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Teaching Virtually for All 4 Learning Styles?

Online Education, teaching online, online learning.


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Dennise Heckman

2 years ago | 6 min read


The following tips and ideas apply to both in-person and online education. All learning styles can be accommodated virtually with a bit of knowledge and creativity.

1. Visual

Visual learners learn by looking at information, seeing it in front of them, or their minds. They tend to come across as impatient and may talk fast, covering many topics with many descriptive words and phrases.

Visual learners love maps, charts, timelines, diagrams, graphic organizers, presentations accompanied by power points, and lots of images or videos. They can “eye things up” when hanging a picture on the wall or choosing a paint color or a particular outfit. They are spatially intelligent and understand how things fit together without measuring.

An excellent Visual Learning Activity to teach your students involves Vision Boards.

Visualization or mental rehearsal is a technique in which we imagine ourselves in a particular situation or performing a specific activity. You can teach your students to use visualization to view themselves reaching their goals.

The visualization shows the best effects when applied through vision boards. A successfully created vision board focuses on things your students want to achieve, but more importantly, it emphasizes how they want to feel about that.

Vision boards provide clarity and incentive and inspire action. Other examples of suitable Visual Learning Activities may involve:

  • Creating a PowerPoint presentation
  • Art
  • Illustrating a book they read
  • Decorating cookies
  • Older visual learners may also enjoy designing and painting a community mural, helping the theater teacher create and paint the stage scenery, and helping you rearrange your classroom or decorate your bulletin board, so make sure to encourage these activities.

2. Auditory
Auditory learners learn by listening. They tend to speak slowly and are patient listeners. Their thought process is linear, and they prefer to have someone explain or teach information to them verbally rather than have to read it or look at it in visual form.

Auditory learners love talk-to-text function on their cell phones and computers, and they enjoy technology like Alexa and Siri.

Text-to-speech App converts text into spoken words. When the user enters the text, the application reads it aloud (speaks).

Although initially developed to support visually impaired persons and people with reading impairments such as dyslexia, today's text-to-speech applications have extensive use in online interactive teaching and learning.

To successfully teach aural learners, be sure to incorporate verbal explanation with PowerPoint presentations or any other visual tool.

Examples of Auditory Learning Activities:

  • Listening to podcasts
  • Storytime
  • Special guest speakers
  • Verbal directions
  • Verbal project requirements
  • Verbal instructions, music, lectures, and speeches


Also, older auditory learners enjoy having in-depth discussions and listening to foreign languages and accents.


Bimodal Presentations
Young learners benefit the most from bimodal or mixed presentations. Students will retain more information if presented both visually and in audio format simultaneously (bimodal presentation).

Bimodal presentations often include text-to-speech software.
For example, research has proven specific benefits of bimodal presentation in learning to read.
Some of the main advantages of bimodal presentations include:

  • Enhanced learning and memory
  • Improved information recall
  • Greater reading comprehension
  • Improved word recognition and vocabulary, accuracy, and fluency
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Improved concentration.

3. Verbal Learners

Our verbal learners prefer the written text over pictures and listening to someone tell them information. They are the readers and the writers, and the note-takers during your PowerPoint presentation or video.

These students enjoy any writing prompt and most writing techniques, whether an essay, short answer, or full book report. They read quickly, and words flow for them smoothly when relaying a story, directions, or any information. If this student is working with peers, they will be the ones turning another student’s verbal idea into a written explanation.

An excellent verbal learning activity to practice with your students is journaling or expressive writing.

Journaling involves writing our thoughts, observations, and feelings without censoring them. This helps us understand our thoughts and feelings more clearly, validate our experiences, and increase our inner world’s awareness.

Journaling can spark your students’ imagination, remove mental barriers, inspire them to think out of the box and find creative solutions to problems.

Moreover, writing down their thoughts without auto-censure can help your students cope with specific mental health concerns and improve their overall well-being.

Other examples of Verbal Learning Activities to practice with your students include:

  • Learning to read
  • Reading different materials such as newsletters, magazines, brochures,
    instructions
  • Writing stories
  • Writing educational or factual material
  • Watching foreign films with subtitles
  • Making lists, labeling
  • Writing in a secret diary
  • Putting a message in a bottle

Older verbal learners enjoy activities such as presenting story time to smaller children, story mapping, and fiction writing.


4. Kinesthetic
Kinesthetic learners learn by doing. They are the action-takers. These students take their time making decisions and talk slowly and thoughtfully. They prefer to engage all of their senses to learn something new and love to solve problems. Their approach always involves some hands-on activity, and they are open to trial and error.


Encourage free play, particularly in younger learners, because play engages all senses, sparks imagination and creativity, and promotes development. Play encourages brain development, promoting the growth of new neural connections, and enhancing the brain’s plasticity and flexibility. Play and exploration boost language development and improve motor skills.

Moreover, unstructured play promotes problem-solving skills, helps students explore cause and effect relations, anticipate and predict outcomes, learn cooperation and communication skills, and work through conflicts.

Also, hands-on activities allow students to cope with unpleasant emotions and learn positive ways to communicate their feelings and needs.

Sensory and craft activities encourage students to follow their interests and to express themselves freely.

Sensory activities help create and strengthen connections in the brain’s neural pathways. This supports students’ cognitive and language development, problem- solving, and gross motor skills.

Tactile and craft activities promote fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Also, these activities encourage creative thinking and foster social and emotional development.

Examples of Kinesthetic Learning Activities involve:

  • Building Blocks
  • Cooking
  • Crafts
  • Science Lab
  • Tactile Activities
  • Physical Activities
  • Sidewalk Chalk Learning

Older Kinesthetic learners enjoy being tutors, sports coaches, outdoor guides, and teachers.

Other Learning Styles

Some learning experts claim there are an additional four learning styles.

Logical- Logical learners are math wizards and learn better while applying logic and reasoning.

Social – Social learners learn by explaining and teaching information to a group. This builds their own understanding of the material they are presenting. They enjoy being a part of a group for most of their learning.

Solitary – Solitary learners learn best when they have a chance to be alone and study at their own pace with only their own companionship.

Combination – You might have guessed by now that the combination learner had to be on this list because you have already identified more than one learning style you relate to. The combination learner category, which most people fall into, simply means that you learn best utilizing two or more learning style strategies.

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Created by

Dennise Heckman

Amazon Bestselling Author| Coach |Educator

Background Dennise Heckman has been teaching & coaching since 1996. She majored in illustration at the Savannah College of Art & Design & holds a Master of Education (M.Ed.) from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (2003). She has a Permanent Teachers Certification in Art Education K-12 (1996). After teaching English As A Second Language for many years, she now holds a 120 Hour TEFL certification in ESL (2018). She studied acting at Wiest Barron School of Acting in NYC & is a speaker with Innovation Women. Dennise's teaching experience includes public schools in Pennsylvania, global online platforms, private institutions, informal settings, summer camps, literacy centers, and even the site where the Wright Brothers took their first flight.


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