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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Classroom or Online Driving School: Which Is Best For You?

Drivers who have received a ticket and want to attend a driving school to keep the points off their record and to keep their insurance rates from rising face more choices today than they had in the past. Ten years ago, drivers only had one choice: sitting in a classroom. Now drivers can choose between attending a class, taking an online course, and, in some cases, taking a video class at home. Each type of training has benefits, but not every course fits every learner's needs; not every driver will benefit from an online course nor will all benefit from a classroom course. To decide which one is best for you, you need to determine your preferred learning style.

People don't all learn in the same way. Educational experts have determined that there are three distinct learning styles:

  • Visual – Those who learn best by seeing. This learner prefers to read the book rather than listen to a lecture. In a classroom, this learner tends to sit up front and depend on visual aids to help the learning process. If clarification is needed, this learner will ask "Can I see that again?" rather than "Could you say that once again?" This learner will take lots of notes.

  • Aural – Those who learn best by hearing. This learner prefers the lecture over the book and may depend on classroom lectures without ever reading the textbook. In a classroom,this learner would probably prefer to tape-record the lesson for review rather than taking lots of notes. This student will ask lots of questions and will eagerly engage in classroom discussions. For clarification, this learner will ask "Can you repeat that?" rather than "Can you show me that again?"

  • Kinesthetic – Those who learn best "hands-on" or by doing. This learner has little patience for the book or the lecture. He or she wants to touch, feel, and learn by doing. This type of learner would gravitate to a technical field rather than philosophy or English.

The list above is a bit of an oversimplification and not everyone fits neatly into one style or the other. Most people have a dominant learning style with a bit of the other two styles also present. You may be a visual learner with some aural style and very little kinesthetic, or you may be an aural learner supplemented by kinesthetic, with very little of the visual learning style. A good classroom trainer will try to meet everyone's needs by carefully explaining the material for the aural learner, using projected displays, a marker board, or handouts for the visual learner, and conducting classroom activities to engage the kinesthetic learner. Catering to all learning styles can sometimes be a struggle for the instructor, because people tend to teach based on their own preferred learning style.

To best understand your preferred learning style, we can look a little deeper into the different styles by using a common example to which most people can relate. Imagine you have just purchased a new piece of electronic equipment, such as a DVD player or a new sound system. If you are the type of person who will read the instructions thoroughly and carefully study the wiring diagrams before touching the equipment, you are probably a visual learner. If you have little patience for reading the instructions and prefer to call the customer service department or a knowledgeable friend to guide you through the installation, you are probably an aural learner. If you are the type who takes the equipment out of the box and attempts to assemble it on your own until you are able to accomplish the task, you are probably a kinesthetic learner.

Again, we don't all fit neatly into one style or the other. The visual/aural learner will read the instructions and then call for help for those parts he or she doesn’t understand. The aural/visual learner will ask a friend or customer service agent to explain the process and then fall back on the instructions for additional help. The kinesthetic/aural learner would first attempt to assemble the system and then call a friend for those areas he or she is having problems with.

Online driving school or a traffic school course has the benefit of convenience. You can take the course from work or at home at a time that is most convenient to you. If your time is limited, you can take part of the course, save your work, and then finish it as time permits. However, online courses don’t have the flexibility that a classroom course has to discuss recent events or traffic problems that may be unique to your area. If you are primarily a visual learner or if scheduling is an issue, the online course may be the best option for you.

Classroom traffic school courses are a bit more rigid where scheduling is concerned, but you will have the opportunity to discuss recent events, local traffic concerns and new laws. You also benefit from the instructor's expertise and the comments and questions from fellow students. The classroom gives you the ability to ask questions about concepts that may be a bit confusing. If you are primarily an aural learner, the classroom course is probably best for you.

Kinesthetic learners will probably benefit most from attending the classroom course. While driving school doesn't really provide hands-on learning, you may still benefit more from engaging in classroom discussions and participating in any activities that may be part of the course than you would by taking an online course.

Lowest Price Traffic School offers online traffic school for tickets and driver education courses required to obtain a Florida learner's permit. DMV approved and lowest price guarantee.

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