7 E-learning styles

People are different and so are their learning styles. Our brains usually combine several methods of processing information that help us gain knowledge faster and easier. We call these methods learning styles, which can be divided into the following types: visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social, and solitary. Do you know what your learning style is?

E-learning styles – the basics

Everyone has a mix of learning styles. Some people may find that they predominantly use only one style of learning and rarely employ any of the other styles. Others may find that they use different styles in different circumstances. There is no wrong or right learning style.

Traditional schooling uses mainly linguistic and logical teaching methods. It also uses a limited range of learning and teaching techniques. Many schools still rely on classroom and book-based teaching, a lot of repetition, and stressful exams for reinforcement and review.

Research shows that each learning style involves using different parts of the brain. By engaging more areas of the brain during learning, we are able to remember more of what we learn. The use of brain imaging technologies has enabled researchers to pinpoint which areas of the brain are responsible for each learning style.

E-learning style guide

By recognizing and understanding the different learning styles, teachers can use techniques that are better suited to their students. This will improve the speed and quality of the learning process.

Visual e-learning style

Characteristics:

If you prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding, then maybe your learning style is visual. Visual learners need to see things in front of them in order for the knowledge to sink into their brains. They typically do really well in a modern classroom setting. Students with a visual learning style make up about 65% of a class. They usually take good notes and appear to be paying attention during class. However, if a teacher gives a lot of verbal instructions without visual cues, visual learners may get confused as they prefer to have something in writing to which they can refer.

Strategies for Teachers:

  • Regularly use diagrams or other visuals
  • Incorporate color into presentations
  • Provide well written instructions for assignments
  • Vary teaching methods to challenge every learner
  • Rely more heavily on videos

Aural e-learning style

Characteristics:

Aural learners are people who prefer using sounds, rhythms, music, recordings, clever rhymes, etc. to remember things better and to learn new things. They talk about what to do and about the pros and cons of a situation. Also, they show emotion through the tone, pitch, and volume of their voices. They enjoy listening but cannot wait to get a chance to talk. Aural learners tend to remember names but forget faces and are easily distracted by sounds. They enjoy reading dialogue and plays and dislike lengthy narratives and descriptions. This type of learner prefers to hear or recite information and benefits from auditory repetition.

Strategies for Teachers:

  • Discuss the material
  • Paraphrase ideas about new concepts
  • Use recordings, conversations, and phone calls
  • Use beats, rhymes, or songs to reinforce information
  • Allow students to engage in small group conversation during class

Verbal e-learning style

Characteristics:

The verbal learner is someone who prefers using words, both in speech and in writing, to assist in their learning. They make the most of word-based techniques, scripting, and reading content aloud. They express themselves well, are usually good listeners with a well developed memory for material that they have read, and can recall spoken information. Language fascinates people with verbal-linguistic learning styles, and they enjoy learning new words and exploring ways to creatively use language (in poetry, for example). They also enjoy learning new languages, memorizing tongue twisters, playing word games, and reading. Verbal-linguistic learners are often good at tests that build on the ability to quickly and accurately respond to spoken or written instructions.

Strategies for Teachers:

  • Use games that involve wordplay
  • Rely on spoken or written materials
  • Incorporate mnemonic devices like rhymes, acronyms, poems, or other verbal tools
  • Engage students in interpersonal connections through group work
  • Talk more about each subject and verbally review the material

Physical e-learning style

Characteristics:

These are the “learn by doing” people that use their bodies to assist in their learning. Drawing diagrams, using physical objects, or role-playing are all strategies used by the physical learner. They try things out, touch, feel, and manipulate objects. Body tension is a good indication of their emotional state. Keep in mind that they gesture while speaking, stand very close when speaking or listening, and quickly lose interest in long discourse. They are great at remembering what they have done, rather than what they have seen or talked about. They prefer direct involvement in what they are learning. Rarely an avid reader, they may fidget frequently while handling a book.

Strategies for Teachers:

  • Use real-life examples to explain things
  • Focus on case studies or practical work
  • Use sensory modes of instruction to present ideas
  • Teach concepts through games and projects
  • Incorporate role-play activities to reinforce information

Logical e-learning style

Characteristics:

If you prefer to use logic, reason, and systems, then your learning style most likely falls into this group. People who possess this type of intelligence have exceptional logical skills and a great affinity towards mathematics and reasoning. According to them, the solution to every problem lies in simple logic. They believe in applying reason and detecting suitable patterns to arrive at a solution. Logical/mathematical learners tend to be great problem solvers. They have abstract ideas and patterns and usually analyze every problem from a critical perspective.

Strategies for Teachers:

  • Seek out answers to complex questions and problems
  • Present different perspectives on a topic
  • Use puzzles, create riddles or incorporate games of strategy
  • Emphasize organizational skills and use plenty of statistics, logistics, and graph theory
  • Consider structured and goal-oriented activities

Social e-learning style

Characteristics:

These people are the ones who enjoy learning in groups or with other people and who try to work with others as much as possible. Interpersonal learners thrive on social interaction. Social learners communicate well with people, both verbally and non-verbally. They usually enjoy mentoring and counseling others, as well as listening to and trying to understand other points of view. Social learners often prefer direct involvement with others in group projects in school or within the larger community. They are stimulated by talking with students and adults and seem to have a strong sense of intuition regarding the opinions and preferences of others.

Strategies for Teachers:

  • Involve other classmates in the learning process
  • Take frequent breaks to allow for informal and off-the-topic discussions
  • Talk out problems
  • Give feedback
  • Think about activities such as speech, drama, and debate teams

Solitary e-learning style

Characteristics:

The solitary learner prefers to learn alone and through self-study. They tend to be more private, introspective, and independent. Solitary learners concentrate and focus very well, and are usually aware of their own thoughts and how they are feeling. Solitary learners enjoy peaceful and quiet moments alone with their thoughts. They often are highly motivated because they take the time to assess their own accomplishments and goals. They enjoy taking the opportunity to reflect on a topic and to analyze various aspects related to it. Solitary learners tend to be organized individuals who enjoy planning, making lists, and sticking to an agenda.

Strategies for Teachers:

  • Create personal interest in your topics
  • Align goals and objectives with personal beliefs and values
  • Set goals and monitor student progress regularly
  • Create a connection between new material and familiar subjects and try to gain understanding by finding similarities between them
  • Assign individual tasks

Using an online learning approach that includes videos, audio, social interactions, etc. is a great way to answer the needs of every online student. So when you plan your next online course or lesson make sure to incorporate your e-learning style knowledge to achieve even better teaching results and distinguish yourself as an online teacher.

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Tanya Ilieva has strong experience in journalism, advertising, creative copywriting and digital marketing. She has a PhD in Graphic design from Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication in Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. Some of her creative works in advertising has been rewarded both in Bulgaria and abroad. Her fields of interest include: philosophy of language, semiotics, visual metaphors, linguistic.
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