person-thinkingThere are fewer buzzwords in the elearning industry that result in a greater division than “learning style”. I know from experience. There have been posts on this site related to the topic which resulted in a few passionate comments (such as this one).

The concept of learning styles is nearly as divisive as politics.

Both sides reference various studies that support their position. Both sides are entrenched with what they consider to be true. Rarely (if ever) does anyone change their mind.

As such, my intent isn’t to discuss learning styles. Everyone has their mind made up already. It’s time to move the discussion along.

Learner Preference & Motivation

If we bring the conversation “up” a level, we all ultimately agree that every learner has preferences and motiviation. No need to cite studies for this concept, just think about yourself for a moment.

You enjoy certain things because you prefer them over others.

You do certain things because you are motivated to do so.

In the same respect, people prefer to learn information in a particular way. They also find some methods of learning more motivating than others. Whether you attribute this to learning styles or not is completely up to you.

Learning consultant Clive Shepherd recently published a book that examines this aspect of learning design. The book is titled More Than Blended Learning and examines motivation, background, interests, preferences, and cultural expectations influence on how we learn.

Any well-made course, be it in elearning or live instruction, will profile the target audience. While each individual is certainly different, instructional designers do attempt to identify the key preferences and motivations of learners so that their course can be more effective.

Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter

Your course could already be online!

We offer a 15 day money-back guarantee and have a world class community to help you get your course online today!

See LearnDash in action. Online Demo


👋 Meet LearnDash Webinar

Are you trying to decide if LearnDash is the right learning management system to build your online courses? Join us for our next live walkthrough.

Join Our Next Webinar!

LearnDash webinars are designed to teach you how to build, grow, and scale your course-building business. Join our team in one of our next live webinars.