Dornubari Vizor June 10, 2023

Multimodal Learning Simplified – What, Why, & How?

Multimodal Learning

Here’s a thing.

We are all different, and that makes the world wonderful and diverse.

Diversity is prominent not only in our backgrounds but also in how we learn and approach things. The concept of multimodal learning acknowledges this fact. Because we all have unique learning styles, incorporating multiple learning modes can improve the learning process and make it more effective.

A study showed that 72.6% of students prefer multimodal learning. Multimodal learning optimizes the learning process by considering more than one learning style and mode. Today, learning community platforms like GroupApp help online teachers and course creators incorporate multimodal learning in an effortless manner.

This guide aims to simplify multimodal learning for you. You will learn what it is, why it’s essential, and how to implement it.

What is Multimodal Learning?

Let’s break down the term “Multimodal.”

Multi means more than one.

Modal means mode or manner.

Therefore, multimodal learning involves using more than one mode of learning.

In the context of learning, a mode refers to a channel of communication used to convey meaning and knowledge. This can include videos, audio, movement, facial expressions, text, gestures, and speech. Using multiple modes creates a dynamic and effective learning experience.

Multimodal learning is the opposite of unimodal learning, which utilizes only one mode of learning.

Different modes correspond to different human senses, such as visual, tactile, and auditory. Additionally, humans can use more than one sense at the same time. For example, you can hear your teacher explaining an experiment through voice while simultaneously watching them perform the experiment visually. This can help you better understand the experiment and improve the learning process. This is why multimodal learning is so closely linked to how humans naturally learn.

Furthermore, multimodal learning is closely related to different learning styles. Let’s discuss the four main styles of learning to better understand this concept.

What are Learning Styles?

Just like there are teaching styles, there are also different learning styles.

A learning style is an individual’s preferred and natural way of learning. People can benefit from more than one learning style. Therefore, teachers and course creators should focus on creating a dynamic learning experience that caters to several learning styles.

Let me give you an example of learning styles.

For instance, you have made an informed decision to choose GroupApp. It is an all-in-one learning community platform that is based on multimodal learning.

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Now, you need to learn how to use its different features. So, how would you prefer to learn it?

You have the following options available:

  • Step-by-step visual guide with images.
  • Written text guide
  • A video tutorial with me explaining the process of using GroupApp features with visuals and audio.
  • You would start using it and learn through trial and error.
  • A live demo call with the GroupApp team explaining each feature in real-time.

Your answer will depend on what you think is effective for you. That would be your preferred learning style. Just like that, your colleagues would have different preferences. Each learning option engages one or more of your senses.

You can even go for a combination of more than one learning option.

That’s your call.

VARK Model – 4 Types of Multimodal Learning

The VARK Model was developed in 1992 by Neil Fleming, a professor at Lincoln University. The VARK Model provides a solid approach to understanding learning styles.

VARK is an acronym for the 4 learning modalities: Visual, Aural, Read/Write, and Kinesthetic. Essentially, it’s about the concept of multimodal learning.

Let’s review the 4 types of multimodal learning.

Multimodal Learning

1 – Visual

The first type of learning modality is designed for learners who prefer to learn through visuals, such as videos and images. This type of learning is known as visual learning. It also includes infographics, flowcharts, diagrams, artwork, cartoons, illustrations, or any kind of visual cues. Basically, anything that invokes the visual sense is part of the visual learning modality.

Visual learning is considered the most effective and preferred mode of learning. According to a study, 65% of participants were able to retain information with the highest efficiency when presented visually.

2 – Auditory

This mode of learning is based on the sense of hearing. According to research, auditory learners make up 30% of the population and prefer learning through the use of audio.

This can include various formats such as podcasts, audiobooks, songs, webinars, and even face-to-face instruction. In essence, any kind of auditory cues can be a part of this modality.

3 – Read/Write

Here comes the classic mode of learning – the reading and writing modality. This includes text-based materials such as PDFs, ebooks, documents, blogs, books, and cue cards, which you can read or write to aid your learning.

Read-and-write learners excel at notetaking and tend to control the pace at which they receive and process information. Although this modality can also be considered as a sub-part of the visual modality, the VARK model considers it a separate modality.

4 – Kinesthetic

Finally, let’s talk about the kinesthetic modality.

Kinesthetic learners prefer a hands-on approach and learn through action. They respond well to tactile cues.

This modality emphasizes gaining experience through practice, which can be in real life or a simulation. Examples include site visits, demonstrations, multimedia presentations, and instructional videos.

The key is to create a first-hand experience and learn through it.

Now you know about the VARK model and the different types of multimodal learning. In the digital world, course creators and educators are actively utilizing platforms such as Learning Management Systems (LMS) and learning community platforms to implement all of these modalities.

Multimodal Learners

Please note that there are learners who prefer more than one mode of learning. They combine two or more modes for better learning.

Such learners can be referred to as multimodal learners. These learners perform better in a dynamic multimodal learning environment.

Why is Multimodal Learning Important?

Multimodal learning is essential. Let’s discuss why it is so important.

Learner-First Approach

To me, multimodal learning means creating a personalized experience for learners. It enables us to take a learner-first approach.

This type of learning recognizes that learners have different preferences and abilities to retain information effectively. Learners tend to learn better through 2-3 modes.

According to a study done by Cisco, students learn better through a combination of visual and text-based modes than through a text-only method.

This approach allows us to create a dynamic learning environment.

Out-of-the-Box Approach

Multimodal learning methods are game-changing. They prevent us from rigidly categorizing learners into boxes. Multimodal learning is flexible and reminds us that students tend to learn from more than one mode.

This helps to improve the overall learning process and the learner’s adaptability.

In addition, multimodal learning has several benefits.

Benefits of Multimodal Learning

Creating a multimodal learning system benefits learners and educators in several ways such as:

Improved Retention

Offering a dynamic learning environment with multiple learning modes enables students to learn better according to their preferred learning styles. This, in turn, leads to improved retention.

Prepares Students for Real-World Problems

Real-world problems exist beyond the classroom, and we can prepare students for them with multimodal learning. Why? Because our world is not one-dimensional, and a unimodal learning approach won’t suffice. The real world is composed of visuals, sounds, movements, and words.

Multimodal learning is similar to what students will experience in the real world. This type of learning is more relevant and meaningful for students.

Suitable for Blended Learning

Blended learning is the new way to go for education. It involves both online or remote learning and traditional face-to-face learning. Multimodal learning goes hand in hand with blended learning, which ultimately helps to optimize the entire learning process.

Supports Self-Paced Learning

Today, 77% of the e-learning world is based on self-paced learning. With multimodal learning, educators can create a learning experience that is personalized and based on individual cognitive abilities.

That helps learners to learn at their own pace, which in turn leads to improved retention and satisfaction.

Leads to Skill Development in Multiple Modalities

Multimodal learning exposes students to various modes of learning, enabling them to develop critical and new problem-solving skills. This prepares them for real-world challenges.

How to Implement Multimodal Learning?

Finally, it’s time for the “How”. Are you thinking about how you can create a multimodal learning environment? Let me tell you how to create a multimodal learning strategy.

First things first!

Get the Right Learning Platform

If you’re looking for a learning platform or software that supports multimodal learning, there are several options available. However, not all of them are equal or right for your needs. So how do you find the right platform?

Look for a platform that simplifies multimodal learning and provides all the necessary features in one place. This will save you both time and money.

To save you some time, check out GroupApp, an all-in-one learning community platform based on a multimodal learning approach. It harnesses the power of community-based learning and provides all the necessary features in one place.

Once you have the right platform, you’ll be all set to implement multimodal learning with all the necessary features at your fingertips.

Multimodal Learning Elements with VARK

To create a multimodal learning environment, you need to know about activities and ideas for each type of learner or learning modality in the VARK model.


  • Use visual elements and videos
  • Present info with charts, graphs, and diagrams
  • Use different fonts
  • Use color-coded assignments
  • Assign visual projects


  • Hold group discussions and debates
  • Review assignments and tests with the entire class before beginning
  • Explain content with podcasts, songs, and videos
  • Hold guest lectures and webinars
  • Repeat key concepts often


  • Encourage notetaking and making cue cards
  • Introduce book and blog reading
  • Provide learning resources in PDFs
  • Introduce MCQs (Multiple choice questions) and essay writing
  • Provide worksheets


  • Assign hands-on projects
  • Arrange field trips or site visits
  • Demonstrate concepts and procedures
  • Use case studies and assign group projects
  • Use real-life examples and gestures

Now you can create a multimodal learning experience by combining these strategies for each learning style.

Ways to Implement Multimodal Learning

A multimodal learning system requires key elements from each of the 4 modalities. Now, it’s up to you to decide what sort of multimodal learning experience you need to create according to your requirements.

Usually, a multimodal learning experience will expose students to multiple modes and activities from each of the 4 modalities. This helps to create a well-rounded approach to learning a certain topic.

Further, here are some ways/ideas for multimodal learning.

Hold Live Sessions & Guest Webinars

Live events and webinars are some of the best examples of multimodal learning. Plus, it’s the most flexible mode of communication as it caters to visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners.

Multimodal Learning

GroupApp provides an in-built event feature. There is no need to rely on third-party apps. You can create and schedule events and webinars in no time. Plus, you can set up an event page along with automated invitations via email.


Use Case Studies

Case studies are vital, as they help us learn from real-life scenarios and supplement our education. They enable educators to develop a concrete understanding for students that what they learn is actually relevant to the real world.

Multimodal Learning

Use Multimodal Text

Multimodal text is a dynamic form of communication. Essentially, it’s a style of content delivery that involves words, visuals, and sounds.

It’s a great way to make learning more engaging and suitable for learners. Some examples of multimodal text include infographics, whiteboard videos, visual worksheets, and slides.

Multimodal Learning

Provide Dynamic Learning Resources

Learning resources can help you supplement lessons and help students to enhance learning according to their learning preferences. For that, you need to make sure you provide a dynamic range of learning resources.

If you opt for GroupApp, you will get access to an in-built Content Library. Content Library enables you to store learning resources of all sorts and formats. You can set up access levels and categories as well.


Provide Multimodal Feedback & Grading

The multimodal approach can also be applied in the grading and feedback process. For that, you need to consider the medium to use and what’s being assessed. Again, your approach must align with the learning preferences of each student.

Apply Think-Pair-Share Strategy

This multimodal strategy is based on collaboration and individual abilities. It is focused on boosting expression skills, creativity, and collaborative skills.

Here’s how this strategy works:

  • Think: Students think and process a topic individually.
  • Pair: Students pair up with each other to discuss the topic.
  • Share: Each pair presents, shares thoughts on the topic, and answers questions.

Multimodal learning gives each person a personalized way to learn better. That’s the beauty of it. Educators can make it more relevant and effective by creating a tailor-made multimodal learning system.

Create your Multimodal Learning Recipe with GroupApp!

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That was multimodal learning simplified for you!

We talked about what it is and why it’s important. Further, we learned to implement multimodal learning with different strategies. These are some solid, tried-and-tested strategies for multimodal learning.

But there’s a lot more you can do. In fact, you can create your own multimodal learning recipe that is well-tailored to your goals and learners’ preferences.

All you need is a robust and simple platform by your side.

Why not try GroupApp?

GroupApp an all-in-one learning community platform that supports multimodal learning.

GroupApp offers:

  • In-Built Course Builder and Content Library
  • Membership Feature
  • iOs & Android Mobile App
  • Community Space
  • And a free plan! (That is your cue to create a free GroupApp account now)

We look forward to having you onboard at GroupApp!

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