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A matter of stylepixel.gif (807 bytes)

pixel.gif (807 bytes) Online learning styles
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SO WHICH OF THESE learning styles are likely to be most compatible with online learning as a method? Let's look at each of the classifications in turn:

Activists, reflectors, theorists and pragmatists
Activists are only going to be stimulated by designs that provide lots of variety and lots of opportunities to get stuck in. They are likely to try online learning at least once - their first experience had better be good!

Reflectors should respond well to online learning materials, as long as plenty of opportunity is given to reviewing the options and issues. Do not expect reflectors to take what you say at face value and simply move on to the next point.

Theorists should respond well to typical online learning materials, as long as the ideas are presented logically and methodically. They will not favour a discovery-led approach.

Pragmatists will respond to online learning as long as it clearly has a practical value to them. They will not be interested in developing their own theories, just picking up on anything that looks like it works.

Left and right brain
Much online learning is material is presented in a logical, linear fashion, so should be acceptable to those with a left-brain tendency.

If you are to get across to right-brainers, it's important to present the learning material in a holistic way, stressing the big picture. Much online learning material would be too logical and step-by-step to work effectively.

Auditory, visual and kinesthetic
The auditory learning style is hard to satisfy in online learning without an audio component (sound, video with an audio soundtrack, audio conferencing) and that requires network bandwidth. You might need to supplement online media with CD-ROM, TV / video, radio / audiotape, the telephone or face-to-face work.

Nearly all of online learning is visual, through on-screen text and graphics, so visual learners (and that's most adults) should respond well to the medium.

There's not much that's kinesthetic about online learning, so it's hard to see it working for these learners, in any major capacity.

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