Understanding Visual Learning

We all know from our time in education and the workplace that we all learn in different ways. As parents, understanding whether your child is a visual learner can be crucial in helping with their learning experiences. In this article, we look at visual learning, its effectiveness, benefits, and comparison with auditory learning.

What is Visual Learning?

Visual learning is a learning style where individuals process information most effectively using visual aids such as charts, diagrams, graphs, videos, and demonstrations. Essentially, visual learners process and retain information better when it is presented visually rather than through other methods such as reading from a textbook, or in a lecture format. 

How effective is Visual Learning?

Research suggests that visuals enhance comprehension, retention, and recall of information. According to the Social Science Research Network, approximately 65% of the population comprises visual learners, signifying the prevalence and effectiveness of this learning style.

Benefits of Visual Learning

There are so many benefits to visual learning, these include:

  1. Enhanced Comprehension: Visuals aid in clarifying complex concepts, making them easier to understand.
  2. Improved Retention:Images create lasting impressions, leading to better memory recall.
  3. Facilitates Understanding: Visual aids provide concrete representations of abstract ideas, helping to develop a deeper understanding of the subject.
  4. Promotes Engagement: Visuals when used well capture attention and maintain interest. They encourage active participation in learning activities and therefore more engagement in the subject. 

Examples of Visual Learning

There are so many examples of visual learning tools and techniques, which makes it a great way for children to learn and they can find the one that works for them. Here are a few of the most used: 

  1. Mind Maps: These are usually hand-drawn organizers that can help a child link information together and include ideas and questions. 
  2. Infographics: We are all used to seeing infographics on social media. These visual representations are usually of data or information and are often used to simplify complex topics.
  3. Flowcharts: These diagrams illustrate processes or sequences.
  4. Flashcards: It’s an old one but still a good one. Flashcards are great for learning vocabulary, equations, or concepts through repetition and visual association.

Auditory vs. Visual Learning: Can They Work Together?

Auditory and visual learning are distinct styles, but they are not mutually exclusive. Combining auditory explanations with visual aids can improve learning outcomes for many children. Using spoken explanations alongside visual demonstrations can help both auditory and visual learners simultaneously.

How to Get Extra Support if You Are a Visual Learner

If you think that your child might be a visual learner here are our top tips for extra support:

  1. Utilize Visual Learning Aids: Make sure that your child has access to different types of paper and pens. Sometimes apps or other educational programming can be helpful. 
  2. Speak to school about how to help visual learners: If you don’t think your child is getting access to visual learning at school, speak to the teachers to see how you can help include this more in your child’s education. 
  3. Encourage Visual Note Taking: Encourage your child to adopt visual note-taking techniques such as sketching, diagramming, or using colour-coded notes when at school.

Visual learning is a powerful and effective learning style that caters to the needs of many children. By understanding the characteristics of visual learners and using visual learning strategies, you can provide valuable support to enhance your child’s education. Embracing visual learning not only helps with schoolwork, but it also builds critical thinking skills and lifelong learning habits.