Do Learning Styles Put People in a Box?
Learning styles, or learning modalities, have allowed us to identify how different people learn. And, our job as instructional designers, is to create holistic training that includes different modalities so that we can reach each learner.
Rather than interviewing everyone in a company and asking them, “How do you learn?” (which they themselves may not know, by the way) we study all learning styles and aim to make training materials for everyone.
But by adhering to the learning modalities of today, are we putting people in a box?
What We Know About Learning Styles
As instructional designers, we study different learning modalities. Some of the heavyweights used in the workforce today are:
And a coupling of the above, for example:
What We Don’t Know
While we, at Miranda Park Learning, are proponents of learning styles, we are also proponents of learning, period. This means, with almost eight billion people on the planet, are we limiting the growth and discovery of different learning styles by sticking to the ones above?
Learning styles tend to agree with the senses and we only have five of those, but we stay open to what we don’t know.
Staying Open to New Learning Styles
It is important to us that we pay attention to every learner. With the new generations coming into the workforce, we observe. Of course, we present the existing learning modalities, but we stay open to how new generations can teach us how to teach them.
Are Learning Styles Bad?
Not from our point of view. If past professionals hadn’t come up with them, we honestly don’t know what base we’d have today for learning modality structure. Learning styles gave us language we can use for learning and development. What we’re saying is, stay open. Don’t just make kinesthetic learning because “everyone likes kinesthetic.” That’s not true.
But Doesn’t Everyone Like Kinesthetic Learning?
Here’s what we have to say about this: Pay attention to your learner. If they don’t jive with your kinesthetic materials, such as eLearning (yep, we said it) and they’re disengaged with your module, you have to look at that. Kinesthetic isn’t the answer for everyone.
Who Are We?
We are Miranda Park Learning, your instructional design services experts. To create innovative training that includes all modalities and stays open to more, contact us at 720-722-9998 or at [email protected].
Picture: Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
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