Here is a simple view of one of the most famous Learning Styles theories.

Take a look at the diagram below and see which speech bubble comes in to your head when you are trying to learn something new.

Do you think you fit in to one of these boxes or do you flex your approach depending on the situation?

Let us know in the comments below.

It is important to acknowledge that whilst Learning Styles are widely accepted & integrated in to the Learning & Development field there is little scientific research that actually supports that designing learning interventions to meet different 'Learning Styles' makes a difference to the learning outcome. 

So where does this leave us?

Take a look at this article on learning styles

The key thing is to be aware and to find what works for you in terms of style and technique.

Do we all have ONE learning style? Do we have this same learning style ALL THE TIME? Do we change over time or is this a constant do you think?

And I guess most importantly, what does all this mean to the way that we design and facilitate learning in our organisations?

Would be interested to hear your views.

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  • I think I'm a bit of all of them.  I like to know how it works and why, understand it logically and have a think about it, so that I can understand the reasons for myself.  Then actually have a go at doing it.  So I think you can be a combination of any of these and not just in one segment.

  • My preference comes out as reflector though I feel I am more of an activist as I feel I learn much better by having a go myself and learning from experience and making mistakes. I feel all learning styles apply to individuals and your style may change/adapt depending on what task or role you are undertaking.

    It was really interesting for me to read about the Jennings 70:20:10 model where 70% of people learn through experience, 20% learn and develop though others and 10% learn through structured development. 

  • I think you can have a strong preference/leaning yet depending on the subject matter perhaps these are interchangeable? I am definitely a Reflector in a learning environment but in a business context could be more Activist (particularly if I have experience in an area)? Interesting thoughts.............

  • Personally for me I feel that my learning style has changed over time, with different environments. In a previous job, my learning style was Activist as I just wanted to do it. However, with my current role my learning style would go across all 4 of the above. Could this be because I am more eager to learn in my current role?

  • Looking at the learning styles I believe I am a little of all, depending on what I am learning.  I do believe however, that in order to make learning a satisfactory and enjoyable experience it would be necessary to cover all areas i.e. SAVI and that way no one individual will miss out on the experience

    • I agree here Sharon, when I read about SAVI, my reaction was that this would be a great experience for when you are training with a group of learners.

  • I enjoy this debate. I am not in one box all of the time, and it certainly depends on the material I am learning. If I am already interested in the subject or not for example. When I joined my current organisation I ran a session on this very topic to help me understand the leadership team better that I was working with, without having to read through endless personality profiles. The team loved the concept and have really started to learn more about their teams as a result.

  • If I am learning a new practical skill I am definitely an activist learner. However I also swing between theorist and pragmatist. When I worked as a team leader in a cafe we were continually looking for ways to improve the service and day to day operation. If anyone came up with ideas we would try it first to see if it worked and then a analyse why it did work. At first before reading the article I though I was just an activist so I found it very interesting.
  • I swing between Activist and Theorist but definitely do not fit just into one box any of the time. I believe I have always been a 'have a go' and 'questioning why' type of person and it doesn't tend to change 

    In my opinion, I feel that we should be designing and facilitating learning using the SAVI model and addressing everyone's different styles to maximise learning. Whatever your style, if you incorporate sensory, auditory, visual and intellectual elements into the design then most people should feel satisfied that they have had a good learning experience and got the most out of the session

  • I swing between Reflector and Theorist, but I agree that it all very much depends on the type of intervention I'm attending. In some instances I definitely prefer to "get my hand dirty" and have a go. 

    If all learners swing between different styles, then I believe that the right way of designing interventions is to encompass items that appeal and will have an impact on all the above learning styles. 

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