Last updated 6-11-2012
What are learning styles and which styles work best for online learning?
When learning, people perceive and process information in different ways. Your learning style is the preferred way you learn. This doesn’t mean you can’t learn in other ways when exposed to other types of learning activities, but given a choice, you learn best by responding to particular types of learning activities. It is helpful to be aware of your dominant learning preferences so that you can make adjustments in any learning circumstance, such as learning in an online environment.
Many online classes appeal to students with reading and writing learning preferences. However, some online classes may provide substantial video or audio content, assignments that require hands-on practice, or significant interactive learning activities between learners. Instructors are aware that a full variety of learning style preferences exist in each of their online classes.
Four popular learning styles are:
- Visual – Learners learn best by observing and seeing concepts explained with graphs, charts, symbols, video demonstrations, etc.. Many textbooks and online course materials of today appeal much more to the visual learner than a decade ago.
- Auditory – Learner learns best by listening, such as to audio lectures, musical examples, foreign language pronunciation demonstrations, etc. Some textbooks come with audio files on a CD-ROM, as well.
- Read/write – Learner learns best by reading and writing, which often includes taking notes, posting ideas in discussion boards, writing reactions to reading assignments, communicating with fellow students in writing, etc.
- Kinesthetic – Learner learns best by doing, such as hands-on practice.
Find out what your dominant learning style is!
Wrap Up of Module I: Online Learning Intro
Additional information about online learning can be discovered in the other three modules of this orientation and on Black Hawk College’s Online Learning Center web page.
Next: Getting Started