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Published on November 19, 2019

13 Reasons Why Online Learning Is an Effective Way to Learn

13 Reasons Why Online Learning Is an Effective Way to Learn

Over the years, education was restricted to the four walls of the classroom with a boring learning routine and sitting positions that are not ergonomic.

Joe Nemo, in Inc magazine, classified online learning as a $107 billion industry that nobody is talking about. He also affirms that teaching is lucrative, which establishes the belief that the e-learning sector will continue to evolve.[1]

So, what is online learning?

It is a teaching-learning platform that enables students to enroll and participate in courses via the internet. It does not require being present in the physical classrooms. They can join from any location as long as they are connected to the internet. Not only that, online learning is an excellent way for subject matter professionals and experts to pass on their skills, aptitudes, and knowledge in an impactful way.

Here’s why online learning is more beneficial:

1. Enhance Your Professional Skills

Online learning is a vital means of updating your skills, knowledge, and attitudes. In a fast competitive world, you need to go through a learning experience that is tailored to meet global demand. Freelancers and experience employees leverage online learning to enhance their career progression and cultivate highly-demanded skills in the marketplace.

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2. Improve Your Productivity

Learning equals earning. It is often said that you will need to learn first, then remove the ‘L’. This is true at both the personal and organizational levels.

Individuals who invest in lifelong learning and training development will always see a significant improvement in their productivity. Several courses are available online to assist you in achieving peak performance in your personal life and at work.

3. Enjoy Diverse Means of Communicating with Instructors

The flexibility that online learning provides over traditional methods of education makes it possible to communicate with instructors.

Technology simplifies these communication processes via live chat, email, as well as telephone conversations. You can also get feedback or engage in a Q&A session with a college professor. What an exciting way to network!

4. Save Time and Cost

Online learning is budget-friendly. You can search for courses that align with your objectives and budget. The traditional costs of education are expensive. As long as you can log into your course dashboard when you want to, you can save some money to pursue other ambitions.

5. Customize Your Learning Experience

Online learning affords you the privilege of customizing your learning environment. You can learn while commuting, in your house, at a friend’s house, or even set up your ideal classroom and complete your homework assignments.

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It will assist you in focusing on your academic objectives as it eliminates irrelevant distractions, which are common occurrences in a traditional learning environment.

6. Enjoy a Flexible Schedule

A significant benefit of learning online is flexibility. You have the privilege of engaging in some other rewarding activities. You can care for your family, work full-time, and earn a certification or degree. You can set academic goals on how many courses you want to take next year now.

Planning will help you to incorporate your learning goals to align with other schedules better.

7. Participate in Virtual Study Sessions

Learning requires active involvement and engagement. An optimum classroom design relies on the engagement level and the ability of each student to support the other and be civil in the process.

Some virtual instructors call it ‘contribution’. You can participate in virtual study sessions via discussion boards, assignments, seminars, chats, blogs, office hours, and the Q&A sessions.

You can as well present documents, utilize whiteboards during brainstorming sessions and share your screen as long as you have a computer, an internet connection, and a headset. Learning online is now easier!

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8. Review Course Materials Easily

You can access your course dashboard, which contains articles, podcasts, videos, and written documents any time you want.

Online learning makes it possible to scroll through the pages, utilize the find button, and take some online notes to understand the materials better.

9. Learn at Your Pace

Researchers at Suny Albany found that class attendance has a significant relationship with student success.[2]

If you are losing the drive to keep up with your colleagues, online learning provides you a means of knocking out some courses in no time. You can grasp each concept and theory as you have the opportunity to watch videos over and over again without disturbing the instructor. You determine your progress as you control your learning pathway.

10. Develop Self-Discipline

Online learning will compel you to develop self-discipline skills such as time management and project management.

You can leverage time management tools to schedule your time and activities using an online calendar. These lifelong skills will impact every aspect of your life.

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11. Be Evaluated Immediately

Waiting to obtain your examination scores in a traditional setting is annoying and nerve-racking. The online learning framework provides an instant scoring mechanism that intimates you with your scores having completed the online tests and quizzes.

12. Learn for Free

Yes! You can learn for free through your local library on Lynda. Lynda.com is a learning platform that was purchased by LinkedIn in 2015. You only need a library card to access the library- no subscription is required.[3]

13. Protect the Environment

Online learning minimizes the negative impact on the environment, which emanates from transportation and manufacturing. The infrastructure and the materials required in the traditional education establishments(buildings, desks, electricity, textbooks) are significantly reduced. This goes a long way in conserving natural resources.

Not only that, various academic institutions can save both time and money when they implement and expand their online learning platforms.

Bottom Line

Online learning will gain more popularity over the traditional means of education because of its flexibility and convenience.

If you have been nurturing the dream of gaining skills and expertise without borders, Lifehack Courses can help you gain deeper insights on some foundational topics including motivation, learning and productivity that can change your life positively.

More About Learning

Featured photo credit: JESHOOTS.COM via unsplash.com

Reference

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Published on June 22, 2020

7 Characteristics of a Smart Auditory Learner

7 Characteristics of a Smart Auditory Learner

I spent five years as a middle and high school teacher, and I would often hear people talking about learning styles. “Betty is a visual learner. Sam is kinesthetic. Emma is an auditory learner.”

I hadn’t read any research about learning styles at the time, but on the face of it, it makes sense. Some people seem to learn better when they see things, others when they’re active, and some when they hear things. I know that I really struggle when someone spells a word aloud. I have no idea what word they’re spelling. I’ve always just made the excuse that I’m a visual learner and will need them to write it down for me. But is there any truth to learning styles?

Before we delve into the characteristics of a smart auditory learner, let’s take a step back and explore what research says about learning styles more generally.

Debunking Learning Styles

In the 1990s, a New Zealand school inspector named Neil Fleming[1] came up with a questionnaire to measure people’s preferred learning style. Now called the VARK questionnaire, it’s still used today to discern whether people are Visual, Auditory, Read/Write, or Kinesthetic learners.

Fleming’s learning styles theory gained popularity over the decades, but no studies have confirmed its legitimacy. In a study by Polly Husmann and Valerie Dean O’Loughlin[2], they found that people who used their preferred learning style did not see any improvements in learning outcomes. In short, there was no correlation between learning style and actual learning.

Another study by Abby R. Knoll, Hajime Otani, Reid L. Skeel, and K. Roger Van Horn[3] also found that learning style had no relationship with recall. Participants who preferred visual learning did not recall images they saw any better than words they heard.

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There’s no evidence that learning styles help people learn or recall. Instead, they should be thought of as a learning preference. I prefer when people write things down for me, but there’s no evidence that this improves my recall.

7 Characteristics of a Smart Auditory Learner

Having a preference for auditory learning means you gravitate toward verbal communication. Audiobooks and lectures might be your cup of tea instead of the charts and graphs of a visual learner.

So what if you think you’re an auditory learner? Let’s say you have a knack for processing audio communication and can close your eyes and pick up all the important details of a lecture or audiobook. The following list is for you. Here are 7 characteristics of smart auditory learners—people who use their auditory preference to their advantage.

1. They Take Learning Styles With a Grain of Salt

This bears repeating. There is no evidence that people’s learning styles impact their learning, so a smart auditory learner definitely takes learning styles with a grain of salt.

Think of it as a preference. Smart auditory learners know they prefer audiobooks and hearing things out loud, so there’s no harm leaning into that preference.

Just don’t assume it’s going to improve your test scores.

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2. They Get Rid of Distractions

Just because you’re an auditory learner doesn’t mean you can sift through lots of auditory inputs at once. No matter your learning preference, make sure you put effort into limiting distractions.

An auditory learner might struggle to study while listening to music or have difficulty working with the TV on because they’re so receptive to auditory information. Therefore, you should find a quiet place to learn, so you can focus all your energy on whatever it is you’re trying to retain.

3. They Match Learning Task With Learning Style

The real secret to improving your retention and recall is to match the learning task with the learning style. A smart auditory learner knows the best time to rely on auditory learning. They don’t always fall back on listening. Instead, they strategize the best approach for each individual learning challenge.

For example, I might know that I favor visual learning, but if I need to memorize my lines in a play, I might be better served recording the other characters’ lines, so I can practice saying my lines when I hear my cues.

Maybe I’m more kinesthetic. That doesn’t mean that I have to move to learn. Instead, I have to be strategic about when and how I add movement to my learning process. It might make sense for me to memorize countries or states by drawing a giant map and running to the right spot when someone yells out that geographic location. However, it doesn’t make much sense to dance around while I’m reading Foucault. The learning style should be in service of whatever it is that’s being learned.

Instead of catering to people’s learning preferences, we should be matching the learning style with the task at hand. Ask yourself, “What’s the best style (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, reading/writing) for this particular learning task?”

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4. They Use Their Voice

Auditory learners might need to read things aloud or listen to audiobooks instead of silently reading. Adding your voice can help turn reading/writing into an auditory exercise.

Get creative with it. If you consider yourself to be an auditory learner, think of different ways to add an audio element to your learning. Sing it. Yell it. Turn it into a poem. Just don’t get stuck in the reading/writing learning style when you prefer to be hearing and listening.

5. They Practice Listening

Smart auditory learners don’t take listening for granted. Just because you prefer auditory learning doesn’t mean you’re great at it. Instead, smart auditory learners take their preference and improve it over time.

Practice your listening skills. Give people your undivided attention, clarify what you’ve just heard, and challenge yourself to be as active and present a listener as possible.

Asking clarifying questions and repeating back what you’ve just heard can help you assess how accurate your listening is[4]. You should also transfer what you’ve heard to other learning styles. Write it down or draw it as pictures, charts, and graphs. That brings us to the next characteristic of smart auditory learners.

6. They Use All Learning Styles

Smart auditory learners use all the learning styles. They may have a preference for listening, but using all types of inputs helps improve retention and recall.

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If you’re studying for an exam, don’t just record your notes as audio or listen to online lectures. Use flashcards, read your notes out loud, quiz yourself, create an active game that requires you to move around, and teach the concepts to your roommate. This gets as many parts of your brain and body involved in the learning as possible, which increases your odds of retaining the information and acing the exam.

7. They Reflect on What Works and What Doesn’t

Smart auditory learners are also reflective and self-aware learners. After you try a learning strategy, assess and reflect on how it went. Did you retain as much information as you’d hoped? Build off your successes and change strategies when a learning style isn’t working for you.

Smart auditory learning is really just smart learning. Create a game plan that uses multiple, appropriate learning styles. Then, follow through by removing distractions and studying your heart out. After assessing how much you’ve retained, reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Then, refine your game plan for more success next time.

Final Thoughts

It would be magical if learning styles were a silver bullet for learning. I’d love to be able to say I’m a visual learner and then be able to recall every single piece of information just by seeing it represented visually. Unfortunately, that’s not at all how learning styles work.

Learning is complex and messy. Just because we prefer one learning style doesn’t mean it helps us learn better. What we really need to do is experiment with all the learning styles and try to match the right learning styles with each specific task.

Knowing your learning style is important. It’s good to know how you prefer to receive information. Just don’t stop there. Use your preference for auditory learning strategically and when it makes sense to do so.

More Tips for When You’re an Auditory Learner

Featured photo credit: Blaz Erzetic via unsplash.com

Reference

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