The Four Different Learning Styles That Every Employer Should Know
When it comes to employee development, many factors influence how well employees progress. The type of training they are provided with, as well as their motivation and commitment to learning, will be integral to their progression. That’s where VARK comes in.
As an employer, you should also consider how different learning styles will impact development. Apprentices require a lot of initial training, both as part of an apprentice training programme and on-the-job training.
Research shows that using the VARK questionnaire to identify a person’s preferred learning style and then using that predominant style (or styles), provides better learning results. Blue Lion Training Academy utilises the most effective learning style theories to ensure apprentices can reach their full potential.
How does VARK work?
These are the four different VARK learning styles:
When someone has a preferred learning style that is visual, they learn more effectively through the information that is presented in visual formats such as charts, graphs, maps, flow charts, and other graphical representations. When information is provided in this format, they are more likely to retain the key learnings.
With this learning style, people prefer to learn by listening to someone speak and having conversations. This type of learning takes place during lectures, group discussions, and listening to audiobooks, for example. Talking out loud helps the person to understand and absorb the information, in the way that they interpret it.
Some people prefer to read and write when they are learning, so reading books or online information in text format works best for them. Reading or writing documents such as manuals, essays, reports, and online guides are usually the preferred method of learning for people who have this learning style preference. These types of students will usually take lots of notes to help them to remember the key points.
Kinesthetic learners learn most effectively when they are physically working something out, for example, learning mechanics by putting a mechanism together. Or if they are doing something like graphic design, they learn by designing the graphics, rather than reading how to do it or watching a video.
How the VARK questionnaire works
Students complete the VARK questionnaire, which is a multiple-choice questionnaire asking a set of questions that determine their learning style. There are a few different versions but generally, there will be around 16 questions, each with four answer options. Each answer will be based on one of the learning styles.
For example, a common question used in VARK is:
I like websites that have:
- things I can click on, shift, or try.
- interesting design and visual features.
- interesting written descriptions, lists, and explanations.
- audio channels where I can hear music, radio programs, or interviews.
With this example, 1. would represent kinesthetic learning, 2. would link to visual, 3. would be read/write and 4. would be auditory.
The student completes the questionnaire, then the scores would be calculated and the scoring chart would determine the preferred learning style based on which one was chosen the most times.
Once the preferred learning style has been determined the training for the individual should be tailored around their specific learning style as much as possible. When you are asking someone to teach an apprentice a particular task within your business, you should encourage them to use the preferred learning style.
There will usually be elements of all learning styles used but predominantly using the preferred one will deliver better results. At Blue Lion Training Academy, one of the reasons we can help apprentices to develop to a higher calibre of employee is because we utilise the VARK learning style approach.
This methodology has been successfully implemented for many years and while school classes are too big to allow teachers to adapt learning styles to suit every individual learner if you have one or two apprentices, it is the ideal scenario for implementing VARK to ensure that learners are being trained using their most effective type of training.
We have been designing learning programmes to suit all four learning styles across a range of industries and for different types of roles, including creative roles in the marketing sector. Many apprentices who follow a career in creative jobs find that visual-based learning is their preferred method, but this is not the case for everyone, which is why the VARK questionnaire is important to identify how to structure the training programme to deliver the best learning results.
Get in touch with us so we can work with you to develop a VARK based learning programme for your apprentices, which will help to ensure they thrive at your company and become key employees.
Why not take the VARK Quiz to find out what learning style suits you best?
Found this blog interesting? Why not check out our range of blogs, available here.