Instructional Design For Kinesthetic Learners: 7 Techniques To Employ

Instructional Design For Kinesthetic Learners: 7 Techniques To Employ
Malochka Mikalai/
Summary: Kinesthetic eLearning experiences are tactile in nature. They involve movement, interactivity, and direct contact with the learning materials. All of these things can be difficult to achieve in eLearning. Fortunately, there are ways that you can take a kinesthetic approach when designing your eLearning program. In this article, I'll show you 7 techniques to employ when addressing to kinesthetic learners in eLearning.

7 Instructional Design Techniques For Kinesthetic Learners

Kinesthetic learning centers on active participation, in the truest sense of the word. Learners who fall into this category prefer to stay in motion while training and find it challenging to sit still during lectures and online presentations. This is primarily due to the fact that their minds are not able to trigger the knowledge assimilation process unless their bodies are involved in the process. Thus, the information stays in their short-term memory, best case scenario, and never quite makes it to their long-term memory. However, there are a variety of techniques that eLearning professionals can employ in order to make their eLearning programs more kinesthetically inclined.

1. Develop A Wide Range Of Tactile Activities

Knowing how to turn your eLearning course into a tactile eLearning experience can be challenging, especially since you don't have any of the face-to-face activities to rely on. You cannot integrate physical exercises into your eLearning program, nor experiments or group projects that involve direct contact with materials. However, there is still a wide range of online activities that you can use to make your eLearning course more tactile. Developing tablet-based activities that require swiping, tapping, and motion controls is one such example. Interactive presentations, point-and-click eLearning games, and branching scenarios are also ideal kinesthetic eLearning tools.

2. Focus On Immersion And Interactivity

A successful kinesthetic eLearning course focuses on full immersion and a high level of interactivity. Online learners must feel as though they are part of the process and that their physical actions are playing a vital role. For example, the mere act of clicking on an object and moving it to a target can make online learners feel more connected and improve knowledge retention. In addition, every aspect of your eLearning course design should be as realistic as possible, so that it mimics a real-world environment. Including pictures from the workplace or sound effects that remind them of real-life situations can greatly enhance the immersion factor.

3. Make It Emotional

eLearning experiences that are linked to emotions are more memorable, and this is particularly the case with kinesthetic learners. Use colors that evoke strong positive emotions, include real-world case studies and examples that inspire and motivate, and use stories that help your learners relate to the subject matter on a more profound level. Online scenarios and simulations can also be an effective tool, as they involve real-world consequences and rewards without any risk. Online learners will automatically tie the outcome to a specific emotion, such as disappointment or excitement, which enables them to absorb and retain the information more effectively.

4. Cater To Different Kinesthetic Learning Styles

There are actually four key groups of kinesthetic learners: hands-on, whole body, artistic, and emotional. While a hands-on learner may prefer a serious game that involves point and click actions, an artistic learner will choose to creatively express themselves during the eLearning activity. For example, they might create drawings or doodles, or take visual notes as they process the information. Whole-body learners benefit from online simulations, and emotional learners fare well with compelling imagery and stories. It's important to research your audience to determine which category they fall into so that you can customize the eLearning course to meet their needs and preferences.

5. Use Branching Scenarios To Boost Retention

Branching scenarios are highly interactive, which makes them an ideal match for kinesthetic eLearning courses. They also emphasize the real-world benefits and applications in a more visual way, which is vital for tactile online learners. Instead of just telling them what will happen if they perform an action, you can show them the outcome and offer immediate feedback. It's also essential to make your online scenarios brief, as kinesthetic corporate learners prefer short bursts of information that are spread out over the course of time. If you are working with complex tasks or ideas, then break it up into multiple scenarios in order to improve knowledge retention. This also gives online learners the option to access the eLearning content whenever it's most convenient for them, which boosts motivation.

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6. Create Collaborative Group Projects

Group collaboration projects may not seem like a kinesthetic online tool, but it offers learners the chance to interact with their peers and work toward a common goal. Teamwork is, by nature, more interactive and immersive than autonomous eLearning activities. It gives learners the sense that they are part of a greater online learning community, and offers them the ability to give and receive the feedback they need to improve performance behaviors. If possible, develop group-based eLearning activities that are more tactile, such as developing a website or an online presentation.

7. Allow Them To Explore Through Experimentation

Kinesthetic learners usually don't care for lectures or text-based eLearning courses with minimal images or video. In fact, they typically require more exploratory eLearning activities that encourage them to experiment and solve problems. Instead of simply offering them the answer to a common problem or challenge, provide them with the resources they need and ask them to arrive at their own conclusions. Include links to external eLearning articles, sites, and videos they may find useful, as well as supplemental online activities that they can access on their own time.

Instructional Design for kinesthetic learners gives them the power to reach out and touch the subject matter. When their minds and body are in sync, they gain the opportunity to absorb and retain information more effectively, which is the goal of every eLearning program. Even those who may not fall into the kinesthetic learners' category can benefit from more tactile and interactive eLearning activities.

The primary goal of any eLearning experience is to engage online learners and motivate them to actively participate in the eLearning course. Read the article 5 Tips To Create Multi-Sensory eLearning Courses to discover how your online learners are more likely to remember the subject matter if, at the same time, they can touch, see, and hear it.