Our final group of learners in the series are the Type Four learners. Of all the styles, this group is the most active in the learning environment as they like to be actively involved in learning the information as well as using the information in a very practical way.
Type Fours are the big picture learners of the group. They really need to have an overview of the field before they can handle the detail and too much detail is not required. Enthusiastic about new things, they tend to learn through trial and error. Quite comfortable with failure they don’t mind taking risks while they search for hidden possibilities for using the information.
This group likes lots of variety and are adaptable to change. Type Fours regularly challenge the status quo and are good at generating creative solutions to problems. Their strength is to make things happen and they are most satisfied if that includes a big dose of innovation as well.
This type is quite gregarious and often is the life of the party, but can be seen by others as disorganised or chaotic. This is because they are comfortable trusting their intuition and can often reach an accurate conclusion but may not be able to provide a logical justification to support their position.
I guarantee that you will find all different types of learners in your training environment and knowing their strengths and weaknesses can assist in organising the learning space, selecting the appropriate range of activities and strategies for delivery and creative ways of organising the learning to both capitalise on their strengths and also stretch them… just a little.
So what can you do to help these types in your training?
- Give them the Content Overview right up front
This group of learners enjoy being in the learning situation but they are not comfortable with lots of detail and can be distracted if they have no idea where this is going or how things match up. As a trainer talking them through your content and providing them with guideposts along the way will help them to understand how individual sessions fit together in a way that will be meaningful for them.
- Be flexible with training manuals
Type Fours have a real creative flair so being restricted to linear note taking or fitting an answer in a box for the entire program is frustrating for them. Mix it up with blank pages and colourful spaces for them to mind map, use other graphic organisers, draw pictures or capture the information in whatever way they like. They will retain more as a result.
- Include opportunities that are fun
Type Fours love having fun in the training room (but really don’t we all?) so including unusual ways to engage with the material really stimulate their thinking. Instead of a written quiz, run a “Who wants to be a Millionaire” game, instead of asking them to produce a written presentation supply materials that let them make a 3D construct that represents their learning etc.
- Provide lots of time for interaction
These learners learn best when they are doing something with others, so the more chance to talk through and interact with other learners the better. Sitting still for long periods and listening to lots of talk are challenging for them so make your training as interactive as you can.
Author: Melinda Zanetich - Director & Master Trainer - 4MAT 4Learning - Asia Pacific Region