What are visual learners? This is the first question that we must answer. Everyone learns differently. Each student might have a unique learning style. This is because it has been observed that when it comes to learning, people have different patterns. These patterns are called learning styles. In this article we will be talking about visual learners and how teachers can adapt their teaching styles.
Visual learners are, in very simple words, people who are able to learn better with the help of visual cues. They are able to retain information and process it when the information and ideas are presented to them in forms like, charts, diagrams, symbols, etc. These types of learners might not do very well when it comes to processing data in textual formats, such as reading papers, or long texts.
So, how does one identify someone with a visual learning style? Well, according to research and surveys done, about 65% of all people learn visually. They are also known as spatial learners. You can often find such learners, doodling, making mind maps or taking creative notes. Visual learners are often especially creative and get involved in design, photography, and architecture fields. If you have such students you may wonder how to get through to them. Here are four ways in which you can help teach students who have a visual learning style.
1.Use Whiteboards and Smart boards
Whiteboards, smart boards and glass boards are a visual learner’s best friend. This is because using these tools it becomes easy to draw graphs, diagrams, maps, and other helpful visuals to impart the information. You can take it a step further and indulge in, for example, a set of colored markers to help color code the information and make it more visually appealing.
2.Use Visual Aids
Simply put, visual aids are things that your listeners, who in this case are your students, can look at. They come in many forms. Infographics, graphs, pictures and videos, physical models, etc. are some examples of visual aids. Using visual aids to teach such learners can help them retain information easily and at a much faster rate.
3.Create Mind maps
Mind maps in itself are a great tool. Our brain is wired to process visual information at a much higher rate (about 10 times) than textual information. Mind maps lay down bulk information in an easily understandable and easy to process manner. A long paragraph of text might not register very well with everyone, but a picture is easy to remember. For example, say you are trying to teach your students about magnetism. There will be a number of formulas that will be a part of the main topic. With the help of mind maps, you can easily separate out the bigger topics and then put the formulas underneath the main topic. This way, your students will be able to remember which formula comes under which topic. This is just one example; you can create mind maps to lay out characters in a play and their characteristics, or make one that highlights parts of a cell and its functions.
4.Colour Coded Notes
Visual learners will have a hard time with the information sinking in if the text is too monotonous. Notes are a great way to summarize large chunks of information in easily understandable chunks. The best part about making notes, whether for yourself or your student, is that you are able to convert the provided information into a format that is easily comprehensible to your learning style and format. You can use different colors to demarcate your notes. For example, red can be used for information that is the most information, or black for a head and blue for the pointers underneath. In this way the brain is able to process information it receives according to the color code you set.
Visual aids in presentations are invaluable to both you and the students you want to teach. They make the job way easier for you, and your students leave feeling like they learned something.