What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Visual Learning?

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An advantage of visual learning is that recollection is easier when the learner is exposed to images in environments different from when the material was first learned. A disadvantage of visual learning is that the learner experiences difficulty when only text and speech-based tools are used for instruction.

Approximately 65 percent of the human population are visual learners. Visual learners best process and interpret information when they are exposed to images, illustrations, pictures and other visual media. They are excellent observers and memorizers and can often remember quickly where information is contained in a book or in notes. Visual learners are often said to think in pictures — as a result, many excel at reading comprehension because they can see the story or narrative occurring in their mind’s eye.

Even though over half of the population are visual learners, up to 80 percent of classroom instruction is delivered orally. Visual learners often struggle in classes that are lecture-based and in learning environments where information and directions are predominantly transmitted orally and/or through written means. Visual learners often ask lecturers to repeat information when it is spoken and may request additional aids, such as having the material written down so that they can see and process it.