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learning styles and online education April 9, 2008

Posted by Rob LeFebvre in Uncategorized.

As I plan more courses on our agency’s distance learning system, I find papers like this one to be very helpful in thinking through how to put it all together.

Designing online courses in the light of learning styles

A quote from the paper:

The need to offer distance learning courses has led to instructional designers rushing to deliver content through web-based systems and little or no thought has been given to the quality of this content. The application of technology in education seems to be ineffective if it purely mimics the traditional face-to-face classroom. This paper argues that the way forward lies in addressing different learning styles when developing learning objects. This belief is consistent with the view expressed by Garland and Martin (2005:1) that the learning style of all students must be considered when designing online courses.

Seems intuitive, right? But it’s nice to have a study to refer to when planning things, or even when trying to “sell” a particular idea to a non-technical person.



1. Stephen - April 9, 2008

That’s really true that distance learning may not be the best option for everybody. But it is preferable to the working people.

2. roblef - April 10, 2008

It’s not that distance ed isn’t a good option, it’s that we need to address the different ways people learn when we’re designing online curriculum. I think distance education is the best, but only when it’s meeting my own style of learning. Long, texty lectures or even long videos don’t tend to keep me invested in the learning, while hands on and collaborative things do. I also know people who are the exact opposite.

Thanks for the comment!

3. Kat - April 10, 2008

Distance learning won’t work for people who are auditory learners, or classes that require labs of some kind. But for learning a basic curriculum, it’s not that bad. I took a few classes thinking I would hate it and actually loved it. I learned so much form my classmates in discussion threads – it was great to get their perspectives and insights – a continuing discussion that would never happen in a live classroom.

Pros & Cons of distance learning (online classes)

4. Jack P. Krichen - May 2, 2008

Distance learning now provides the unique opportunity to provide educational experiences that align with learning styles since most modes of learning can be supported though current Web technology. Even kinesthetic learning can be supported through Wii types of activities. However, it is difficulty to develop course-ware that accommodates all learners styles. To support the variety of learning styles presented by learners in a course, it would be helpful to provide learners knowledge of their learning styles so they can make their own decisions about which learning activities to engage in on a priority basis. Courses could then be developed to incorporate a variety of activities that support the learning styles of expected learners. They can provide the flexibility for learners to engage in those activities that first matched their primary learning styles and then those that are less predominant.

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