A visual learner is a student who learns best when information is presented visually. Put simply, they remember information more easily when they have seen it. Visual learners often have vivid imaginations and they use this to help them learn.
You can identify a student as a visual learner through some of the following behavioural traits:
- Looking around and examining their environment
- Animated facial expression which accurately indicates mood.
- Sometimes stops and stares into space, imagining a visual scene in their mind
- Recognises words by sight more often
- Daydreams; a word, sound or smell causes a recall and mental wandering
- Their eyes look up (often to the left) to indicate they are ‘seeing’ information written or drawn.
- Restlessly fidgets when forced to listening to verbal information for too long
- Watches other students when instructions are given by the teacher and then follows their lead
- Often asks questions and needs verbal instructions repeated
Challenges visual children may face in school:
- misunderstand information or instructions given verbally
- daydream often, missing what’s going on in class
- shy away from speaking in front of groups
- become impatient when listening for too long
- fidget and be restless, which may lead to distracting others.
Visual learners learn by using visual stimulus to reinforce the verbal message given. They convert verbal information into internal visual images – that take the form of either ‘photographs’, written words or ‘movies’. By doing this, they are reconstructing the information into a format that will capture their attention and imagination. Visual learners ‘think in pictures’.
Check out what activities visual learners enjoy and excel at, and how to develop visual learning skills in others on Page 2.