How do you identify and support visual learners when tutoring students online?
Every student is different in their own way when it comes to thinking, learning, and processing information. The human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text, so one is likely to come across a lot of visual learners throughout their teaching career.
Being a visual learner myself, it gets easier for me to identify when a student is also a visual learner.
Teaching online removes the advantages of being able to talk to the student. Therefore, sometimes it becomes difficult for the student to understand concepts through text.
Math and Science problems that involve diagrams, or are word problems that need to be drawn out in order to be understood, are the type of questions that any student might find challenging—let alone someone who learns and remembers things by sight.
This is when Paper’s Whiteboard tool comes in handy. Paper’s Whiteboard tool is exceptionally good for visual learners. It allows the tutors as well as the students to draw and share their drawings efficiently. It has vivid colors and a number of tools that help you draw easily on a blank sheet or even on top of pictures.
A lot of times, I get students who are already aware that they are visual learners. Such students start
the conversation by saying, “let me draw out the question for you,” which prompts me to continue the conversation using the Whiteboard.
Sometimes, a student might not know that they are a visual learner, and it is my job to recognize one and help them out. I often come across visual learners who say “show me” when trying to understand and visualize a new concept.
Often, I ask the student to draw out what they have understood from the given problem. We
then work on that drawing in order to get a better understanding of the problem.
Visual learners prefer colorful drawings, doodles, and diagrams to think instead of using words. Color plays an important role in grabbing their attention to specific details. I usually draw using black ink on the whiteboard and use colorful ink to highlight certain parts of the drawing.
Through my experience at Paper, I have realized that it is easier for a visual learner to understand “follow the green arrow” instead of “multiply the first term by the second term.”
The presence of colors and spatial arrangements can help the student create stories and easily follow steps.
As a tutor, understanding how each student prefers to learn is an essential element. Besides the Whiteboard tool, Paper also has features such as file sharing and the ability to send emojis. These facilitate visual learning and make learning an enjoyable experience for students.
Sinikta, Paper Tutor
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