Parents-to-be have lots in common. They spend months getting ready for their new baby to arrive. There are things to choose, things to change, things to plan, things to buy, and most importantly—so many things to learn about labor, birth and beyond.
But this is where the similarities end. When it comes to processing and retaining information, people have different styles, strengths, and preferences. Not to mention busy schedules, obligations, and priorities. Let’s start with a quick look at the three basic learning styles, then explore some of the best ways to help prepare patients for childbirth in today’s busy/crazy/connected world.
Three Learning Styles
Back in the 1990s, researchers discovered that different people had different learning styles. That led to the conclusion that classroom information should be presented in a variety of ways, so no one was left out. The acronym VAK makes it easy to remember the three predominant learning styles:
- Visual learners (65% of the population) relate best to written and graphic information, including books, pictures, videos, PowerPoint presentations, charts, graphs, and diagrams.
- Auditory learners (30% of the population) respond to sound, music, and information presented to them in conversations or delivered by someone lecturing or speaking.
- Kinesthetic (hands-on) learners (only 5% of the population) process information through touch and movement, and learn best by imitation and practice.
We also know that roughly 50 to 70 percent of the population use a combination of these three learning styles. In live classes, nurses and educators can successfully use this information to tailor balanced classes that engage and stimulate students with different learning styles.
For example, a traditional prenatal class may use:
- Print books and graphic materials (for visual learners)
- Lectures and classroom discussions (for auditory learners)
- Hands-on demonstrations and training (for kinesthetic learners)
While it’s true that traditional teaching methods and materials are very effective, adding virtual media, eBooks, or apps to the mix can make modern parenting classes even more satisfying for both students and instructors.
Something for Everyone
Today’s virtual classes, eBooks and apps are more comprehensive and feature-rich than ever, making it easy for students to look, listen, process, and interact with educational materials in exciting new ways. These new media resources also give educators the flexibility to expand and enhance the materials presented in live classes.
Here’s a quick look at some of the most popular virtual options:
- Self-paced learning. Online courses let patients choose when and how to learn, based on their own schedules and learning preferences. Classes may include expert video presentations, interactive assessments and activities, plus memory games, flashcards and quizzes designed to help patients retain what they’ve learned.
- Instructor-led virtual learning. With access to resources like a video library and PowerPoint presentations, instructors can connect with their remote patients online and provide a comprehensive educational experience.
- eBook platforms. Patients can digitally access printed reference books and choose to read the text themselves (visual learning) or listen as the content is read out loud (auditory learning). Other options include instant access to videos and the ability to take notes, highlight and bookmark important pages.
- Maternity apps. Convenient, interactive maternity applications deliver medically accurate information and keep track of when and how your patients are engaging with the material. Apps often include support for different languages, plus access to videos, tools and logs, and other patient-friendly features.
As you can see, today’s online learning resources make it very convenient for parents-to-be to receive and process prenatal information in ways that work best for them. Integrating online classes, eBooks, and apps with more traditional in-person class materials also makes it easier for educators to add even more value for their students.
These are exciting times for everyone who is committed to educating parents-to-be in ways that align with individual learning styles, busy lifestyles, and personal preferences.
At CCI, that’s what we do best. From evidence-based printed materials to instructor-led and self-paced online courses to eBook and maternity app resources, we have what you need to educate and support your students. Plus valuable options that can benefit both instructors and hospitals. For more information, please call us at 800.476.2253. We look forward to connecting with you