Reaching Different Learning Styles in Online Courses

by | Oct 31, 2018 | Learning Design

When designing an online learning course, it’s important to plan for the various needs of your learners. Every learner is unique and their individual learning styles must be taken into account during the instructional design process. There are four learning styles that must be addressed when designing an online course: visual, aural, reading/writing, and kinesthetic.


This style of learner learns best through the use of visual aids such as graphs, charts, maps, videos, etc. They relate better to information that’s presented in a picture or design format. When designing a course, it’s important to provide plenty of ways for these students to get their information through these means.

Aural learners are those for whom auditory learning is most effective. This means they learn best through lectures and participating in discussions. A great and easy way to present information for this learner within an online course is to include video lectures and soundbites throughout the course design.

Reading and writing learners are some of the easiest ones to reach through online coursework. When designing your online learning environment, you must make sure to provide plenty of opportunities for students with the reading and writing learning style to read through the content. If you choose to include lectures or videos as part of your teaching strategy, make sure to provide transcripts of the videos for these students to read through.

Kinesthetic learners learn best through “hands-on” activities. This can provide a unique challenge in the online course environment, but you can still provide plenty of opportunities to help this type of learner to be successful. There are several ways you can go about reaching this type of learner in the online classroom. You can provide supplemental materials that provide suggestions for ways the students can go out into the world and understand the topic better, whether that’s visiting museums, conducting labs, or simply exploring a nearby habitat. You can also provide video that shows a practical demonstration, or you can even incorporate 3D graphics that simulate physical demonstration.


Whatever type of learner you’re trying to reach when designing an online course, there are plenty of opportunities to make sure no one misses out on an engaging learning experience. At TEL Library, we work to ensure we reach every type of learner in our design process. Check out one of our lesson demos to learn more about how we design our online courses.

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