are known to:

  • Remember faces but forget names
  • Have a good sense of direction
  • Be good with maps
  • Often appear to be daydreaming
  • Make (but not always remember to follow) 'to-do' lists
  • Notice changes in appearance (in both people and physical spaces)
  • Be quiet and sometimes shy
  • Remain focused when working
  • Have a good sense of fashion
  • Scribble and draw when bored
  • Be tidy and organized, sometimes to the point of meticulousness
  • Make plans for the future

Visualization often comes easy to the visual learner. Because visual learners tend to spend so much time seeing things, they often need to make material stand out more. Otherwise, information tends to get lost in their minds. To remember information, visual learners should:

  • Use color in their notes
  • Draw things they are visualizing
  • Create mind maps
  • Utilize graphic organizers
  • Diagram information or create charts
  • Outline information contained in textbooks

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