What is the Visual Learner?
Visual learners are individuals who process information best when presented to them visually rather than through other means like listening or reading. In this article, we’ll explore how you can use visual learners’ unique learning styles to your advantage in academic, professional, and personal settings.
Visualizations can make even the most mundane information more accessible and easier to digest. Two essential characteristics of how adults learn are that they are goal-oriented and utilize their current knowledge and life experiences to absorb and understand information. Therefore, by being aware of people with also a visual learning style, you can have a much greater impact.
Top 5 Visual Learner Characteristics?
Visual learners are people who learn best through seeing or observing things. Here are five characteristics that are common among visual learners:
- Prefer images and diagrams: Visual learners often prefer to see information presented in pictures, charts, or graphs rather than just text.
- Learn through observation: Visual learners learn best when they see someone else performing a task or skill. They may also prefer to watch videos or demonstrations.
- Good at remembering visual details: Visual learners often have a good memory for visual information, such as colors, shapes, and patterns. This will help with visual recall of the more detailed information.
- Need visual aids to help with understanding: Visual learners may struggle to understand information if it is presented only in spoken or written form. Therefore, they may benefit from visual aids such as slideshows, diagrams, or videos.
- Enjoy creating visual art: Visual learners often have a creative streak and enjoy expressing themselves through visual art such as drawing, painting, or photography.
Use Visual Learner Characteristics in Your Lesson Plans
Have you ever found that you remember information better when it is presented in a visual format, like a chart or a diagram, rather than in a table or even just a written form? If so, you may be what’s known as a visual learner. Whether you’re a visual learner or simply curious about this unique learning style, you can take advantage of this to make your information more impactful and have greater retention. Read on to learn more.
Learning with Visuals – Case Study
I created a data visualization course as part of a college program I took a few years ago. Unfortunately, the content touches what seems like a series of disconnected topics, and I needed to find a way to tie all the items together.
Putting together these two facts, I created a visualization of the lesson plan to provide clarity. This also allows students to take away a page summary of the seminar as a memory jogger when they return to their offices.
Turn the Lesson Plan into a Visualization
I created the visualization below that splits the course into four main areas;
- Getting Data
- Modeling Data
- Building Reports
- Building Dashboards
This divides each section into a specific task with the primary objectives and learning topics for the section listed.
The students are data analysis power users, so splitting the content into sections, they were familiar with allows them to learn a new tool while leveraging their current work experience. Using a chronological learning path where you start from data gathering to final reports provides a definable goal for each section. After you finish this topic, you will be able to…. for example.
There are four commonly recognized types of learners: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and read/write. Here’s a brief overview of each type:
- Visual learners: These learners prefer to process information through visual aids such as diagrams, charts, images, and videos.
- Auditory learners: These learners prefer to process information through listening and speaking. They may benefit from lectures, discussions, and audio recordings.
- Kinesthetic learners: These learners prefer to learn through hands-on activities, movement, and physical experiences. They may benefit from interactive activities, role-playing, and field trips.
- Read/write learners: These learners prefer to process information through reading and writing. They may benefit from written materials such as textbooks, handouts, and notes and enjoy taking detailed notes and writing summaries.
For further reference, there was a great article, 4 Types of Learning Styles: How to Accommodate a Diverse Group of | Rasmussen University, that details the four types of learning styles.
Conclusion – Improve Memory Recall and Understanding with Visualizations
Designing a lesson plan as an infographic offers optical cues for learning and provides a visual flow that helps tie the topics together. This visualization also provides a takeaway summary of the entire session on one page that the attendee can view later, which assists in memory recall.
Rather than a book on a shelf, an excellent-looking one-page summary hanging on the cubicle wall will go a long way to making the student more successful by helping recall information learned during the session.