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Choosing a School for the Way You Learn

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The growth of educational options over the past few years has allowed prospective students more choices when it comes to getting an education. Students can choose from a traditional school, a vocational school or even online school. Each type of schooling caters to a slightly different type of student, with self-learners gravitating toward the freedom of an online education, while guided learners focus on classroom learning. Discovering which of these student subsets you fall into can help you decide what type of school to attend.


Self-learners revel in the freedom offered by an education with few boundaries or borders. These types of learners often seek out new information and solutions on their own, and while they still need the resources and direction of a structured learning system, they usually find themselves supplementing their own education. Self-learners may get the most out of online classes, as online schools provide a sort of freedom and flexibility not characteristic of the traditional classroom.

Guided Learners

Guided learners generally require a little more structure than their self-learner counterparts. They work best by learning techniques that include a strong syllabus and a direct course structure. They also flourish when educational addendums are included and they have direction apart from the general class structure. Guided learners generally perform best within the confines of a standard classroom, which includes the guidance offered through face-to-face meetings with the instructor or professor.

Choosing the Right School

Knowing what type of learner you are should be a factor in your decision to return to school. Take a look at your educational history, either in high school or a previous college experience, and assess the courses you excelled in. Examine the structure of those courses to discover whether you excelled due to the presence of structure, or the lack thereof. Often, even in a guided learning environment, self-learners will find that if the subject interests them they will branch out on their own to supplement their learning. With some introspection, prospective students can discover what kind of learning they like best and then direct their search for a model that can deliver that type of learning.

Both self-learners and guided learners have plenty of options available when it comes to schooling. In most cases, the advantages of online classes, like a flexible schedule and a robust class selection, will attract self-learners, while guided learners may perform better in a standard school environment. Still, there are a large number of factors to consider when choosing a learning option that is right for you. When it comes time to decide on a school, think about how you learn best and use it as one factor in making your decision.

This article is presented by AIU. Contact us today if you’re interested in an opportunity to develop knowledge and relevant skills with an industry-current degree program from AIU.