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Last updated: 28.01.14

E-learning styles 'vary from person to person'

With any form of education, people naturally adopt different learning styles and techniques - and it is no different for online training. Learners could exhibit a wide range of behaviours when accessing web resources, and it is important for both employers and providers of this kind of education to take into account the varying needs individuals have. As research from Virginia Commonwealth University states, "good teachers recognise that individual learner differences can affect the outcomes of educational experiences". If people do not receive learning tailored to these distinctions, it is likely that the education delivered won't be as effective or long-lasting. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development blog has pointed to a whitepaper outlining several different e-learning styles that are beginning to emerge, showing that a 'one-size-fits-all' approach is out of date and unreliable. These include 'surfers and divers', who prefer either broad overviews of concepts or very detailed information about a narrower subject area, and 'contributors and consumers', characterised by people who actively engage in e-learning and are more passive when it comes to manual training. Other learning styles that have been noticed are those of 'study learners' or s'ocialites', who rely more heavily on knowledge delivery, and 'activists and objectors', individuals who are eager to engage with and explore new technologies. This information is essential for companies that are looking to offer online training to employees, and they must bear in mind that each member of staff will have a different way of absorbing data than the next. If they want assistance in providing such a service, then they should consider calling upon experts such as Virtual College, an e-learning company based in West Yorkshire that boasts a host of innovative online solutions. From apprenticeships and healthcare training to learning management systems, Virtual College can support a vast range of workplace operations and help employers deliver low-cost, effective training.

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