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Every classroom contains students with varying styles of learning. While most people can use any of the three primary styles -- auditory, visual and kinesthetic -- to learn information, their dominant style reflects their preferred form of instruction and easiest means of assimilating new knowledge. Teachers with a basic understanding of the three main styles can adapt their lessons to give all students the best chance of success.
The typical visual learner prefers to read information in a textbook or on a whiteboard rather than listen to a lecture. Visualization techniques help them remember things. They often enjoy doodling and drawing and can use this practice as a study tool.
Visual learners tend to use sight words in their everyday terminology. For example, they might say, "Let's take a look at this." They easily remember details including colors and spatial arrangements, and they excel at memory games that require visual recall. They often have a good sense of direction because they can visualize maps and directions in their mind.
Key Learning Methods for Visual Learners
Visual learners learn best when they can see the material being taught. They follow instructions better when they can see a demonstration first, rather than just be told how to do something. Visual learners typically prefer images, maps, graphs and other visual representations to other forms of instruction. They like to read.
Ways to Adapt Lessons for Visual Learners
Include diagrams, mind maps, word webs, visuals and other forms of graphic organizers to help visual learners get the most from your instruction. Accompany oral instructions with a written recap before requiring students to complete an assignment. Further, avoid lecturing without accompanying notes and/or visuals.
Ways for Visual Learners to Adapt Instruction to Their Style
Students inevitably encounter teachers whose styles of instruction differ from their own learning preference. Visual learners can take control of their learning experience with techniques that adapt varying teaching methods to their visual strengths. For example, students can use highlighters when they review their notes, organize information into outlines and use flashcards to study for tests. Visual learners may also find that if they include images, mind maps, lists and other visual techniques in their notes, they more easily remember key information.
Other Learning Styles: