Online Learning Styles

The pressures and restrictions of COVID-19 are dramatically altering the way society does life. Much of what used to be done in person is now done at a distance – and that includes training for certification in the crane and lifting industry.

With work loads lighter, but the need for certified professionals in the future all but guaranteed, there’s never been a better time to get your NCCCO certification.

To get your certification, you’ll first need to learn some material. Most of us have some idea of how we learn (reading books, listening to a lecturer, watching a video), but how does that work online?

In this article, we’ll cover the four main learning styles, how you can know yours and, most importantly, how this can help you get the most out of online learning.

What are the 4 Learning Styles?

There are four, primary learning styles. They have various names, but they are typically called,

  1. Verbal – aka linguistic –learn best by reading
  2. Visual – aka spatial – learn best through pictures and videos
  3. Aural – aka auditory – learn best through hearing
  4. Tactile – aka kinesthetic – learn best through physical movement

1. Verbal

People with the verbal learning style love to read and write. If this is you, you have a wide vocabulary, you enjoy learning new words, and you’re probably a fan of tongue twisters and limericks. You’ll usually be able to express yourself well both verbally and in writing.

2. Visual

Visual learners are fans of pictures, video, colors, charts, maps and diagrams. If this is you, you probably have a good sense of direction and you can parallel park with ease. You love to doodle, might dress well, and could have a taste for the arts or photography.

3. Aural

Those who learn best through hearing the material are known as ‘aural’ learners. If this is you, you probably love music and may even play an instrument. You hum a lot, listen to the radio and may enjoy the odd podcast or two.

4. Tactile

Tactile, or kinesthetic learners enjoy ‘doing’. If this is you, you’re into sports and exercise. You probably enjoy DIY and getting your hands dirty. It’s likely that you gesture a lot when you speak and you react strongly, one way or the other, to adrenaline kicks like rollercoasters.

If you’ve read all of this and you’re still not sure what your learning style is, North Carolina State University have put together a 40 question self-assessment to help you find out.

Learning Styles Example

For an explanation of your score, see the link at the bottom of the test results. To summarize,

The numbers:

  • 1-3 is a small preference one way or the other
  • 5-7 is a moderate preference
  • 9-11 is a strong preference

The categories:

  • Active – Tactile/Kinesthetic
  • Reflective – Essentially the opposite of Active
  • Visual – Visual!
  • Verbal – Covers both Verbal & Aural

The other 4 are beyond the scope of this article

  • Sensing/Intuitive – Do you like facts and memorization (sensing) or theories and frameworks (intuitive)?
  • Sequential/Global – Do you like logical steps (sequential) or do you want the big picture first (global)?

How to Maximize Your Learning Style

Now you know how you learn, it’s time to discover how to put that to good use in an online setting. Since CICB specializes in delivering programs for the crane and lifting industry, we’ll use the CICB online training programs as our examples.

1. Verbal

For verbal learners studying for their NCCCO certification online, the key to learning is in writing things down. It’s that simple. Here are some different ways to get that done:

  • Personalize your learning by creating acronyms and mnemonics from key terms.
  • Create a conversational script between two operators/riggers/inspectors discussing the topics you’re learning about.
  • Consider summarizing what you learn each day in a notebook.
  • Every online crane program with CICB comes with a textbook, mailed to your door. Read through it as your instructor takes you through the chapters.
  • Go old-school. Make some Cornell-style notes! For inspiration, see here.
  • Really solidify your learning by teaching it to someone else. It’s the best way of learning, hands down.

2. Visual

Probably the learning-style you’re most familiar with, even if it’s not your own. Visual learners, unsurprisingly, need visuals: pictures, videos and diagrams. As a student, you can maximize your online learning by doing some or all of the following:

  • Use color. Lots of it. You should have at least 4 colors for taking notes, and plenty more is no bad thing.
  • Create mind maps and other types of diagrams. By organizing your thoughts visually, you’ll be able to ‘see’ the connections.
  • Visualization is a great technique visual learners can take advantage of. Imagine in your mind’s eye the scenarios being discussed.
  • Don’t rely on the instructor’s illustrations alone. If a crane or part is mentioned, google it and find a photo or video of it.

3. Aural

If you learn by hearing, you’ll be very comfortable in CICB’s online classes. Listening to lectures and, importantly, interacting with your instructor, will take you a long way towards success. Here are a few other things to consider.

  • Certain types of music (wordless) are well-known to improve concentration and help with memorizing facts.
  • To really solidify what you learn, consider playing in the background the noises of your jobsite, just to help make that connection.
  • When you look back at your notes, read them out loud. You’ll be surprised how much you remember.
  • For something a bit more ‘out there’, you could even try making up a song or two about what you’re learning. Note – if you do try this, why not record yourself and send us the video! We’ll be sure to feature it!

4. Tactile

The days of sitting still in your seat are long in your past. The simplest step to maximizing your online learning with CICB is to stop sitting. Every 20 minutes or so, take a step back from the screen and stretch. So long as you are on mute, you won’t disturb anybody.

  • Take it one step further – set up your computer on a shelf and take the whole class standing up.
  • You have permission. No-one is checking your notes so, if it helps to draw pictures instead of words, go for it.
  • Visualize scenarios in which you need this information about cranes and rigging. Try to ‘feel’ the equipment.
  • Think about drawing large diagrams and cutting up large pieces of card to move around on the diagram
  • Role-play. The physical act of playing out a scenario with someone in your house, even on a video call, will help you process the information much more easily.
  • Consider getting yourself a model crane (there are cheaper models on Amazon) and some rope. Any time your instructor references crane parts, find it on your crane. When knots and rigging are the topic, play out the scenario on your rope.
  • If you don’t have access to either, try finding a 3d model online and putting it on your phone or tablet so you can manipulate it with your fingers.
  • When the time comes to study for the test, make yourself some flashcards. The physical act of writing down your notes and having them to hand will benefit you enormously.

Studying online for your CICB/NCCCO Certification Examinations with CICB

Whichever way you learn, CICB’s instructors are trained to deliver quality content in a variety of ways, appealing to the strengths of every student in their online classes. Knowing how you learn will allow you to get the most out of the decades of experience and knowledge your CICB trainers share with you. In tandem with your hard work, you can be confident you will be well prepared for your NCCCO or CICB certification examinations.

If your interest has been piqued but you’re not quite sure what online crane training looks like, read our definitive guide to the live, interactive and online class process that CICB offers.

If you’re sure of your learning style and ready to join the wave of crane operators, riggers and inspectors taking their classes online, then visit our catalog right here to see what’s right for you.

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