When we think of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) it can be easy to think of webinars, research papers, conferences and symposiums. While this is just the tip of any CPD offering, understanding your own learning style can make a massive difference to your next CPD experience.

Depending on your mindset, CPD is either a tick box exercise that you automatically do without much thought (hopefully not!) or it represents an opportunity to expand your knowledge — not only in podiatry but also in areas that cover ‘soft skills’, such as communication skills or cultural awareness.


This is why your next CPD undertaking should factor in your personal learning style. Learning for the sake of learning is all well and good, but learning in a way that works for you can make all the difference.


So…which type of learner are you?


There is a raft of useful online quizzes designed to get to the heart of your learning profile, but as a brief overview, here are four main styles of learning.


N.B. It is worth noting that there are seven profile types all together once you factor in the lesser-known ‘logical’, ‘social’ and ’solitary’ styles of learning. For now, chances are, you will naturally gravitate towards one or two styles below. 


  1. Visual

Do you like to sketch out diagrams or flow charts? Then you may well be a visual learner. Visual learners tend to retain information when it is presented as a mental image, compelling presentations, drawings, or in a tangible handout. Research also shows that visual learners are likely to be fast talkers and have a tendency to interrupt!


  1. Auditory

The ear is a powerful tool for the auditory learner! Do you like to listen to people, as in really listen, and learn from them as they speak? Auditory learners learn by listening, whether this is through live discussions, podcasts or mentoring. Auditory learners are often tuned into the nuances behind any communication exchange such as the tone, pace and volume of a person’s speech.


  1. Read-write

Probably one of the more ‘traditional’ methods of learning, read-write learners prefer information to be displayed in writing  – whether this appears on a projector screen, in a textbook, research paper or on a website. Chances are, if you are this type of learner you found the traditional approach to classroom learning very suited to your style! Still unsure? Do you like to take endless notes? Then you may well be a read-write learner!


  1. Kinaesthetic

Last but by no means least, kinaesthetic learners learn through the power of movement. If you are a kinaesthetic learner you may have struggled to initially find your style of learning since this approach was not factored into more ’mainstream’ learning styles until relatively recently.

Perhaps you learn best when catching a ball or turning a study sequence into a physical pattern, or simply through the act of ‘doing’ such as clinical experience or hands-on workshops? If so, you may well be a kinaesthetic learner.


More information?

There is a tonne of interactive quizzes available alongside other useful resources. Here are just some to explore.

CPD Insights

What type of learner are you?

Annette Dodson
By Annette Harris
National CPD Manager