What type of learner are you?
I am a mix, almost equally, between visual and tactile.
##Is that important for you to understand in creating e-learning content?
I think that it is important for you to understand how you learn best because it might affect the way you develop your teaching. You might tend toward visual images and movies if you are a visual learner. More importantly though, you need to be aware enough to influence all types of learners. You need to create instruction that can appeal to the visual, auditory, and tactile learner. C & M (2011) state that there is little connection between learning and liking (pp. 317). One does not need to like how they are learning to learn the materials.
What about the learning preference of your target audience?
Determining of the learning preferences of your audience is important, but only to a certain point. Depending on how large the audience is, you will most likely find a mix of all learning preferences. This is why it is important to try to hit as many learning styles/preferences as possible. You should incorporate all possible aspects of learning to engage the largest number of people possible.
What are some ways to incorporate different types of learning in an e-learning course?
For the visual learners, you can have animations, videos, graphics, and photos.
For the auditory learner, recorded or written lectures, podcasts, or a video would be beneficial.
For tactile learners, they need to be doing something. I feel that this one is the hardest to reach in this medium. Due to the nature of online learning, you are confined to words and images, which seem to work in the other two learning styles favor. So, to reach the tactile person, I feel that you need to do any type of discover learning you can. @pfaffman has done a good job at teaching us this new technology this way. We have been able to interact with it and experience it in our own way.
C & M point out that for novice learners who are unable to regulate their own learning have frequent questions and answers can help the learner determine what he or she knows or does not know.
##What are some pros and cons to providing total learner control in an e-learning scenario?
I think the cons will always be present when time is an issue and people are involved. Like in these online courses, the professors must give us a time frame to work on each topic. If not, there would be people like me, that would have the course completed in a month and others who would never be able to get it done. Some people need the guidelines and restrictions to motivate them or help them organize themselves. It would be hard to have the class “discussions” online if there was no one else there to “talk” with.
A pro to giving a learner total control with the pacing is that he can really make sure he completely understand a topic before he moves on. Like C & M (2011) suggest, breaking up the information into smaller parts and letting the learner access it on his own time. Learning has been shown to increase when learners can control the pace of their own learning.