Online courses often consist primarily of text, limiting access to some student learning styles. This standard form of online classroom may work well for learners who thrive from reading, but students who have other learning styles may find learning within this sort of environment difficult.
Understanding the different styles of learning and how learners thrive can give you the knowledge needed to form innovative and dynamic online learning solutions. For example, it helps to make online classes more beneficial to all.
Types of Learning Styles
Learning styles and preferences take on a variety of forms—and not all people fit neatly into one category. It’s generally accepted that most people will fit into one of the four learning styles depicted in the VARK model of learning:
- V – Visual
- A – Auditory
- R – Reading and Writing
- K – Kinesthetic
Applying VARK to Online Learning
1 – Visual Learners
Visual learners often learn best when they have access to visual aids in the online classroom, as opposed to reading only text. Therefore, ensure your content contains visual aids and prompts to break up the text throughout your modules and courses.
Use content such as:
- Videos, images, and photos
- Icons and infographics
- Graphs and charts.
2 – Auditory Learners
Auditory learners retain information best when they hear sound, rhythm, and music. Visual and text content may not always help these learners take in the information presented to them, so it’s important that training contains audio features throughout.
Look to incorporate:
- Video content with audio
- Voice overs and audio where there is a heavy text load
3 – Reading/ Writing Learners
Reading/writing learners prefer to learn through written words. Therefore, traditional online learning courses bode well to them as the content is usually text-heavy. It can be easy to assume these learners are catered for without much innovation but be sure to account for them when building your content.
Include items like:
- Downloadable Resources and Documentation
- Quizzes with written text answers
- Captions on your video content
4 – Kinaesthetic Learners
Kinesthetic learners retain information best by engaging in activities and being hands-on with their learning. Therefore, these learners are the hardest to cater to in an online environment as it is difficult to be “hands-on” behind a screen.
Innovate the content by including content such as:
- Demonstration and How-To videos because it shows how things work and how things are done
- Interactive quizzes that aren’t text-heavy or written
- Ensure your LMS can integrate events into courses, which allows training compliance incorporates other types of learning
Everyone learns differently but using a blend of innovative training techniques for these learning traits can help create a well-rounded learning and development strategy for your business.