Social Learning Style

Social (interpersonal) 

How do you know if you have a social style of learning?

  • You feel most comfortable learning when you are surrounded by others.
  • Have others described you as a "people person?"
  • Does being around friends seem to energize you?
  • Have others commented that you are a good listener or conversationalist?
  • Does your understanding of something increase when you can "bounce your ideas off of someone?"

Implications for learning

  •  Try to involve other classmates in your learning process as much as possible and when appropriate.
    • Realize that this may not only help you, but them as well.
  • Advantages:
    • Studying in a group can help you understand things better than perhaps you could on your own.
    • A classmate may phrase something even better than the faculty member did.
    • The energy and accountability that the group can provide can be a real plus.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Recognize that groups can often be distracted from the task at hand just by one or two persons in the group.
    • Often groups can waste quite a bit of time with "socializing" that is not connected to learning.
  • If you are studying with a group, plan to take frequent breaks to allow for informal and off-the-topic discussions. Then get back on task as quickly as possible.

How can social learners be successful in online courses?

  • Socialization can occur even in an online course.
  • Ask your faculty member for permission to email the class to form an online study group.
  • Many online courses provide tools such as group chat, discussion boards, and group email functions.
  • Connect with other eLearners by joining the eLearning Blackboard Connection Community set up by Jen Hulse, Distance Education Services Specialist. By simply signing up online or emailing Jen at and asking to be added to the Blackboard shell, you can take advantage of this fantastic, free resource. The Blackboard shell helps you connect with other eLearners and get the support you need for online classes.
  • If you find that the tasks associated with continuing your education cannot be taking place in a very social environment, be sure to plan for time away from your studies for social interaction. If you do not, you are likely to get discouraged in your course work.