What is Visual Learning and How Can You Teach it to Students?

By Huntington Learning Center

Many students are naturally visual learners and thinkers, absorbing information best when they see it in front of them. Typically, visual learners:

  • like to take notes during class lectures to remember information better.
  • use visual aids and other tools (like whiteboards) to think through and draw out concepts and ideas.
  • like to read to themselves rather than being read to by a teacher.
  • remember what they read better than what they hear.
  • find to-do lists and planners helpful.

In today’s environment, where remote school is the norm in many places, it’s important to be mindful of visual learners when you plan your instruction. Here are a few tips on how you can do so:

  • Incorporate visual aids into your teaching. The more you combine instructional strategies, the more you can help students strengthen their different styles of learning.
  • Have students draw it out. Markers and whiteboards are a great tool to help students remember information and stimulate visual learning abilities.
  • Help students picture it. Students who learn visually are able to picture things to recall them – perhaps a passage in a book that they read or the place they were when they read something. Help students refine this by giving them visual cues that they can associate with what you teach.
  • Encourage note-taking. Notes are a critical study tool for students in college, so if you teach middle or high school, make sure you help students cultivate their note-taking abilities. Show them how to use notes to study effectively, too.
  • Always provide students something to reference. That might be a handout, an outline, or something else, but try to augment your verbal directions/lectures with something written or visual that students can refer to later.

Every student learns differently, and visual learning is an important and common learning style. Help your students boost this skill and you’ll be helping them tremendously in school now and going forward.