The content of an orientation or training is without a doubt a crucial part to the success of your overall program. In order to obtain desired results, the content of the orientation or training must include the necessary information and tools that the student or employee will need to retain and comprehend the specific goals of the program.

While we don’t disagree that “content is king”, the way in which the content is delivered to the student or employee is equally as important. Over the years studies have consistently shown that everyone learns and comprehends information differently. Because of this, developing a “one size fits all” orientation curriculum can be problematic. Below, we outline the seven most common learning styles and how you can incorporate each into your teaching approach for your orientation or training.

1. Visual (Spatial)
Visual or spatial learners learn best by looking at images, graphics, mind maps or watching a demonstration. For them, it is easier to look at colors, layouts and maps than to listen to an explanation.

Teaching strategy: Utilize images and maps to represent concepts or things and colors to highlight important information.

2. Physical (Kinesthetic)
Known to some as “learn by doing”, this learning style is best described as using a hands-on approach. Participating in an activity, rather than watching or listening to a lecture, is much more beneficial to these learners.

Teaching strategy: Peer-to-peer participation like role-playing or tasks like “drawing a diagram” should be used with physical learners. If your curriculum is solely online, asking students to practice a process (like registering for a class) can be beneficial.

3. Aural(Auditory)
Aural learners prefer using sound, music, recordings, and rhymes to retain information. Repeating information out loud or having music in the background is a common strategy for these learners.

Teaching strategy: Utilize sounds clips and recordings when applicable and create rhymes to help students memorize curriculum.

4. Verbal 
Verbal learners learn most efficiently through both the written and spoken word. They prefer to listen to information as well as write it down. These learners often enjoy using language creatively, through writing or music.

Teaching strategy: When presenting content, read information aloud and use role-play to demonstrate concepts. Utilize word-based techniques like scripting.

5. Logical
Also referred to as mathematical, logical learners prefer using logic, reasoning and systems to understand concepts. They often look for reasoning behind content and are good at seeing the big picture.

Teaching Strategy: Create lists and utilize relational maps to demonstrate the reasoning and links behind a concept. These learners often have a hard time changing existing behaviors, so providing them with resources and support for their new life change (going to college) is very important.

6. Social
Social learners like to learn in groups and aim to work with others as much as possible. Collaborating with others to help understand concepts or new projects is their preferred way to learn.

Teaching strategy: As you may have guessed, group work is very beneficial here. Role playing or group activities should be used with these learners. If your program is online, utilize technology like Google Hangouts or online chat communities to encourage peer-to-peer interaction.

7. Solitary
Solitary learners prefer to work alone and through self-study. Often times, these learners are intrinsically motivated and think through problems and situations internally, not with peers or in groups. They specialize in “teaching themselves”, often watching how-to videos or reading online forums.

Teaching strategy: With solitary learners, give them the tools they need to analyze and learn the information on their own time. You can do this by offering online how-to videos and online orientation, both of which can be done through self-study and be self-paced.

Many learners probably fall into multiple categories, usually everyone tends to favor one style. There is no real feasible way to take an inventory of all the different types of learners in your audience, but your can do your best to accommodate for all types of learners.

When possible, you should always try to incorporate multiple styles of teaching into your program. Utilizing an online approach that includes a combination of videos, reading, audio, imagery, quizzes, practice exercises and community forums can be an effective and inclusive way to touch on all types of learning styles.

Interested in incorporating an online orientation or training into your program? Contact us at for a demonstration of how you can diversify the way in which you present your content.