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Learning Styles: The Visual Learner


The Visual Learner learns through seeing...

These learners can either process information randomly or absorb what unfolds in sequence before their eyes. They need to see the teacher's body language and facial expression to fully understand the content of a lesson. They tend to prefer sitting at the front of the classroom to avoid visual obstructions (e.g. people's heads). Many prefer to read information in a textbook or on the whiteboard rather than listen to the teacher lecture. They also enjoy doodling and drawing.  Visual learners typically use sight words in their everyday terminology. For example, they might say, "Let's take a look at this." or "Let's look at this from a different perspective." They remember details including colors and spatial arrangements.

Are you a visual learner?



  • Have a strong sense of color?
  • Follow written directions well?
  • Process what you hear slowly?
  • "Translate" word messages into pictures or images?
  • Closely watch a speaker's body language and facial expression.
  • Get very distracted by noise or people talking in the background?
  • Use mental pictures to remember things?
  • Use visual representations to understand ideas, e.g. graphs, organizers, pictures, slides, videos, diagrams, demonstrations, overheads, flip charts, handouts, etc.?
  • Know something by seeing it?
  • Conjure up the image of a form by seeing it in your "mind's eye?"
  • Have a vivid imagination?
  • Often stare, need something to watch?
  • Not talk at length?
  • Become impatient or lose focus when extensive listening is required?
  • Prefer the visual arts and media?
  • Often prefer to take notes or draw pictures to absorb information?
  • Like to write on the blackboard?
  • Remember quickly and easily what is read?

Strategies and Tips

Visual learners learn best by seeing what they are being taught.  They will find that if they include images, mind maps, lists, and other visual techniques in their notes, then they will have a better chance of remembering key information.

  •  Use visual materials such as pictures, charts, maps, graphs, etc.
  • Have a clear view of your teachers when they are speaking, so you can see their body language and facial expression.
  • Use color to highlight important points in text.
  • Take notes or ask your teacher to provide handouts.
  • Illustrate your ideas as a picture or brainstorming bubble before writing them down.
  • Write a story and illustrate it.
  • Use multi-media (e.g. computers, videos, and filmstrips).
  • Study in a quiet place away from verbal disturbances.
  • Read illustrated books.
  • Visualize information as a picture to aid memorization.

Ways to Adapt: Including diagrams, mind maps, word webs, visuals, and other forms of graphic organizers will help visual learners get the most from instruction. Use highlighters when going through notes, and use flashcards when studying for tests and learning information.