Every individual possesses cognitive abilities but they are varied in level especially when it comes to their power to comprehend any information, memorise something, or establish a connection between two incongruent concepts or objects. This distinctiveness stems from the individual learning styles that these learners have. Learning styles can be defined as the unique approaches of the learners to assimilate information and retain them to be applied to fulfill pragmatic goals. These learning styles can be categorised as visual learning style, kinesthetic learning style, auditory learning style, and so on. While some individuals are adept at deciphering cues produced through visual aids and illustrations in the form of diagrams or presentations, some learners progress fast if their lectures are delivered through auditory mediums. In some cases, individuals prefer a more hands-on experience and a participatory environment, where they may learn the practical applications of the theories they have been taught, which means that these learners have a kinesthetic learning style.
The holistic process for an individual involves a lot of factors of learning, such as the availability of resources needed to impart the information to the learners, the expediency of the learning environment, the channels of instruction, and the physical, emotional, and cognitive mastery of the learner. Only when all these factors are perfectly aligned, the learners can extract a prolific outcome from the instructional approaches taken towards them. If these factors are disarranged, it can lead to negative experiences among the learners which would not only impede their spontaneity towards learning new things but also inhibit their self-expectations in terms of exercising their intellectual capabilities.
Therefore, the educational experts and the institutions must have an elaborate framework that regards the different learning styles exhibited by individuals and the factors that affect these learning styles in different ways so that the whole endeavour of inculcating knowledge among the learners is successful in the long run.
Here is how different factors affecting learning can influence the style of individuals:
1. Kinaesthetic learning style
For an individual exhibiting a kinaesthetic learning style, it is important to establish a learning environment that is well equipped with various learning tools like models, apparatuses for conducting any experiment, devices that can be used for simulations, or provisions for arranging group discussions. With the accessibility of these resources and a supportive environment, factors affecting learning for the individual will gain momentum, while at the same time satisfying the inclination to try out practical activities and engage in brainstorming and discussions.
On the contrary lack of these resources, or having any kind of impairments that obstructs the physical movements or limits the cognitive responses of the learner can have devastating effects on the learning experience of the individual, even crippling the self-esteem of the learner to some extent.
2. Visual learning style
Individuals who become fast learners when enrolled in a visual learning environment are known to respond better to lessons delivered through graphical representations, labelled diagrams, highlighted charts, colour coding, or any other form of visual representation of data. If the professors of visual learning try to design the lessons by integrating visual representations and demonstrations through models and diagrams, it minimises the factors affecting learning in the learner and makes a lot of advancement in their cognitive abilities, and improves concentration. However, if the classroom environment lacks the equipment needed to create visual stimuli, it can deter the factors affecting learning in the individual.
3. Auditory learning style
Individuals with an auditory learning style mainly prefer the utilisation of music or video clips and different voice modulations which help them memorise the lessons and retain them for a longer period of time. Instead of using books or visual representations, the students having a stronger receptiveness towards auditory modes of learning are extremely proficient in ascertaining the implications of the things taught to them through these auditory lessons.
Their aptitude to absorb a vast range of information is further enhanced when tools like audio recordings or lectures programmed with different sound effects as background are used during the lessons. These learners find it immensely helpful if they are given spoken instructions and provided with clippings of the lessons, which they could listen to whenever they want and the lessons would be reinforced in their minds more easily it can also be called positive reinforcement. These learners associate every bit of information with the audio attached to it and that is how they remember it later. However, if the instructor or the teacher lacks proper audio resources in the classroom, or the expertise needed to incorporate audio in the lessons, especially while teaching students, exhibiting an auditory learning style, that can diminish the level of enthusiasm in the students as well as disengage them from the whole learning process.
Therefore, it is important that the educational institutions and the instructors try to derive all the insight needed to incorporate into the learning style of the individuals and only after analysing their requirements, facilitate all the materials and the resources needed to design the learning environment. At the same time, the learning environment should be flexible enough to develop an inclusive classroom environment to cater to students exhibiting distinct learning styles.