There are three types of learning styles: auditory, visual, and tactile. According to some reports, only 5 percent of learners are identified as tactile learners. While the percentage is small, considering how many learners there are in the world today, there are still millions of people who find themselves most engaged when they are active in their learning.
Tactile learners process information best through a hands-on learning approach. As a result, typical classroom lecture environments present challenges to these learners—sitting still, passively listening for long periods of time can be trying. While online learning may seem to present the same challenges, there are some methods tactile learners can employ to ensure success when they are learning online. If you are a tactile learner, try incorporating some of the following techniques in your next study session to improve your learning experience:
- Create a workspace with bright colors and posters. Have floor space and furniture that encourage moving around or lounging. Standing at a desk, sitting on an exercise ball, relaxing in a recliner, or walking back and forth might help you stay focused.
- Try chewing gum and manipulating a stress ball or some other hand-held object during a study session if a desktop computer forces you to stay in the same spot. Background music can also help you focus and concentrate.
- Skimming the content to prepare can be helpful. After completing a preview, try reading the content out loud. Employing a practice like SQ3R, discussed in another post, could be beneficial for the tactile learner.
- Copy key points onto a writing surface—write them in big print or try illustrating them on large sheets of blank drawing paper. If the topic lends itself, try building a model of a major concept.
- Create sequence cards to understand steps in a process. Write each step on an index card and then manipulate the cards on a table top, moving them around until you remember the correct order.
- Copy and paraphrase your notes.
- Take a break from your studies often or study in small, spaced increments of time.
No matter what your learning style, one of the best ways to be successful in online learning is to know how you learn and explore ways to address the needs of your specific learning style. Not sure what kind of learner you are? Be sure to take our Learning Styles Survey. You may have to adjust your approach to reach your goals, but the effort will be well worth it!