Learner-Focused Training: Tips from a Trainer

By Darnita Brassel, Training Administrator in the UT Health Science Center Office of Human Resources


Whether you’re presenting a PowerPoint in a meeting or teaching a new department member a skill, training is a role that every UT employee has had at some point in his or her career.

Effective training isn’t just about the quality of information you present. It’s also about presenting the information in a manner that will enhance your audience’s ability to understand and retain it.

Individuals primarily process information through three main learning styles: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. When used collectively, these styles offer trainers the ability to connect with a diverse audience.

Recognizing the learning styles of others will enhance your learning environment and result in a quicker adaptation and understanding of new information.

To learn more about being an effective trainer, consider taking our Training Basics Made Simple class. This two-day, train-the-trainer class is for subject-matter experts or anyone who would like to learn the basics of training in a safe and energetic environment. In addition to a review of learning styles, it also reviews each aspect of the training process and provides an opportunity for participants to practice what they learn. For more information call (865) 974-6657. Health Science Center employees may contact dbrassel@uthsc.edu.

To understand these styles and how to implement varied tactics into your training, take a look at the following tips:

Tip 1: Appeal to a Visual Learner

You’ve heard the old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This is likely true for visual learners. Visual learners benefit from images. Graphic depictions of content through charts, graphs, videos and other images help bring objectives alive and increase retention of the content.

Tip 2: Appeal to an Auditory Learner

The experience for the auditory learner is enhanced by hearing information. This can be accomplished through small group discussions, one-on-one conversations and role playing in addition to the facilitator lecture. Opportunities to hear and process information aloud are valuable components of the encounter for auditory learners.

Tip 3: Appeal to a Kinesthetic Learner

Kinesthetic learners learn by doing or practicing. If a process reviewed in class involves completion of certain forms, the kinesthetic learner benefits from actually completing the form. Also, in the case of long training programs, it can be helpful to have things available that kinesthetic learners can manipulate with their hands during the class. It is not uncommon to notice kinesthetic learners scribbling or drawing on paper. The use of their hands is central to a good learning experience.

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