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5 Tips to Design eLearning to Match Different Learning Styles

September 27, 2017 | By Asha Pandey


5 Tips to Design eLearning to Match Different Learning Styles

‘One size does not fit all.’ This statement is particularly relevant in the ways we learn, as each one of us has a particular learning style. When we go through training that matches our learning style, we are interested, engaged and are able to internalise it effortlessly.

In this blog, I begin with the key learning styles and then move on to 5 tips that Instructional Designers can use to design eLearning or online training to match the different learning styles.

What are the key learning styles?

In real life, each one of us tends to learn through a combination of styles (this is called multi modal learning). However, we do have one key (or preferred) learning style.

A common model that is used to define the learning styles is the VARK model, which classifies learners into the following 4 categories:

  1. Visual learners: They prefer strong visual cues in learning.
  2. Aural or Auditory learners: They respond best to facilitated sessions.
  3. Reading learners: They prefer structured, text-based cues to learn.
  4. Kinaesthetic learners: They lean on their senses and need an experiential mode to learn.

Can you design eLearning that can match different learning styles?

By definition, eLearning courses are rolled out to diverse and heterogeneous learners. While Instructional Designers have good pointers on Training Needs Analysis, learning outcomes, expected gains (for learners and business), learner’s current proficiency and so on, they have no cues on the learning style of each.

Practically, it is difficult to create an eLearning course that will resonate equally with learners of diverse learning styles.

What tips can be used to design eLearning that can match each learning style?

Instructional designers can use the following 5 tips to cater to different learning styles:

  1. While keeping the focus on the learning outcomes that must be met, identify a combination of approaches that will work across different learners.
  1. The methodology to nail the predominant/combination approach to be used (text, visual, audio or simulations, etc.) must be arrived at by looking at the nature of content.
  1. Additionally, use techniques like Microlearning which provide tremendous range of delivery formats that would resonate with different learners.
  1. Give the control to the learner by doing progressive build-up through a series of steps like ‘Teach’, ‘Try’ and ‘Test’; and at each stage, use multi modal approaches and mix Personalised
  1. Last but not the least, when you opt for one predominant approach, ensure the learners with other learning styles have adequate options.

I hope this blog provides some easy-to-apply tips that will enable you to design eLearning courses to suit different learning styles and score well with all your learners. If you have any queries, do contact me.

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