Implementing the VARK Model For Training Employees According To Their Learning Style
Different people are more receptive to various learning styles, so build your courses in a way that appeals to them all. In general, the 3 most common learning styles are: Visual, audio, and kinesthetic. Everyone is a little bit of each type, but in most people, one style prevails over the other two. Here are some suggestions for effectively training employees according to their learning style:
- Aural Learners.
Individuals who are audio learners do their best when physically listening to the content being taught to them. Traditional in-house training sessions are beneficial to these types of people, as they can hear the information. When you transition to an online training platform, these types of learners will benefit from more voice-over videos, audio recordings, and uploaded in-house training recordings. With an online solution, a big bonus for these learners is that they can always rewind and re-listen to the learning material and really retain the information.
- Visual Learners.
Your employees with this learning style learn best when the training is presented to them visually. Graphics and videos resonate more strongly with these types. Try adding writing tasks to your courses and handouts are great additions as well – something they can look at and reference. Remember that these learner types also benefit from pictures and symbols so remember to add graphs, numbers, and charts to your content so that they absorb the information better.
- Kinesthetic Learners.
These learners retain the most amount of information with their senses, as they learn via experience. This even includes tasting, touching, and smelling. Essentially, these employees learn best by experiencing things hands-on. As an example, if you are training your employees on some new safety procedure, you should also try to give them an in-person scenario to help simulate the situation e.g. how to operate machinery properly. Also keep in mind that these individuals are more emotional when learning, and since online training accommodates audio and visual learners more, it's important to be creative when training kinesthetic learners. While they are going through their online training, give them physical tasks they can complete simultaneously. For example, if you are the franchiser teaching employees how to cook a dish, have them try to cook it while watching the video at the same time.
- Reading Learners.
These individuals learn best by taking in information displayed as words. Their preferred method of having information presented to them is through text-based material. These learners are perfect for textbook style manuals and learning off of written handouts and PowerPoint presentations.
The VARK model (visual, aural, reading, and kinesthetic) has been questioned extensively. Many trainers believe that labeling learners as having only one specific learning style is not the correct way to go about teaching and training employees. Keeping this in mind, it is critical to understand that there is a multimodal style of learning as well. That is that you can be an aural learner when it comes to a specific subject and be a visual learner when it comes to a different topic.
Again, never forget that people are different so you need to facilitate a training program that is conducive to different learning styles. Your trainees will appreciate it and your business will be better off for it.