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Learning Styles Not A Good Tool For Trainers To Use To Increase Learning In Training - Training Myth

Learning styles have garnered a great deal of interest from trainers, and while they are interesting, trainers tend to overvalue the importance of taking learning styles into account when designing or delivering training. The matching of training methods to learning styles is often a dead end, and wasted effort. Here's why.

First of all, it's almost impossible in any group setting for trainers to accurately assess the individual learning styles to try to match instruction to style. Regardless of what learning style model a trainer uses, a class is going to consist of various styles.

Second, it's assumed that matching the training method to learning style will result in better learning, but there is research that refutes that conclusion (and some that supports it). Some research suggests that by deliberately mismatching training method to learning styles, learning can be improved, presumably because the mismatch causes learners to actually work harder, pay more attention, and think more, and hence absorb more.

While learning styles are fascinating, they simply do not provide cost effective tools for maximizing instructional results, in the aggregate. They are however, useful for other purposes such as helping individual learners learn more about themselves, so they can manage their own learning.

Mostly, the use of learning styles adds no value to the trainer, since the ultimate conclusion can be reached without them, and that is that in groups, it's important to have different instructional techniques used, anyway.

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