What Kind of Environment is Right for You
In today’s society, there are numerous ways in which individuals can engage in learning.
Some people will attend live classes, some will look to the internet to get their education, and some will do both. Before starting any educational path, a person should identify whether they are a visual, auditory, sociological, or tactile learner. Once the learning style is determined, this will help create a path to whether the individual should pursue education online or in person. This decision can be crucial in creating a good learning environment versus a mediocre environment.
Learning environments come in a variety of settings. Some of the most frequent and common environments consist of traditional school classrooms and virtual online environments. (McCann, B. M., 2006, p.14) While both of these settings will cover the same required material and meet the same required standards, there are differences between traditional classes and online classes that should be considered. For example, traditional classes have a scheduled time and place to attend class, while online classes can be done at the student’s convenience from virtually anywhere there is an internet connection. The latter requires a great deal of motivation and self-discipline because there is little room for procrastination in order to meet deadlines. Those who choose online classes should also work well independently, because the instructor is not always available during each student’s particular study time to offer guidance. Also, in a traditional classroom, a student may have access to lectures, group studies, and peer review; however, in a virtual setting these study aides are limited. However, before one should decide on the educational environment, one must determine their learning style.
Learning styles vary from person to person and can also change as they mature. Studies show that school age children start off learning by visual or tactile learning styles, but by the time most people reach sixth grade it changes slightly to the auditory learning style. (Gilakjani, A 2012, p. 107). This change results from the fact that as students get older their classes are founded more around lectures and reading. There are many different learning styles but the most common are Visual, Auditory, Sociological and Tactile. (Different Learning Styles, N.D.) The styles are pretty self explanatory. Visual learners learn by seeing, while Auditory learners learn by listening. Sociological learners like to work in groups, and tactile learners do best by using a hands-on approach to understand things. The differences between the learning styles are great, but people are not limited to just one learning style either. Individuals will pick or have a favorite learning style but can use two or three different learning styles at once.
Visual learners tend to learn best by seeing pictures and diagrams of the work in front of them. (Different Learning Styles, N.D.) They also tend to understand better by reading information on their own. Visual learners may also use different color highlighters or pens while studying to catch their own attention while studying. It has also been noted that visual learners have a tendency to sit in the front of classes and take more intensive notes then other learning styles while attending class. (Gilakjani, A 2012, p. 105) One key factor that can make a difference in any setting for visual learners is the amount of light in the area. Some like to have bright lights to properly read and study. While other students may prefer a dimmer setting due to frequent headaches in brightly lit study areas.
Students that fall in the auditory learning style benefit best from a classroom environment where they have to read out loud during class. (Different Learning Styles, N.D.) Auditory learners will excel in classes where they have lecture and classroom discussions.