In many traditional, conservative learning environments, the most common way to study is to gather groups of students in a room with a teacher or lecturer speaking about a particular subject. There are, however, alternative ways to study that have proven to be extremely beneficial.
Types of learning – Distance learning
Distance learning is one way of studying without having to physically attend a classroom or institution. Traditionally, this has been carried out by post, with the student being sent the material to read and learn.
Most distance learning courses require the student to attend a specific physical location to ensure that tests are conducted fairly and that the correct person is supplying the answers.
One of the main benefits of distance learning is that study periods are more flexible, meaning that students can meet other commitments yet still complete distance learning courses. Candidates suited for this type of study are full time workers or people with family commitments.
Types of learning – Online learning
Although similar in many ways to distance learning, online learning requires access to a computer and is conducted through the internet. Online learning allows both the teacher and the student to make use of modern technology to use a variety of media, making the lessons engaging and interesting for the student.
Online learning also has the significant advantage of immediate marking for tests with a limited selection of answers. It is also useful in that a record of learning can be made available without risk of getting lost as it is stored in a central database.
What type of learner are you?
Different types of learning suits different people. This depends on personality and what motivates and interests the person. Which category do you fit in to do you think?
There are four recognised types of learner:
- visual learners
- read and write learners
- auditory learners
- kinesthetic learners
- Likes types of learning that involve visual objects such as graphs, charts, pictures, and ‘seeing’ information
- Can read body language well and has a good perception of aesthetics
- Able to memorise and remember information
- Tends to remember things that are written down
- Learns better in lectures by watching demonstrations
Read and write learners
- Fits in with the conventional, school-taught types of learning
- Likes textbooks and writing notes.
- Good at taking notes during class.
- Studies best by reading over notes / copying them out.
- Remembers information best through types of learning that involve hearing and speaking
- Prefers to be told how to do things and then summarises the main points to help them remember
- Often has talents in music
- Music playing in the background may help study
- Likes to use the hands-on types of learning approaches to remember information; e.g. experiments, roleplays etc
- Would rather physically demonstrate how to do something (or have it demonstrated) rather than verbally explain it (or have it verbally explained)
- Typically performs well in, and enjoys group work
Knowing the types of learning can help you study better – and so can our resources! Do you know what your CEFR level is?