Learning styles are changing - Business Works
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Learning styles are changing

Kevin Young, GM EMEA, Skillsoft Learning through doing has overtaken a classroom-style approach as the top way to learn, according to a Skillsoft survey of learning styles of 1000 UK office workers. Figures released to coincide with this year’s Adult Learners’ Week (18-24 May) and Learning at Work Day (23 May) found that nearly one third (33%) of respondents prefer to learn by feeling or experiencing, followed by just under one fifth (19%) of those favouring a classroom-based approach and just over 17% of respondents admitting to being visual learners.

The research also found significant variations between learning styles of the youngest and oldest age groups. 26% of 16-24 year olds favour a visual approach - looking at graphics, watching a demonstration or reading - compared to just 6% of over 55s. However, the over 55s are more responsive to learning in a group setting with their peers and having the opportunity to discuss and learn from others experiences. 20% in this age group prefer this style, compared to only 5% of 16-24 year olds.

"Just as the content of training sessions needs to evolve to keep up with industry best practice and new technologies, so does the method used to deliver it to make it valuable and digestible to learners," said Kevin Young, General Manager, EMEA at Skillsoft. "Our research has shown clear differences between learning styles as a whole, but also between age groups and industry sectors. A classroom-led approach is no longer the de-facto way to learn, with people often becoming more engaged if the same content is delivered via different methods."

"We recommend companies take a blended approach to learning and use different platforms (classroom-based sessions, elearning, mobile learning) within their training programmes to ensure learning is accessible and valuable to all staff. Not only will this improve staff productivity and engagement, but less reliance on a classroom-style setting could also significantly reduce costs and travel time," he continued.

When it comes to industry comparisons, the legal and HR sectors have a strong bias towards classroom learning, with 31% and 25% respectively, preferring this style. This approach was least favoured by the architecture, engineering and building sector (12%) who instead overwhelmingly preferred to learn through doing (40%). The top method in the arts and culture sector was to learn individually with the ability for people to go at their own pace, in their own time. 30% of respondents preferred to learn in this way compared to the overall base figure of just 12%.

For more information please visit: www.skillsoft.com

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