When you go back to school as an adult, the type of student you are today may be much different than how you were in your 20s. With online learning, the type of courses and instruction also is changing.

Professors and instructors who have long taught in a classroom but now are gravitating to online learning are recognizing they must change their teaching methods and curriculum as well. Some are adjusting their style of teaching to accommodate people who have different ways of thinking about a topic. Some may be practical; others may be creative.

The Rochester Institute of Technology has looked at the characteristics of learners, which vary depending on you age and how you learn — in a traditional or online setting.

Here’s a glimpse of three key characteristics of adult students today, which may be beneficial as you venture into online classes or degree programs. Which characteristics do you have, and which ones do you desire to develop? Let us know in the comments section below!

• Self-directed learning: You don’t depend on others for direction and take responsibility for your own education.

• Problem-centered approach: You possess a strong desire to learn concepts that are timely and appropriate to current problems/situations and needs.

• Treated like adults: You desire to have your comments and questions treated with respect and to have the contributions you make to class acknowledged.

Also, what type of learner are you? Here are four types described by the Rochester Institute of Technology – and how your online courses may be trying to accommodate different types of learners.

1. Learning type: Visual

Used in a course: Graphics, images, illustrations, demonstrations

2. Learning type: Auditory

Used in a course: Discussions, lectures

3. Learning type: Kinesthetic

Used in a course: Written assignments, activities, examinations of objects

4.Learning type: Environmental

Used in a course: Surroundings connect to the way you like to learn, down to the type of seating, lighting and the room temperature. As an online student, fitting the environment with the way you like to learn is more possible than in a class on campus.



One response to “Professors, Schools Looking at Different Ways We Learn”

  1. Sani says:

    It’s amazing how the advancement of technology affects how we learn. Obviously, with more tools, we’re given more access, but I think at a point we start evolving into different types of learners when we’re given opportunities such as online learning to further our education. Thanks for this post, Lori!
    -Sani @ CollegeFocus

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