Different Learning Styles In An Online Learning EnvironmentPosted February 1, 2022, 11:00 am by
Whatever your learning style (visual, auditory, reading or kinesthetic), the online learning environments brought about by the pandemic brings exciting new opportunities for all! Read more about different learning styles in an online learning environment in this TeenLife guest blog!
Different Learning Styles In An Online Learning Environment
Just like in the classroom, a student's experience in an online learning environment can vary drastically depending on their preferred learning style. But whether a student is online for the full school year, taking a few extra classes over Zoom, or receiving online tutoring, all online learning environments should be developed with the understanding that, even if everyone is in front of their computer, different learning styes still exist in the online learning space. Put simply: different students will respond to different modes of teaching, and understanding this is the only way to enable satisfying learning outcomes for all those involved.
It's no secret that students learn differently from one another. Some kids read a lot, while others may fall off to sleep as soon as they open a novel. And in the world of books, the only option used to be to read it or not to read it. Now however, books or similar narratives are available in the form of audio recordings, movies, games and more. In the same way, the world of online learning, vastly expanded these last two years by the effects of the pandemic, offer dozens of new ways for students to learn. The the way of learning that existed before the pandemic is turning more and more obsolete every day, and there is no going back to a 100% in-person learning environment from here.
But while a balance between offline and online learning is often discussed in this new normal, what also needs attention is the balance between various learning styles in online education models. While almost all online learning can still be broken down into four primary categories (visual, auditory, reading and kinesthetic), the opportunities that online learning and online tutoring environments offer are new, exciting and wide-reaching. Whether you're online or not, everyone deserves to learn in a style that suits them best and helps them absorb better, and understanding the type of learner you are will help students in school and beyond.
How Has Online Education Changed Learning Styles?
The VARK framework of learning styles was first identified by professor Neil Fleming in 1987, and, since then, educators all around the world have been helping students find out which of the styles (visual, auditory, reading or kinesthetic) works best for them. Of course, no student should learn through just one method, but identifying which learning styles work for you and which ones don't can be critical in achieving the education outcomes you're looking for.
Let's look at how each of the four different learning styles is reshaped in the online learning space:
If you learn most comfortably by watching, your learning style is visual. When learning goes online, a visual learner can benefit from a significant increase in the use of visual features. Tools like digital whiteboards and recorded lectures are some of the best aspects of online education for these learners.
Some people learn best through listening. We all know of friends who may get bored at the sight of a video but will remain glued to content delivered with good audio quality or provided as a podcast. In an online learning environment, auditory students are likely to enjoy one-on-one discussions where they ask their questions and have them addressed directly. Auditory learners will also likely benefit from recorded lectures, as they can focus on a teacher or professor's words without having to keep their eyes on the speaker.
For better or worse, this is the primary mode of learning in much of the education world. Traditional pedagogy was based on learning by reading and writing, and many schools today still focus the bulk of their curriculum on reading comprehension and writing assignments. And though many students tend not to be good readers and must supplement their learning elsewhere, a large section still do love reading and learn through this method best. In an online learning environment, a student who prefers reading will not experience much of shift. Handouts and reading materials are still the best options for these students, though in an online learning environment they can be delivered quickly and efficiently though the internet.
The final learning method is learning by doing, in what is called kinesthetic learning. In the offline world, before the pandemic, it was often thought that we needed to go to a school or extracurricular location to learn by doing. But to the delight of students whose learning style is kinesthetic, many online environments offer a wide range of kinesthetic learning options that can guide one on how ensure excellent learning outcomes through several tactile methods. These includes artistic projects and solving real-life problems by scenario and role-play-based learning.
Many of the programs available here at TeenLife offer incredible kinesthetic learning opportunities!
In Conclusion . . .
Understanding how your student learns can be critical in making sure they receive the education they need. To achieve the preferred learning outcomes, identifying whether you're a visual, auditory, reading or kinesthetic learner can be be vital. And while many schools and educators have understood this for decades, the online learning environments brought about by the pandemic offer a number of new and exciting learning opportunities for learners of all different styles. Understanding your preferred learning styles and forming a study plan based on the right mix can forever change the way study, learn and view education at large.