Guest Author - Elizabeth Stuttard
If you are an interpersonal or social learner, then you can do extremely well as a distance learner today since most distance courses are offered as online courses. Online courses are usually set up today to include some group work. This is perfect for you since you have great ability and a love of working in groups. However, even courses which are not set up to include some specific group work do have chat rooms and bulletin boards in which you can make wonderful use of your social skills. This will improve your motivation in the course and your success.
Of course the most important thing for you to do is to choose courses if possible that do include group projects. You will definitely excel in group work and will help the rest of the group to do well also. You are great at organizing a project so that all the tasks are assigned to various individuals or smaller groups and then you can coordinate all aspects of the assignment. With your social abilities you will have a good feel for which people will do best at which tasks and therefore they will be more successful at their tasks while at the same time improving the success of the overall project. That way everyone wins!
You enjoy helping others, so you could tutor or be a mentor for others in your course. Discuss problems that you or others have so that you learn from each other by giving each other feedback. Teaching others what you understand and already have knowledge of, helps to strengthen your own learning of the materials. Once again both of you would benefit. When you have ideas that you are not certain about, discuss them with friends or other members of the class. This is something that I do with many ideas before proceeding to implement them. It helps to confirm that the ideas are relevant and useful to others and helps to expand the ideas into more significant applications.
Doing research with a classmate is a way that works well for you to socialize and get work done in less time than each of you doing it individually. You would enjoy doing interviews to get personal first hand information about a topic that you are studying. You also enjoy and benefit from one-on-one discussions with your teacher. You enjoy team sports which means you would probably enjoy participating in cooperative games with others in the course to learn or understand the course content.
Whatever you can do to involve other people in your learning experience will be of benefit to you as an interpersonal learner or a social learner. Some of these methods may not be available in your course but you have the ability to make them available to you anyway. Whether it is online or in person, try to get some classmates together for a study session sometimes. Make good use of the chat room. State your opinions and understanding of the materials on the bulletin board and reply to other postings to get a discussion started. E-mail your instructor to ask questions and begin a dialogue with him/her. If you are in the area of the school, try to make an appointment to meet with the instructor. Use your love of teaching and helping others in those group assignments to help increase everyone’s skills and knowledge including your own. With your high level of interpersonal and social skills, there are many ways you can keep yourself motivated and be very successful in your online learning.