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How do I Choose the Best Learning Environment?

By Lily Ruha
Updated May 17, 2024
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Choosing the best learning environment requires first identifying your learning style and personal preferences. If you seem to learn better in a group environment with a teacher present, an organized class might be the best choice. If you tend to become distracted in group settings, however, and tend to learn better when alone using books or a virtual learning environment, online classes from a college or university may be a better choice. Some learning environments blend those two options and offer a combination of classroom instruction and independent learning tools, such as books, online learning tools and instructional software; this may be the best choice if you learn best when information is presented in a variety of ways.

If you learn more through continual interaction, signing up for a class that meets regularly and is led by a qualified instructor at a nearby location might be a good choice. Through regular attendance, group discussion and opportunities to ask questions, you will get the interaction you need to master content and acquire skills. Some types of skills can best be acquired through this method of instruction — learning how to become a plumber, for example, usually is best suited for in-person instruction and supervision until skills are sufficiently mastered. The advantage of studying with a teacher, either one-on-one or in a group, is that you can ask questions and speed up your progress.

Many types of learning can be achieved through a virtual learning environment. If you prefer to move at your own pace without distractions, online learning might be your best choice. It is possible to gain academic skills, learn occupation-specific knowledge and enhance personal growth through online courses. You can seek out schools, colleges and universities that offer courses for credit or search online for independent programs offering courses on subjects of your choice.

Using an online learning environment also saves you the commute time and transportation costs required to drive to an on-site location. Costs for online learning courses and software vary depending on the institution or instructor offering the course. If you choose the online learning route, you will want to do your homework to make sure that any degrees or certificates issued are from accredited and reputable educational institutions.

If you have a more independent learning style, you might be more inclined to search for answers on your own by reading information, listening to recorded content or watching videos that outline steps or procedures. With advancements in technology, many companies offer Web-based courses that come with a learning management system. These systems often have built-in components for assessing your skill level, adjusting content to your ability level, tracking your time on tasks and assessing your progress.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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