How to Engage Training Participants with Different Learning Styles
It’s hard enough to engage an entire room of people in a training session, let alone trying to identify and accommodate the different learning styles that are present in the room. It’s very rare that everyone in the room will like to learn the same way. That’s why it’s important to understand how to engage different learning styles to make the most of your training session and to ensure that the most learning has taken place. In this article, we’ll give you a few ideas on how to engage with training participants who have different learning styles.
Working with visual learners is easy: most training programs have slide decks, videos, and demonstrations that they can get involved in using. Visual learners like to be able to see something before they try it.
Engaging auditory learners is pretty simple: they like to listen to instructions, hear songs, listen to audiobooks, and being read to while you are presenting a slide deck to the group.
Engaging these “hands-on” type of learners is easy to do: give them something to do, make, create, play with, touch. They get valuable information from doing things, not just seeing and hearing it.
This is your group of people who need to talk things through to make meaning of a concept. They like to discuss ideas with fellow participants, they’ll ask a lot of question and reiterate what you’ve said to make sense of the information for themselves. Keep these learners engaged with lots of verbal communication.
Engage logical learners by giving them problems to solve and keeping their brains busy. They like to reason with information, enjoy multiple choice questions, and want to understand the why of something.
You can engage social learners by using group activities, group presentations, group problem-solving exercises and more. Any activity that brings the group together will help social learners make meaning for themselves through a variety of lenses they will get from their peers.
You’ll always have a few independent learners in your training sessions. These are the quiet, “get work done” kind of people who like to reflect and take things in before they decide how to use the information. You can engage this type of learning by providing independent exercises, writing time, and individual testing.
Use a Variety of Teaching Methods
The trick to engaging the most substantial number of participants as possible is to use a variety of teaching and learning methods. If you are running a training session on leadership, try using a combination of these approaches:
● Group work for social learners
● Written reflection for independent learners
● Videos for visual learners
● Reading aloud for auditory learners
● Creating charts for kinesthetic learners
● Question periods for verbal learners
● Case studies for logical learners
All of these teaching tools can be incorporated into every training session you lead. Whether you are running a half day or full day session, you will have lots of time to ensure that everyone in the training session gets what they need from it with when you engage various learning styles at a time.