Multimodal Learning: Strategies, Examples & Using it in eLearning

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What is Multimodal Learning?

What is Multimodal Learning? It is a teaching strategy that relies on using different types of media and teaching tools to instruct and educate learners, typically through the use of a Learning Management System (LMS). A multimodal learning system would teach using not just words on a page or the voice of a teacher giving a lecture, but it would instead combine these elements with videos, pictures, audio files and hands-on exercises to give the learner the best opportunity to learn.

 

What Are The Benefits of Multimodal Learning?

While it can be easier to teach solely in one mode, like presenting lecture-style or relying heavily on reading out of a textbook, a multimodal learning method offers myriad benefits to its students. The primary benefit is, it helps students who need to learn differently get the same benefit out of a lesson.

 

Multimodal Learning Helps Different Students Learn In The Way That Best Suits Them

It’s a well documented truth that there are different ways to learn. Some students can remember anything they read, while others simply need to watch something one once to be able to perfectly replicate it. For others, seeing videos or pictures is the best way to get through to them.

 

The VARK Model of Learning

VARK stands for Visual, Aural, Read/write, and Kinesthetic (or hands-on), and it represents a very common and efficient way of implementing multimodal learning in a classroom setting. A VARK lesson gives students the opportunity to learn in the way that is most efficient for them, using the four categories.

  • Visual- Visual learners have a strong preference towards images and video, and learn best through seeing.
  • Aural- Auditory learners prefer using their ears over their eyes; presentations, lectures and podcasts are the bread and butter for these folks.
  • Reading/writing learners- Reading learners are the notetakers, the ones who do best when they can control the pace at which they receive new information and can record it in ways they understand best.
  • Kinesthetic- These learners learn best by doing; being shown (reading about, seeing, or hearing) an example and then performing the related task immediately after. A kinesthetic learner is often considered a hands-on learner, and their physical senses like touch contribute strongly to their ability to learn.

Examples of Multimodal Learning

A multimodal lesson would blend different modes of learning in the way the information is presented. So for example, a teacher would give a lecture on a subject (Aural) and explain it to the students, then ask them to demonstrate an example(Kinesthetic) back. From there, the homework might involve video and pictures (Visual) and then an assignment to write a summary of what they learned (Reading/Writing).

In a more concrete example, imagine a class is being taught how to repair motorcycle engines. The students gather around a broken down engine and see how the parts fit back together as the instructor reassembles it (Visual). From there, the students break out their manuals and read about the parts they are dealing with and the common ways they can break (Read/Write) and from there, they take their own engines apart and evaluate them for damage (Kinesthetic) and afterwards, they discuss what they found in their engines and how they fixed it, with the instructor interjecting and offering theories on how to fix the problem (Aural).

 

How to Implement a Multimodal Learning Approach In Your eLearning Strategy

Implementing a multimodal learning strategy with eLearning means relying on different forms of media. Including video and pictures, along with presenter-focused lectures and reading materials. eLearning makes this relatively easy, especially if the eLearning is being administered through a Learning Management (LMS) like Academy of Mine.

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