Understanding how we learn to better teach / inspire others into action.
For many years and until recently, I developed and delivered social media courses for a vast array of cross sector clients. Early on it was apparent that attendees learned and reacted to what we were sharing in different ways, which in turn broadened our delivery to accommodate these varying styles.
Some participants would literally run ahead of the pack clicking all the buttons and figuring it out on the fly, a fair few would need to take their time and consider the notes / outlines / examples given and move forward checking themselves as they go, whilst a few literally needed one-to-one careful tuition which meant lots of reinforcement and a higher intensity of care (which is why we always delivered in tandem).
The VARK model gives a great insight into how we all have biases towards specific stimuli and learning. It’s my go-to when describing or helping clients deconstruct their own delivery / content around teaching staff or inspiring others:
- visual—they like to be shown not told, prefer illustrated examples and visual cues of achievement;
- aural—this group prefers to listen and will be adept at converting spoken instruction into action;
- read / write—these do best within the ‘traditional’ educational approach by devouring text and replicating the medium;
- kinesthetic—the more action focussed party of people who love just getting their hands on tools and figuring it out through physical feedback cues.
If you’re involved in any kind of capability building or skill increasing activities check if your ‘teaching’ style is fluid enough to cater for all those who learn differently.
What is your learning / teaching style?