Visual learners are those who learn best through what they see.
They learn best when they use graphical ways to represent what they are studying. They prefer it when information is represented in diagrams or graphs.
Teaching at school is predominantly based in visual learning – a great advantage for a Visual Learner. This may be because Visual Learning is one of the most common learning styles.
Is your child a Visual Learner?
Here are a few characteristics common to Visual Learners. See if they sound familiar.
- loves pictures and diagrams.
- is good at reading maps and charts.
- create strong pictures in their minds when they read.
- like bright colours (and fashions).
- may have to think for a bit to process a speech or lecture.
Study Tips for Visual Learners
Visual Learners should try to make use of diagrams and charts while they study. This is becoming easier as there is now so much educational material put in these formats.
Copy down all the diagrams you can
If a teacher draws a diagram on the whiteboard – copy it down. Ask them to label it properly.
It wouldn’t even be too much to ask a teacher to draw their own version of a diagram for you. The more diagrams you can get your hands on – the better.
Get good textbooks
If you can, make sure that you have textbooks that use lots of diagrams and visuals. These types of good resources will significantly increase a Visual Learners studying ability
Videos are great resources for Visual Learners. Which is why it’s fantastic that there are now so many freely available educational videos online.
Students don’t seem to mind sitting down and watching a video. This is something that can be done during their study periods or while studying at home.
The Khan Academy website is a great place for this. The site currently has over 1800 videos (all produced by one very smart guy with 4 university degrees, whom Bill Gates’ professed as his favourite teacher!) predominantly science and maths focussed.
YouTube is another website that has hundreds of educational videos. But be careful – it’s also one of the most powerful procrastination tools in the world!
Visual Learners love using highlighters. They make things bright and colourful while making the important bits stand out.
When making their own notes they should develop their own highlighting system. Consistently highlighting certain types of facts in predefined colours will help Visual Learners sort out where facts sit in their heads.
Use flash cards
While flash cards are a fantastic learning technique for Kinaesthetic Learners, they can also be a great way for Visual Learners to study.
They are particularly effective if used with diagrams or charts. E.g. What is this part of a cell called, what does it do? What does a graph that looks like this mean? Who is this, when was she born and what did she do?
Replace words with symbols or initials
This simple tip can help speed up the process of making study notes. It also gets Visual Learners to associate symbols with concepts, rather than words – increasing the strength of association.
If you or your child is a Visual learner, and you have a suggestion for us to add to the list we’d love to hear it! Tell us here.
A cautionary note
Unfortunately, most people don’t fit perfectly into one of the four learning style categories.
So, what does this mean? It means that your child should explore different ways of learning and choose to use the ones that they find most useful.