Supporting Interpersonal Learners in Online School

3 min to read
Two online learners working on homework.

Everyone learns differently—both children and adults. In school, it’s important that students get the support they need in a manner that is aligned with their learning preference, formerly known as learning style. As a Learning Coach, you may wonder how you can best support your child. The first step is to identify your student’s learning preference, then begin creating opportunities for them to learn according to their needs.

One learning preference to consider is that of interpersonal learners. These students thrive on interacting with others and are often considered “people persons.” Learn more about how to identify interpersonal learners, their strengths and weaknesses, and best practices for supporting interpersonal learners in online school.

Identifying Interpersonal Learners

Interpersonal learners enjoy interacting and communicating with others. They typically thrive in social settings and are energized by spending time interacting with their peers. Often, interpersonal learners enjoy activities that put them in front of others, like leading a discussion, facilitating group projects, public speaking, or theater. These students often don’t shy away from speaking up and may even start conversations with strangers wherever they go.

How Do Interpersonal Learners Learn Best?

Interpersonal learners often learn best when they have the opportunity to interact with others. They thrive on dialogue with others and enjoy participating in group projects. With that in mind, in-class discussions and debates are very engaging for interpersonal learners. These students also tend to appreciate opportunities to give and receive feedback, and often enjoy being mentored.

When it comes to weaknesses, interpersonal learners may struggle in solo settings. They may have difficulty fully grasping concepts without the opportunity to discuss them with others. Additionally, these students may become distracted by socializing during class, talking to other students when they should be focused on the lesson in progress.

What Are Activities for Interpersonal Learners?

While online learning provides many social opportunities for students, interpersonal learners may crave further interaction. Take inspiration from other Connections Academy parents and explore some activities you might facilitate with your learners, including:

To help with knowledge retention, consider facilitating conversations with your learner about what they’re working on in school. Encourage them to “teach” you what they’ve learned and be sure to ask them questions to encourage a deeper conversation. If you have multiple children, your interpersonal learners may enjoy teaching their siblings.

Online school provides extra flexibility that can make it possible for teachers to meet the needs of students with different learning preferences. Virtual educators have experience supporting learners of varying personalities. If you’re not sure what type of learner your student is or how to best support them, consider asking their teacher for advice. That way, you’ll be able to work collaboratively to support your child’s learning. 

It’s okay if your child isn’t an interpersonal learner; most students have completely different learning preferences. However, if you find that your student struggles in social settings, consider facilitating opportunities to strengthen their social skills.

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