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The Visual Learning Style

Visual Learning Traits

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Getty Images | William Andrew

Are you one of those people who closes your eyes to envision the exact location of where you left your car keys? Do you remember the cover of every book you've ever read? Do you have a photographic memory? Then perhaps you are one of those people with the visual learning style. What is the visual learning Style? Read below for the scoop!

What is Visual Learning?

Visual Learning is one of the three different learning styles popularized by Neil D. Fleming in his VAK model of learning. Basically, the visual learning style means that people need to see information to learn it, and this "seeing" takes many forms from spatial awareness, photographic memory, color/tone, brightness/contrast and other visual information. Naturally, a classroom is a very good place for a visual learner to learn. Teachers use overheads, the chalkboard, pictures, graphs, maps and many other visual items to entice a visual learner into knowledge.

Strengths of Visual Learning

Here are some other strengths of this learning type:

  • Instinctively follows directions
  • Easily visualizes objects
  • Has a great sense of balance and alignment
  • Is an excellent organizer
  • Has a strong sense of color, and is very color-oriented
  • Can see the passage from a page in a book in his or her mind
  • Notices minute similarities and differences between objects and people easily
  • Can envision imagery easily

Visual Learning Strategies for Students

If you're a visual learner, and you can find out here if you are, you may find these things helpful when learning.

  • Color code your notes, vocabulary words, textbook
  • Be sure to read the diagrams, maps, and other visuals that go along with text to help you remember it
  • Make to-do lists in an agenda
  • Study in solitude. You need to see things to remember them, and often, noise will distract you.
  • Take notes during lectures to capitalize on your learning style
  • Sit near the front so you're better able to see everything
  • Use outlines and concept maps to organize your notes

Visual Learning Strategies for Teachers

Your students with the visual learning style, about 65 per cent of your class, are the ones traditional classrooms are designed to teach. They'll pay attention to your overhead slides, PowerPoint presentations, handouts, graphs and charts. If you use a lot of verbal directions, though, visual learners may get confused as they prefer to have something in writing to refer to.

Try these strategies for reaching those students with the visual learning type:

  • Supplement verbal lectures with a handout, diagram, or other visuals
  • Incorporate color into your presentations, the classroom and handouts
  • Give written instructions and expectations
  • Vary your reading in class with solitary reading time so visual learners will take in the information better.
  • Vary your instructional methods (lectures, group work, solitary work, pairs, circles) and assignments so every learner is challenged
  • Show your students how to complete a task
  • Use video and still images to enhance your presentations
  • Provide written feedback on assignments
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