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Continuing Professional Development
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SUPPORTING PHARMACY PRACTICE
Characteristics of people
with this learning style
Techniques for people
with this learning style
Visual learners prefer using images, pictures, colours,
and maps to organise information and communicate
They can easily visualise objects, plans and outcomes
in their mind.
Use images, pictures, colour and other visual media to
Use mind maps and different colour markers/font and
replace text with pictures.
Diagrams can help visualise parts of a system for
example drug paths
Aural learners like to work with sound and music.
They have a good sense of pitch and rhythm
Use sound, rhyme and music to learn. Focus on aural
content in associations and visualisations.
Use sound recordings
Create mnemonics using a song or jingle or set
learning materials into a jingle
Verbal learners find it easy to express themselves, both
in writing and verbally.
They love reading and writing.
They like playing on the meaning or sound of words,
such as in tongue twisters, rhymes, limericks and
Use techniques that involve speaking and writing.
For example talk aloud through procedures
Try working with others and use role-playing to learn
verbal exchanges such as patient counselling
Use acronyms and mnemonics to recall information
Physical learners use their body and sense of touch
When learning a new skill or topic, they prefer to 'jump
in' and play with the physical parts as soon as possible.
For example they would prefer to pull an inhaler apart
or use a placebo rather than reading or looking at
diagrams about how it works.
Use role play and on-the-job training
Use physical objects as much as possible. Tangible
props like flashcards can help.
Physically touch objects to learn about what they do.
(Mathematical) Logical learners use their brain for logical and
They recognize patterns easily, as well as connections
between seemingly meaningless content.
They typically work through problems and issues in a
systematic way, and you like to create procedures for
They work well with numbers and can perform
They may sometimes overanalyse certain parts of their
learning. This can lead to analysis paralysis. They may
be busy, but not moving towards their goal.
Aim to understand the reasons behind content and
skills. Don't just rote learn. Understanding more
detail behind content helps memorise and learn the
material that is required to know. Explore the links
between various systems, and note them down.
Focus on level of knowledge required if over analysis
is a problem
(Interpersonal) Social learners have a strong social style, and
communicate well with people, both verbally and
They typically prefer learning in groups or classes,
or like to spend much one-on-one time with an
They learn by bouncing thoughts off other people and
listening to how they respond
Aim to work with others as much as possible.
Role-playing is a technique that works well
Rather than reviewing learning materials alone,
try sharing key points with others
(Intrapersonal) Solitary learners prefer to work on problems by
retreating to somewhere quiet and working through
possible solutions. They may sometimes spend too
much time trying to solve a problem that could more
easily be solved by talking to someone
They can concentrate well, focusing their thoughts
and feelings on their current topic.
Learn through self-study and use instructors or
teachers simply to clarify information.
Use learning journals and logs
Be creative with role-playing. Other people aren't
required to role-play with, use visualization
Table 1: Characteristics and learning preferences for the seven learning styles 9
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