Students frequently express a preference for a particular learning method. Some students, for example, may prefer hands-on activities while others prefer homework assignments and textbook reading. Knowing one’s learning style will aid a student in selecting study methods. This is due to the fact that learning styles are linked to the channels or pathways that a student prefers to absorb information through. One of the most important applications of learning styles is that it aids teachers’ efforts to incorporate them into their teaching programs. Visual and tactile learning styles are the two primary learning styles (D’Amico and Gallaway 18). This paper will compare and contrast the visual and tactical learning styles as they relate to the academic field. These methods have been selected since each has its way of retrieving, storing, processing, and converting information. As such, this piece will further evaluate two differences and one similarity between the two.
A clear difference between the two learning styles is that the visual learners grasp material best by seeing information while the tactile ones are taught best through hands-on approach or multisensory strategies. On this note, visual learning style depends on non-verbal cues of the facilitator or the instructor, such as body language, to assist with understanding. These learners want to see the tutor teach and they will watch the movements of the instructor in the classroom. These students also learn better from writing and reading than from talking about and hearing the information. This means that they learn best when engaging in body language and facial expression or when they are receiving visual stimulation, whether it’s video, photos, graphics, or colors. Therefore, these students will mimic their skill performance after the demonstration of the tutor. Besides, visual learners perform best in classes in which the instructors make extensive application of an overhead projector, provide clear handouts, and do a lot of writing on the chalkboard. These learners find it easy to remember information by generating pictures in their mind (Richards et al. 90).
In contrast to the visual learning, the tactile learning is achieved in situations where hands-on learning approach occurs whereby the students can physically handle things. As such, this style of learning involves touching things and moving about the classroom. Therefore, the classes regularly encompass a lab component. In this case, rather than learning from a picture of an object, in these lab components the tactile students learn better when having an actual object in their hands. These students prefer learning settings that needs their physical participation. They want to participate and not just to visualize lecture. Moreover, this learning style also involves students taking notes either when reading something difficult or new or during a conference. The tactile learners are perceived to be particularly receptive to instructions that integrate their style of learning. The students who prefer tactile learning style are the most responsive to a matched learning environment (Alghamdi 48).
The second difference between visual and tactile methods of learning is based on their strategies. For instance, in regards to the visual learners, the students use strategies such utilizing colored papers or highlighting markers to take notes. Furthermore, these students also watch suitable videos based on their subject and read the text in a quiet place. Other useful strategies that aid visual learning include employing review guides, advanced graphic organizers, planners, or organizers which map information in a succinct format. Besides, this learning style entails formatting students’ notes using different colors, diagrams, flow charts, or symbols because this helps them to remember the links between various ideas when they review them later. Another visual learning strategy includes the use of charts and graphs. This allows students to better remember aspects through colored and spatial representation. The visual learners perceive information best by making reading, drawing, and visual demonstration as well as videotapes (Mariotti 41).
In contrast to the strategies of visual learning styles, the tactile learners also have their tactics when it comes to studying. The approaches include typewriting or rewriting and moving around while studying. Another method includes listening to tapes of teaching materials while biking or walking. While studying, learners often take breaks. To memorize, they walk around or pace while reciting to themselves or using notes as well as a flashcard. The best match for a tactile learner would be a tutor who applies active learning strategies. On this note, they benefit from project-based learning, games, building, role playing, manipulative, and small-group assignments (D’Amico and Gallaway 18).
The major similarity between visual and tactical learning styles is that both of them include learning by association, which means they can empower a learner to be more independent and active. Both of them work by changing the words a student chooses, the way they recall information, and the way they internally represent experience. As such, teaching becomes more rewarding and academic success occurs faster when the tutor teaches the learners in a way that they can understand.
The visual aspect is learning by association, the strategies for teaching include encouraging the students to sit in front of the class. Furthermore, this style is based on the relationship because it incorporates visually pleasing materials and demonstrations. Similarly, the tactile aspect is learning by association for the reason that it presents opportunities for service learning projects and integrates case samples to be discussed. Also, this method applies a multi-sensory approach when teaching. These include doing, touching, seeing, and hearing, which are done as much as possible. Likewise, based on learning by association, both the visual and tactile learners can capture content that is integrated into a picture instantaneously. This is because the visual brain snaps a picture, grabs student’s attention, and stores it instantly. Their primary learning strength is linked to establishing an internal dialogue between the tutors and the students. This is crucial for both learning styles because the success of their matching with the education setting requires the collaboration of the learners and teachers so as to accommodate students’ learning preferences in the classroom (Alghamdi 49).
In regards to the differences and similarities between visual and tactile learning styles, informing oneself about them is the most useful method to be more in tune with the approach that is more effective and efficient for one’s learning process. In the course of this insight, students can learn the study methods that are least effective and the ones that work best for them. By maximizing one’s learning styles, students will have the capacity to enhance their educational success. Awareness of one’s style of learning will guide them in choosing the best learning strategies (Winland-Brown and M Dunphy 15).
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Mariotti, Arleen Shearer. Creating Your Teaching Plan: A Guide for Effective Teaching. Authorhouse, 2009.
Richards, Moira, et al. Financial Management. Pearson Education South Africa, 2008.
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