Each student that you have will be unique. Luckily, there are several categories that your unique students can be lumped into when it comes to learning style. As mentioned in Teaching Styles, one of your main goals as an instructor is to identify your students’ dominant learning styles and modify your teaching style accordingly. This is often one of the skills that separates good-enough instructors from excellent teachers.
- Learners are often lumped into one of three broad categories: Watchers, Doers, and Thinkers. Watchers learn best visually, and will often move to the back of the group where they can have the fullest view of the class, ask you to repeat demonstrations, and closely watch their fellow classmates. Doers learn through tactile experience, subsequently, doers will often volunteer to try things out, attempt new skills as you introduce them, and mimic you actions as you provide a model. Thinkers need time to process information internally before they are ready to dive in, they will often come to class having read a book, or watched a video or read a book, and will frequently ask questions.
- Number one is a gross oversimplification of a great deal of educational research. For the purposes of kayak instruction, it works. Be aware, however, that there are numerous other types of learner out there. Here’s a little list of some of the other needs your students may have in order to learn: time to talk things through, the ability to visualize a skill mentally before executing it physically, consistent positive reinforcement, time to draw things out/conceptualize things spatially.
- Learners need differentiated instruction to succeed at their potential. However, too much of a good thing, is not necessarily a good thing. Even once you have targeted a students learning style, make sure you continue to provide them with a range of diverse learning experiences.
- This isn’t rocket surgery, but it’s not ultra-simple either. People generally fall into a number of these categories. For example, a particular student could be doer dominant, but also learn well visually. In addition, people change, so make sure you continue to make observations even after you have determined your students’ individual styles.