Distance learning, blended learning, lectures, tutorials, interactive or not, Kindle or hard copy, IPad, IPod, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.
You hear people say ‘I prefer a real book, which I can relate to in terms of design, size, shape, individual feel and with its own personality. EBooks are all the same and do not personally relate to the reader and I never know whether I am half way through or near the end. I get everything from the internet. If you know where and how to look you can find everything you want. I don’t do libraries or book shops anymore. I enjoy eBooks, I don’t need page markers and when I am having my breakfast I can stir my tea and eat my toast at the same time without having to place the pot of jam on the book to keep it open.
But the preference can indicate a more meaningful interpretation and be in fact insightful in terms of our personality.
As defined in Career Coaching, which describes the different personality characteristics means that the Analyst and Creative type will predominantly focus on the material rather than the delivery platform. ‘Tell it as it is’ is their motto. They do not need an animated lecturer making extravagant gestures to grasp the point. They will engage well with the depersonalised methods of learning. In contrast the Supporter personality type or the Influencer type will focus and be persuaded by the enthusiastic, humorous Professor and perhaps find the technology platforms OK but boring and without a personality.
The Creative will use Apple for its design feel, relational features and innovative delivery. Products which are boring and look old fashioned will not appeal.
The Analyst will look for results. Is the information useful or relevant? Chat lines are an anathema to the Analyst. They serve no purpose and are for people who just like to talk and have not enough to do. They will prefer conference calls to Skype as they consider the content more important than a view, the picture as a pointless distraction.
The Supporter uses all forms of communication and will enjoy video conferencing where they can see the speaker and their physical interactions. Knowing whether people are sad, angry, confused, happy, shy or confrontational is a fundamental component of the meaningful conversation for the Supporter.
The Influencer also enjoys face to face communications, particularly when they are in the driving seat and have an opportunity to impress the audience. Skype, video conferencing, lecturing, tutorials are learning vehicles which are very conducive to the Influencer’s personality.
Know your personality and you can know your preferential learning vehicle and dramatically increase your performance in terms of grades.
So my conclusion is that there is an optimum learning technique for each individual student and no – one size does not fit all.