A. Know Your Learning Style

Not all online classes are presented in the same way. Instructors, both in a traditional classroom and online, use different techniques and methods for explaining concepts. Some may choose to present the course material in a visual format, others use a lecture format, and others enhance lecture formats with hands-on applications. Knowing your learning style can be beneficial whether you are taking a course in a classroom or online. There are many different styles of learning. Some of us are visual learners; we learn and remember by seeing things (seeing it). Some learn best by listening to a lecture (hearing it). Others are hands on learners; they need to manipulate objects to demonstrate learning (doing it).

B. Three Types of Learning

1. The Visual Learner (the "Seer")

If you have identified that you are a visual learner, meaning that you learn best by "seeing" the course information presented in various ways, here are strategies to consider:

Course information will usually be presented in a text format, so you will see and read the course information on the computer and textbook. Read the text, examine diagrams or pictures, and then relate what you see to what you read

Textbook materials enhance written lectures by providing diagrams, maps, illustrations, etc.

Research other Internet sites which could provide additional information about the topic

Read the course description from the MVCC course catalog or MVCC website prior to taking the course

Contact the instructor for further information


2. The Tactile Learner (the "Doer")

If you process information using a tactile, hands-on approach here are some suggestions that may help in your online course:

Engage in discussions with other students in your online class

Identify online courses that have a lab or other experiential component

Find others who are taking the course and form study groups

Contact the instructor for information prior to taking the course


3. The Aural Learner (the "Hearer")

If you learn best by listening to lectures and discussing in class, then online courses may present a challenge for you. You may need to adapt your learning style to the visual text-based format used in most online courses. Knowing what the course involves ahead of time, before the class begins, might be your best avenue for determining if taking an online class is for you. Here are some strategies that may help:

Read the course description from the MVCC Course Catalog or the MVCC website

Contact the instructor for information about teaching style and course content