This page deals with “learning styles”. By knowing your own learning style, you can recognize how you best acquire knowledge and so determine a study method that suits you when studying by distance or online learning.
Imagine you are going to learn a new task. It could be laying a laminate floor, following a new recipe or learning to use a new TV remote control. How do you approach the task?
Approach 1: Do you sit down with the instructions and read them through before trying?
Approach 2: Do you get stuck in to the task straight away? Do you ask others for help and then move on to a new task as soon as this one is complete?
Approach 3: Do you ask around and get advice, ponder on the topic and weigh up the different ways of doing the task?
Approach 4: Do you read the instructions but are eager to put them into practice and get on with the job?
These four approaches were characterised by Honey and Mumford as distinct styles of learning (or learning styles):
Theorists read the instructions before starting a task. You are a theoretical learner if you choose Approach 1.
Activists will explore the task and learn from this exploration. Activist learners would use Approach 2.
Reflectors will think about the task in hand and consider the alternatives carefully before embarking on the task. This is a person who asks around and considers the different approaches to the task. This type of learner uses Approach 3 when learning new tasks.
Pragmatists prefer to learn by testing. They would consider how to apply an approach to the task in hand. Pragmatists would choose Approach 4
(A modification of the Open University UK online course that deals with learning styles.)
Click here for more about how to learn online.
Learning styles and your studies
If you know your own learning style, you can determine a study method that suits you when studying by distance or online learning. Indeed, more than that – you can decide whether or not you are suited for online learning. The ability to think independently, self-discipline, motivation and good time management are all required for online learning to be effective. If you have a problem with these, then a teacher driven, on-campus degree may be the best for you.
Books in Online and Distance Learning?
Just because the program is online doesn’t mean that there will be no book reading at all. Many of the courses in a program will have “prescribed texts” that you will be expected to buy or will be included in the cost of the course.
In addition to these prescribed texts, there will also be “recommended texts” – and if they are not available online you may be expected to consult these in a library or buy them.
List of schools and programs