There are three different learning styles that are important to be aware of when developing your online course. Creating a course that appeals to each type of learner will have the most impact on the student’s success.
The auditory learner…
An auditory learner understands, and retains, information better when they hear it. To help auditory students, you can create audio to accompany any PowerPoint presentation or video that you make for your course. The audio clip does not necessarily have to be talking, it can also be background music. The sound alone helps to keep the student focused and help them to follow the content with more ease.
The visual learner…
Visual learners do better when the information is placed in front of them to see. These types of learners retain information easier if it is presented with images, such as graphs, diagrams, flow charts, etc. For an online course, you can easily create a friendly environment for visual learners by using a PowerPoint presentation or a video for the student to watch.
The kinesthetic learner…
Kinesthetic learners, also known as tactile learners, prefer a more hands on approach when it comes to learning. Using their hands, body and sense of touch helps them to better understand the information. Often times kinesthetic learners are referred to as ‘discovery learners’ because they better understand information through doing rather than reading or listening.
With online learning, you would assume that courses are comprised mainly of audio and visual elements and not kinesthetic elements, and you would be right. But there are ways to create a more learner-friendly environment for the kinesthetic learners taking courses online. It is helpful for them to have some sort of object that they can fiddle with during classes to help them stay more focused or you could even suggest doodling. As counterintuitive as this may sound, doodling can help students to better retain information and to have better concentration.
Understanding what each type of learner needs in your course is important, and as the instructor you can easily combine all three learning styles together so that you can appeal to each student’s learning style. Each person is wired differently, so why create a course that is geared towards just one learning style?