Does everyone learn the same way?
By Craig Jensen
Are there differences in learning styles from one person to another? Does an application developer learn the same way as an IT professional? Does a computer user learn Microsoft Office the same way a programmer learns web development? Success comes from having the right technical knowledge, coupled with the ability to work effectively and efficiently. This requires you to use the right training and reference material to get up to speed in your technology of choice. Will "just any" training material do? In my opinion, you will have the most success with training material that fits your learning style or styles. According to Neil Fleming, designer of the VARK a guide to learning styles, there may actually be 18+ dimensions of learning, including temperature, light, food intake, biorhythms, etc. He went on to identify four main learning styles in his research:
- V - Visual
- A - Aural
- R - Read/Write
- K - Kinesthetic
Studies at www.vark-learn.com categorized people by learning style based on a questionnaire. The studies identified that most people use multiple learning styles, with Kinesthetic being used to some degree by the largest share of learners.
- 61.6% prefer more than one learning style
- 34.1% use all four learning styles
Clearly there is not one dominant learning style, most people are multi-modal. Because of this, an effective learning tool must support all learning modalities, not just one or two. At LearnNowOnline, we believe that whether you are a SharePoint developer, a Windows Server administrator, or a project manager, you'll learn best by using a method consistent with your preferred learning style or styles. That's why our learning content is designed to accommodate ALL learning styles with a variety of learning resources like video, eBooks, transcripts, closed captioning, hands-on labs, sample code, and pre/post exams. Here's how LearnNowOnline resources support each of the VARK learning styles:
V - Visual View key information graphically via video and eBooks with flow charts, diagrams, graphs, screen captures, sample code and more.
A - Aural Listen as experts lecture on key concepts and take you step-by-step through real-world examples.
R - Read/Write Read comprehensive eBooks (online courseware), searchable transcripts, closed captioning; bookmark key points in video and add notes.
K - Kinesthetic Watch real-world video demonstrations; perform hands-on lab exercises and work with sample code; complete pre/post exams.
LearnNowOnline recognizes that learning styles matter, and offers something for everyone by including resources that nurture all learning modalities. When choosing training and resources to help you learn new skills and technologies, be sure to set yourself up for success by choosing a tool that supports all of the ways you learn. Some Food For Thought:
- What type of a learner are you? (Not sure? Take the VARK questionnaire.)
- Are you an efficient and effective developer, IT pro, or computer user?
- Do you use reference and training material that fits your learning style?
- Does your training material cover all the learning modalities?
Craig Jensen is the President and CEO of LearnNowOnline. Craig has led the company’s change from instructor-led classroom training, to self-study CD/DVD training, to the award winning online learning solutions offered today. Craig is passionate about helping individuals and businesses of all sizes solve their problems through practical learning and technology. He is involved in setting direction for the company, including selecting training content for development with resources to support all learning styles. He is also involved in The CEO Roundtable organization in the Twin Cities as well as the Minnesota High Tech organization. In his spare time, Craig loves to travel, golf, and partake in water sports of all kinds.