How to Teach Board Games Based on Learning Styles

Back in my undergrad days when I would mentor first-year students, we’d cover the different learning styles to better their understanding of how they can learn the best in college. One thing in the geek world that always involves learning is board games. So I am sharing ways to teach people board games based on their learning style.

How do find your learning style

I am getting my information from VARK, which stands for visual, aural, reading, and kinesthetic. VARK has a questionnaire you can do to identify your learning style so I recommend doing that to see what your preferences are. You can be multiple learning styles at varying degrees, so you may find that more than one of these techniques will work for you.

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Visual

Visual learners are best at watching things be done and the use of graphics to illustrate the point, like graphs and charts. When it comes to teaching visual learners board games, a demonstration is your best choice. Go through an example turn, move the pieces and layout the cards like you would in an actual turn, and let them watch.

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Aural

Aural learners learn best when being verbally explained to them. While your immediate thought may be to just read the rulebook to them, that is not the best for anyone really unless it is the world’s most perfect rulebook. Instead, explain how everything works and connect your words to the elements of the game, both components and mechanics.

If verbal explanations aren’t your forte, look up youtube videos that explain the game. There are some really great channels dedicated to teaching you how to play different board games. This is definitely a great choice if you have players that are visual and/or aural.

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Read/Write

For learners who are read/write styled, written words will work best for them. They will prefer to read the rulebook instead of listening to your explanation. Reference cards in-game will be their best friend as well. Written out turn examples are also useful for them and after all that reading they can ask you for clarification if needed.

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Kinesthetic

Kinesthetic learners thrive with being physically involved in the teaching process. They learn by doing, so for board games, doing an example round where they do their turn will be the best for them. Think the demonstration technique for visual learners but let them do the turn instead of just watching it. If they can physically connect the dots, they will learn better.

What learning style are you? Let me know with a comment below!