How many times have you sat in a two-hour meeting only to realize after that you don’t recall anything that was discussed?
Sure maybe it was because you actually weren’t paying attention, but have you ever thought about ‘why’ you weren’t paying attention? It’s possible it’s because the content was dull, but chances are you failed to comprehend the material because you are not an auditory learner.
So does this mean you should never attend another meeting? Not exactly, but it does mean you probably learn and process information differently than someone who is an auditory learner.
According to VARK model by Neil Fleming, there are four distinct learning styles: Visual, Aural, Read/Write, and Kinesthetic. Visual learners have a preference for seeing, auditory learners learn best through listening, kinesthetic prefer to learn while doing, and read/write enjoy having words that they can view and write down.
Traditional workplace training once included a manual of notes. That’s great if you learning by reading, but what if you don’t? Similar, if training always involves monotonous lectures, how do you engage a kinesthetic learner?
Thankfully video actually plays a role in each learning style. Here’s how:
Visual: We already know that visual learners will learn easily through video, but that doesn’t mean you can get lazy on the presentation of it. Visual learners still need strong imagery to make an impression. When creating a video make sure there aren’t too many competing sounds as this may compete with the visual content.
Aural: Just because video is primarily visual doesn’t mean that aural learners can’t benefit as well. Ensure your dictation is sharp and the sound quality is strong because this group may only listen via headphones. Also, aural learners may be sensitive to outside noise, so watch out for any competing background noise.
Read/Write: Because this group prefers to take in information displayed as words, consider including a lot of lists and definitions if possible. This group also likes to take notes, so ensure you give them concrete concepts that they can easily write down.
Kinesthetic: This group learns best with interactive participation. If possible, ensure your videos have interactive elements. Things like polls and quizzes work best with this group, or simply ask them a lot of questions and demand different types of action.
Don’t panic if you don’t know what your colleague’s learning styles are; this is just a guide to help you work towards an inclusive learning model. Experiment with different types of videos and look closely to see who engages with what. Or look for little hints, like the employee who always has to write things down, or the colleague that always notices everything visual. And don’t worry about trying to appeal to every learning style in one video. You can’t please everyone, but you just might engage someone you didn’t expect.