Building A Learning Culture: Individual Learning Styles

It is truer than ever before that the way we currently work is changing and continues to evolve as new technologies develop.  All workplaces are currently experiencing a rate and scale of change unparalleled in recent history that is unlikely to diminish in the near future. According to recent research from the ‘Australia’s Digital Pulse’ Australia will need some 100 000 ICT (Information and Communication Technology Professionals) in the next 5 years and ‘there will be no job that doesn’t require digital.” Consider also research from CIPA on workplace Learning and Development programs finding that three quarters of organisations use learning technologies but only one in four are confident in their ability to use technology to increase L&D effectiveness.  So it’s time to get serious about building a learning culture.


By identifying our preferred way of learning information we can align the delivery format and content to optimise our information transfer – learning. We focus on four learning styles – visual learner, auditory learner, kinaesthetic learner and auditory digital learner.


The Visual learner benefits from opportunities to watch demonstrations, view multi media, pictures, graphs flow charts etc and colour coding notes or providing highlighters helps them reinforce learning. Asking them to ‘imagine yourself in this situation’ or visualize something to be memorised works well too.


Auditory learners are excellent listeners that remember, repeat ideas and learn concepts and instructions verbally presented. Using MP3’s and online short information modules, work based scenarios, asking for verbal examples and role-plays are useful for that reason. Tunes and mnemonics are also effective learning strategies for this group.


The Kinaesthetic learner needs to move during the session as they use physical movement to help them concentrate – they can be poor listeners. Direct involvement using role-plays is effective along with asking them to create different representation of the written material provided or to write down any questions they have while reading handouts. These are learners who often doodle, tap or listen to music while learning so having people work in different groups or working in groups around the room to discuss facts or information is valuable.


Finally the Auditory Digital learners need to talk to themselves to make sense of concepts presented so small group discussions are useful here as they can talk ideas through with others. Flowcharts, lists and writing things down helps them to make sense of information and data which they memorise by learning steps, systems and procedures. They think, plan and analyse, and are driven by logic. They may at times appear authoritarian and say things like:  Does that make sense? Do you understand? 


Understanding the individual learning styles of your colleagues is useful beyond the L&D function and can assist you to improve communications across your organisation, interaction by interaction, meeting by meeting to build your learning culture.


See here for link to your preferred learning style? Effective Study Skills_files/1VAK assessment.pdf


Australia’s Digital Pulse by Deloitte Access Economics -


CIPD Research

susan whillas