Characteristics And Learning Strategies for Visual Learning
August 21, 2012
According to studies, most people are visual learners in such a way that people primarily learn using the sense of sight. Since people have now become more visual learners, the education sector should seek new ways of enhancing learning by improving methods of instruction to include more visual stimulation. This article discusses ways to better understand people who are visual learners.
Characteristics of Visual Learners
Visual learners usually have the following characteristics:
Learning takes place all at once with larger facts in intuitive leaps.
Visual learners tend to grasp information faster when they see the whole information rather than in independent discussions. For instance, a visual learner child will learn the multiplication table in a faster way when they see the chart rather than when they memorize the facts independently.
Visual learners tend to become perfectionists.
Visual learners tend to become restless or uncomfortable when they are presented with incomplete information or situations. They can clearly see when something is missing, when some imperfections in points of alignment are present, or when a not true vertical or horizontal line is evident. They strive to bring order by fixing things, arranging, color coding and constructing.
Visual learners see a bigger picture than others.
Visual learners are best in summarizing and analysing the bigger implications of things; however, they tend not to remember details.
Visual learners maintain eye contact.
When speaking, they establish eye contact, which shows how focused they are on their sense of sight when learning things. They tend to establish eye contact while reading your lips and while listening to you because it’s their most comfortable way of listening to other people.
Visual learners are easily distracted by external sounds.
Sounds in the environment usually distract visual learners. Maintaining a quiet environment is usually best for them.
Subdued, natural lighting and temperature are best for visual learners.
Aside from a toned down noise, visual learners are also more comfortable in natural lighting rather than in harsh lighting, temperature extremes, and rough clothing.
Learning Strategies for Visual Learners
Both teachers and students may apply these strategies to help visual learners maximize their learning:
Present the learning objectives for the class
Since visual learners are more focused on the bigger picture, presenting the learning objectives for the class may help them appreciate the overall significance of the subject matter. Among students who are visual learners, meeting the teacher personally to understand the essence of the subject matter may work well.
Use visual clues for learning
Teachers may offer visual clues with the use of visual aids and other forms of tools to help students retain what they have learned. Giving verbal sequential steps may also not be effective among these types of learners so aside from giving your verbal instructions, you should also show them what they need to do. When trying to memorize or remember things, visual learners may use an image or a picture to facilitate their recall of information.
Take note of subjects that provide less visual dimensions and focus on them
Visual learners are best in fields of study that have a broad visual dimension such as geometry and physics. Subjects that have less visual components such as chemistry and algebra should be restructured to benefit visual learners.
Focus on getting courses that have more visual components
If you are a visual learner, it is best if you pursue a career that will allow you to apply your spatial skills such as engineering, mechanics, creative arts, aeronautics and architecture.
Use concept maps rather than outlines
For teachers, teaching visual learners on sequences or connections may be more effective when using concept maps rather than outlines. Make sure to show them the ideas in diagram form to let them capture the whole idea easier.
If you are seeking a school or university that will cater to your needs as a visual learner, you should consider Sandford Brown at www.sanfordbrown.edu. They offer a wide range of courses that you can choose from depending on your area of interest.
The Use of Technology in Visual Learning
More than any other learning style, visual learning embraces technology very well. With the advancement in technology, visual learners are now presented with more visual aids such as in the form of PowerPoint presentations, digital photography, movies and others.
Teachers of the new generation should also make use of these advancements in technology to better cater to the needs of visual learners. For instance, instead of a chalk and board discussion, the use of PowerPoint media can help present some of the examples.
Also, students may be allowed to use computers with their learning by advocating the use of a computer laboratory in schools.
These ideas on visual learners are usually effective in instruction. Nevertheless, teachers should consider that not all individuals learn best through these strategies so they should be able to employ other teaching styles that cater for auditory and kinaesthetic learners also.