2.3 Identify and accommodate various learning styles

mod2-thinkingBegin with yourself

Ask yourself how you learn best? Do you like things explained to you before you attempt them, or do you prefer to see them demonstrated? Perhaps you like to try things first and discuss them afterwards. Regardless of how you learn best, it will probably affect your teaching style.

Click here to get a sense of how you learn.

Develop awareness

We are more likely to be effective in helping students learn if we begin by trying to understand how they learn best. Students may not understand how they learn best. Therefore, providing examples helps both the preceptor and the student to better understand the different learning styles. [1]

For instance, you can ask…

  • Some people like to see things done by an experienced person before they try them. Others like to discuss the skill or action first. What do you find most helpful?
  • How would you put together something, such as a barbeque or a desk. How would you begin this task? Would you read the whole instruction manual first, go through it as you were doing it, or want to talk to someone who had done this before beginning?

Caution: Be sure to explain to your student that there is no wrong answer, only information that will help them how they like to learn.

[1] Burns, C., Beauchesne, M., Ryan-Krause, P., & Sawin, K. (2006). Mastering the Preceptor Role: Challenges of Clinical Teaching. Journal of Pediatric Health Care 20(3), 172-183. doi:10.1016/j.pedhc.2005.10.012