How To Create Online Training For The 4 Different Learner Temperaments

How To Create Online Training For The 4 Different Learner Temperaments
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Summary: A popular and age-old proto-psychological theory suggests that there are 4 core temperaments that describe human personalities. But how can you create online training for distinct learner temperaments so that everyone feels their needs are met?

Learner Temperaments And How To Create Online Training That Meets Their Unique Needs

According to Hippocrates, human beings can be categorized into 4 different temperaments: sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholic, and choleric. These temperaments play a role in virtually every aspect of life, from how you interact with others to how you process information. Some of us even have hybrid temperaments that consist of unique traits from different personality types. Hippocrates thought it all boiled down to our bodily fluids affecting behaviors. However, many theorists and medical practitioners that followed believed that there was a more holistic explanation. That our emotions, mental state and capacity, attitudes, and even dreams played a pivotal role in defining our temperaments. Let’s take a look at the 4 core learner temperaments and tips to create online training for each group.

How The 4 Learner Temperaments Impact Online Training

1. Sanguine

Sanguine learners are active, social, and outgoing. They like to take on new challenges, even if there’s some degree of risk involved. This personality type also has a tendency to be charismatic and optimistic. This makes them ideal leaders who fuel their teammates’ motivation to achieve the desired results. Another trait of sanguine learners is that they avoid boredom at all costs. Monotony and routine are the things they dread most about online training.

Top Tips To Create Online Training For Sanguine Learners

  • Sanguine learners need a good mix of online training activities to keep them fully engaged. It’s best to incorporate resources that appeal to different learning preferences and allow them to pick-and-choose.
  • This personality type loves to spark their creativity, as well as take on the role of host. Integrate online training activities that allow them to entertain and inspire their peers. For example, leading a live training session or heading a group collaboration project.
  • Give them the opportunity to take risks (without real-world repercussions) through simulations and branching scenarios. That way, they can learn from their mistakes, but not at the expense of sales, customer service stats, or compliance policies.

2. Phlegmatic

Phlegmatic learner temperaments are more laid-back and subdued. They like to keep the peace and are known for their ability to empathize with others. Though they aren’t as outgoing as their sanguine counterparts, they still thrive in social situations. However, they’re the ones who always try to successfully resolve conflicts and maintain harmony among their team members. Even if they steer clear of arguments in which they’re personally involved. In other words, they tend to be the peace keepers in the group.

Top Tips To Create Online Training For Phlegmatic Learners

  • Phlegmatic learners are great problem-solvers who enjoy using their lateral thinking skills to tackle everyday challenges. Incorporate group collaboration projects that allow them to work with their peers to brainstorm solutions.
  • Phlegmatic learner temperament isn’t very fond of outwardly expressing their emotions. However, they do feel deeply and look for online training activities that connect with them on a personal level. Add real-world stories and personal anecdotes that feature characters they can sympathize with.
  • Provide them with a calm and collected learning environment so that they can focus on the task. Avoid controversial images or content that makes them feel uncomfortable. Instead, put them at ease with relaxing color schemes and subtle touches of humor.

3. Melancholic

Melancholic learners always seem to be lost in thought, pondering the training topic and analyzing every detail. They’re more introverted than the previous two personality types and avoid being the center of attention. That said, melancholics are often perfectionists who strive to reach their full potential. They are firmly rooted in routine and don’t necessarily care for taking risks or going against the status quo. Another common melancholic trait is being neat and tidy. In fact, disorder typically makes them anxious.

Top Tips To Create Online Training For Melancholic Learners

  • Cut the clutter and give your melancholic learners an orderly online training course that’s easy to navigate. Remember, they pay attention to every minute detail. So, make sure each image, graphic, or text box has a purpose.
  • Melancholic learners are independent. As such, they typically enjoy personalized learning paths that allow them to go at their own pace. But you should also incorporate social learning activities to cater to their need for a sense of community.
  • Don’t force this personality type to host online training events or lead the team if they aren’t ready. Instead, incorporate social media groups and online discussions that enable them to ease into social interactivity.

4. Choleric

Choleric learner temperaments are self-reliant, confident, and goal-centered. They have a more practical perspective and seize every opportunity to step into leadership roles. This personality type is also very logical and pragmatic. Though they can be emotional at times, they are prone to "thinking with their head instead of their heart." Cholerics do thrive in social settings, but only with like-minded peers who want to engage in meaningful discussions.

Top Tips To Create Online Training For Choleric Learners

  • Create a peer-based coaching or mentoring program to give choleric learners the chance to exchange knowledge and share their experiences. More public forums may cause them to disengage, as they prefer ‘meaty’ discussions versus light conversation.
  • Stress the real-world benefits and give them ample opportunity to put their knowledge into practice. This may be in the form of simulations or even case studies that allow them to put things into context.
  • Encourage choleric learners to set their own goals and break them into milestones. Remember that choleric learners are goal-oriented self-starters who look for structure in their online training.


Chances are, your audience consists of all these learner temperaments. In fact, most of your corporate learners are probably a mix of learner temperaments. As such, you should create inclusive online training experiences that appeal to the 4 primary groups. Of course, you should still conduct audience research to personalize your online training content based on their needs and gaps. Just make certain that your online training strategy takes all the aforementioned personality traits into consideration.

The right outsourcing partner can help you cater to all the learner temperaments and develop meaningful online training experiences. So, check out our exclusive online directory to find the best eLearning content provider in your price range.