It probably will not come as much of a surprise to discover that we all learn differently. We vary in the way we absorb and process information, and we differ in our predisposed learning styles. Your generation also potentially can impact your learning style. Millennials, as an example, tend to want a more immersive experience through technology, while Gen Xers are still comfortable with traditional methods of learning. One way or the other, businesses probably don’t give much thought to how varieties of learning styles affect workplace learning.
The real challenge comes in when attempting to reach every learner at the same time. By incorporating video into your workplace training program, you can easily reach and engage almost every type, and generation, of learner within your organization.
Examining the VARK Model
There are a number of theories that propose to outline the many different learning styles we have. For the moment, let’s take a closer look at Fleming’s VARK model, which describes learners as either visual, auditory, reading, or kinesthetic.
- Visual: Learn best when data and information is presented in the form of either a map, symbol, chart, etc.
- Auditory: This group prefers information heard or spoken by themselves or others. This could be through a lecture, a presentation, or a group discussion.
- Reading/writing: These learners enjoy gather information through words, and text-based input. They often excel in both reading and writing.
- Kinesthetic: This group enjoys hands-on learning. This might include case studies, simulations, or anything that contains real life examples.
Most of us don’t fall into just one category, but rather fit into all four on some level.
Applying Video to the Workplace Training Experience
While trying to appease every learning style might feel like an impossible task, it really isn’t that difficult. An enterprise video platform is one of the most effective way of reaching all your employees regardless of their learning style. Video strikes a balance many other learning solutions fail to deliver.
Now let’s look at the role video plays in connecting with each one of the VARK learning styles:
With rich visual elements it’s likely not surprising to learn that visual learners are attracted to video presentations. To really appeal to this group make sure your videos are strong on imagery, without too many loud and competing sounds or noise.
It’s easy to assume that aural learners don’t benefit from video, but a video is so much more than just a visual presentation. As long as your ensure sharp dictation and good sound quality, an aural learner will benefit immensely. Aural learners tend not to gain much from slide-based video presentations, so try to keep away from using only PowerPoint in your video presentations.
Because learners within this group absorb information primarily in words, it’s best to incorporate things like definitions or lists in your video presentation. You might want to also leave longer pauses to allow this group to take any necessary notes. Of course, keep in mind that your Aural and Visual learners are likely taking in the videos you’re producing, so maybe try to include a head shot of the speaker speaking, with the list populating to their left or right.
This group learns best with interactive participation, which makes it an ideal fit for today’s video functionality. Consider incorporating things like quizzes, chats, and surveys. You might also find that your kinesthetic learners will benefit from learning how to use the video technology, as they’ll be able to help you create content for future learners of your material.
If you have no idea what your employees learning styles are, don’t worry. There are a lot of quizzes online. There are also a few signs that reveal an employees learning style. For example, the employee who always brings a notebook into a meeting to write stuff down is likely strong in the Read/Write category. The employee who listens intently and quietly, and repeats any question being asked before answering it is likely an Aural learner.
One final word of advice, try to keep different learning styles in mind when creating new training content. While video does appeal well to different learning styles, it’s still worth incorporating all the learning elements into each video presentation. The goal should be to create a healthy learning atmosphere where every single employee can learn at their own selected pace.