Learning Tips for Visual Learners in Distance Education Programs

10Essential Information
Distance learning programs may present course materials in a variety of formats, including pre-recorded lectures, online chat rooms, and interactive study materials. Different people have different styles of learning, although the three main categories are auditory, tactile, and visual. Auditory learners absorb information best by hearing and listening, tactile learners prefer to have hands-on experiences, and visual learners learn best when they can see a task or lesson being explained. This article focuses on the last group and provides some helpful tips and tricks for people who understand by seeing.

Online Program Levels Certificate, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral
Online Requirements Speakers, microphone, headset, access to software such as Word or Photoshop
In-Person Requirements Some programs may require residency or clinical rotation periods
Online Availability Fully online or hybrid formats
Online Undergraduate Degree Programs
Students looking for an online undergraduate education have plenty of options, as both diploma and degree options are available in a number of fields. Content delivery varies from school to school, but most programs use an online portal software such as Blackboard or Moodle to relay information to students. Visual learners can benefit from a number of tools, including video lectures and detailed diagrams. Other visual aids include Powerpoint presentations, graphic organizers, and blogs.

Information and Requirements
Students applying to undergraduate programs typically need only a high school diploma. Some programs, depending on their field, may require prerequisite coursework in subjects related to the major, such as math and science for engineering programs or foreign language for an international program. Technical requirements are also minimal, as students should not need more than internet access in order to attend these programs.

Common Undergraduate Majors
The following list contains a few examples of majors that online undergraduate students typically pursue:

Business administration
Accounting
Economics
Criminal justice
Marketing
Online Graduate Degree Programs
Whereas undergraduate degree programs provide a more general education, graduate education is normally much more specialized and focuses almost exclusively on a specific field or academic interest. Certain programs, especially those requiring technical expertise, may require on-campus sessions and laboratories wherein students can acquire valuable hands-on experience. These sessions can be an excellent opportunity for visual learners, as an in-person experience with a subject is often much more beneficial than listening to a professor describe it.

Balance Challenge with Skill

4Avoid putting the boss fight at the beginning and let players get in touch with their inner chi. Flow, as Jonathan Haidt puts it in The Happiness Hypothesis, “is the state of total immersion in a task that is challenging, yet closely matched to one’s abilities.” Aim to create challenging, yet interesting and achievable goals that lead to an optimal level of engagement. In A Theory of Fun, Raph Koster says a game should always be giving the player new patterns to analyze and resolve.

To achieve this, it is essential to understand the knowledge and skill level of your audience. It is also important to give players the ability to select the level of challenge (easy, medium, or hard). Creating different game modes (beginner versus advanced), embedding easy and hard challenges into a single level, or introducing increasingly difficult challenges as levels progress enables all players to enjoy and learn. It also maximizes re-playability because the players can learn something new each time they play.

We designed our trivia game with three levels. Questions and mechanics increased in difficulty from simple true-false to more complex multiple choice as the user progressed through the levels. Our action game was also designed with three levels. The first level was a simple scenario in which players had to bind two molecules to a receptor. The second level was a more complex case in which players had to identify normal receptors, avoid abnormal ones, and interact with faster moving molecules. The third level tested the mastery of all of these skills. This type of problem solving, according to Dan Pink, is key to intrinsic motivation because it gives players “autonomy, mastery, and purpose.”