How to Adapt to a Student’s Learning Style in an Online Classroom (Auditory, Visual, Kinesthetic)

Parents and teachers have known for a long time that not all children learn in the same way. While students may be equally intelligent, the same teaching methods may not be effective for all individuals when it comes to learning and retaining information. Many professionals recognize seven total learning styles, but the three primary ones—visual, auditory, and kinesthetic—generally encompass all the others. Teachers are usually really great at differentiating instruction so that students with different learning styles are all able to absorb and understand the information being taught, but it can be a struggle to constantly adapt your teaching to the different learning styles.

We’ve outlined some basics about each of the three primary learning styles, as well as some ways teachers can adapt their instruction to best meet the needs of their students. Here at SDVS, we are passionate about online schooling and the numerous benefits it offers to students, and that includes amazing adaptation of teaching methods that accommodate students with all learning styles. The online classroom is a unique environment that encourages personal development and academic growth in all students, and we are proud to have teachers who differentiate instruction with incredible expertise and passion so that all students are taught thoroughly and completely in a way that helps them learn best.

How Can Teachers Adapt to Different Learning Styles?

When teachers know their students well, they can adapt more effectively to ensure each student is given the opportunity to understand the material in their own learning style. However, most teachers will begin each school year and lesson with a variety of different approaches to the concepts being taught so that students can utilize their personal learning style for the best retention. Teachers need to understand how to recognize different types of learners and how to help each type of learner excel in the classroom. Here is a breakdown of each learning style.


Visual learners understand things better when their sense of sight it utilized. They often love to read, enjoy diagrams, charts, and videos, and learn well from demonstrations and handouts. Visual learners usually love artistic activities and are most alert when visuals are being used in the classroom, including whiteboards. The mantra of visual learners is “show me.” The learning style of visual students is most in line with traditional teaching methods, and they will excel when surrounded by visual representations of the concepts being taught. They’ll be thoroughly engaged in books from an early age, and they will often benefit from making their notes more visually appealing, such as with highlighters, sticky notes, and the like. Visual learners can become distracted by too many colors though, so when working at home, they should complete schoolwork in a quiet and calm space that is not overrun by too many visually-intense items.


Auditory learners tend to be better listeners than other students, and they are better at following directions when they hear them rather than when they see them. They tend to love music and are often excellent at remembering song lyrics, movie quotes, and more. They thrive when things are explained to them, when stories are read to them, or when they can read aloud to themselves. The mantra of auditory learners is “tell me” or even “tell me again.” They will benefit from hearing lessons, talking through problems, or making up songs to reinforce concepts.


Kinesthetic learners are the most active of all the learning styles. They want to touch, feel, move, and experience the things they’re learning to best understand them. Students who are kinesthetic learners probably enjoy things with texture, interactive things, building sets, sculpting clay, model kits, and the like. They like to “do” and their mantra is “let me hold that.” Spelling practice for kinesthetic learners may involve magnetic letters or different types of paper and pens. Math learning should involve math manipulatives or finger snapping to work on math facts. Kinesthetic learners may have trouble sitting still and can benefit a great deal from working on a yoga ball, standing up to work, or other unique workspaces that allow them to move as they complete assignments.

What Are the benefits of Students Learning in an Online Classroom?

Students who attend school online have more adaptive work environments since they usually do their schoolwork at home. Parents can help customize their workspace to their particular learning style to encourage more attentive students and more successful academic endeavors. Additionally, because of the online environment, students can utilize a variety of applications to learn and demonstrate an understanding of a concept. Our teachers at SDVS present information in a variety of ways and allow students to embrace their learning styles as they excel in their schoolwork.

How Do Online Schools Adapt to Learning Styles More Effectively Than Traditional Classrooms?

Traditional classroom environments tend to focus primarily on the auditory and visual learning styles because that is what is easier. It could get chaotic very quickly if students were learning information in all three styles in several different ways at any given moment. At SDVS, since our students are all online, each individual can interact with the material in any way they desire, allowing them to embrace their own personal learning style and best absorb the information.