online learning

Everyone has their own learning style, which affects how well they can understand and retain information in a specific setting. Online education caters specifically to some of these styles and personality types. For example, auditory learners may benefit from listening to recorded lectures or webinars, while visual learners enjoy seeing charts, graphs, and pictures.

Studies show that students who are aware of their learning style tend to perform better in school. Are you familiar with your style? Read on to learn more.

What Are the Different Types of Learning Styles?

While there are many different interpretations and categories of learning styles, the three learning styles most commonly used today are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.

  • Visual learners learn best through seeing, be it graphs, charts, notes, PowerPoint slides, pictures, maps, etc. Organizing visual information in their mind helps them retain the information. Visual learners tend to prefer studying alone in quiet settings, making online education an effective option. Online education also takes the pressure out of face-to-face communication, which can be daunting to some visual learners.
  • Auditory learners learn best by listening and participating. While visual learners may replay information in their head, auditory learners prefer to repeat information out loud, ask questions, and bounce ideas off of others. They tend to perform well in group projects and presentations. Online tools such as recorded lectures, video calling, and group chatrooms play to these strengths.
  • Kinesthetic learners learn best by doing. They would much rather a teacher demonstrate a concept physically than write on a chalkboard or explain through words alone. While online learning generally favors visual and auditory learners, technology such as virtual simulations, interactive study aids, and video streaming allow kinesthetic learners to succeed.

The most effective teaching methods tend to incorporate all three learning styles. Some students learn equally well through all three styles, while others may favor one in particular.

What Other Factors Affect Online Learning?

Apart from learning styles, personal factors including personality type, self-motivation, and work ethic all affect how well you will perform when learning online. For example, some do well learning at their own pace and scheduling their own study hours, while others may prefer having a predetermined structure. Environmental and ergonomic factors such as lighting, background noise, temperature, sitting position, and time of day can all affect your focus and motivation. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting adequate sleep have been shown to improve online learning outcomes.

Penn Foster offers a wide selection of online education programs that fit all learning styles. After you discover your learning style and enroll in an online program, reach out to a member of the Penn Foster team to help you developed a strategy for success.