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Module 3 - Learning Preferences

How many times has someone tried to convince you about the merits of a particular learning technology or method? The truth is that there never will be one 'best' learning method or one 'best' learning medium. Everyone is different and every person learns in a different way. Some people have to know the detail first. Others couldn't possibly understand the detail until they have a mental framework to pin it on. Some people like facts and figures, others like a more inspirational, emotional approach to learning.

Whether you are developing your own ability to learn or facilitating others, it is vitally important to understand what people's learning preferences are.

There are many personality theories and questionnaires that claim to classify people into different types. Many of these are based on the work of Jung, who identified four basic classifications:

  • thinker,
  • feeler,
  • sensor,
  • intuitor.

Each approach has its own names for the four types, but usually the types fall into the following categories:

  • logical people,
  • people people,
  • task-oriented people,
  • intuitive/entrepreneurial people.

    Given an understanding of how people are different, we can make better choices of which methods and media to use. We will be looking at different learning strategies in the next module, but the following discussion indicates how different types of people learn and how they respond to different types of learning activity.

    Logical people
    Lecture, reading, case studies, underlying theory, debate, programmed instruction.

    People people
    Case studies, discussion, role play, games, coaching, simulation.


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