There are several styles of learning that are used by individuals. VARK is an acronym that stand for visual, aural, read/write, and kinesthetic that is used for measuring an individuals style of learning. These different learning styles will be discussed as well as ways to improve study habits to best fit this authors learning style. Visual learners retain information best when they are able to use flow sheets, maps, diagrams or models when learning new information. This type of learner needs to observe the material in an attractive manner. The visual learner will do best if studying using pictures, logos, designs, colors, or flow charts. Seeing the picture as a whole makes it easier for the visual learner to make sense of and retain the information presented to them. The aural learner would benefit best when having material explained to them. Written words to them are not as easily retained or preferred as when having the material explained.
This type of learner prefers to listen rather than take notes. Aural learners benefit when they are able to discuss the information needing to be learned. Read/write type learners prefer to learn by reading or using list. This type of learner uses books, power point presentations, takes notes, and uses essays as learning tools. This type of learner will read their notes repetitively, and can also be found to read silently, and may prefer their notes to be in list form. Aural learners will also rewrite ideas and principle that were learned in the classroom in order to retain the information that was presented to them. Kinesthetic learners tend to experiment and use a more hands on approach for learning. Some learning methods that the kinesthetic learner will use to retain information would be role playing, verbalizing with others about the notes or lectures, or by using case studies. This author is a multimodal (AR) learner. The multimodal learner best learns by using more than one approach.
This means that there were two different preferred learning methods. Aural and read/write were the highest scored methods using the VARK evaluation tool. The results were as follows visual =4, aural =6, read/write =6, kinesthetic =3 for a total of 18 points. According to the VARK analysis assessment this authors preferred learning methods would be aural and read/write. This means there is not one single method that this learner uses. Different situations require a different approach for this type of learner. Reading, taking notes, using handouts, and turning notes into list may be valuable ways to retain new information for this multimodal learner. When studying or learning new material this learner prefers to read the text and take multiple notes, sometimes rewriting the same information over and over in different ways.
The notes that were taken are usually very similar to the lecture that may have been presented. Hearing a lecture is beneficial, but the information does not seem to be retained as well if notes have not been taken. This author also retains information exceptionally well when explaining to others the information that has taught. Reading notes out loud also helps to make the information make sense. Viewing charts or diagrams that are visually appealing also helps this author retain information. At times a piece of information can be recalled just by remembering something that was visually appealing on the diagram. The multimodal learner can be a challenge for educators because the educator may have a difficult time figuring out which teaching method is best for these types of learners.
The VARKS learning style assessment seemed to be very accurate for this author, however, there are learning methods in each category that have been successfully used in the past. The hand on approach has been known to be beneficial in some instances, however; reading texts books and repetitively studying self-made notes have proven to be a more successful method for this learner. In the future, in order to improve retention of information and learning, this author will change study habits by talking more to others and explaining what was learned in class as well as practicing multiple choice questions. Spending time in quiet places and recalling ideas will also be utilized.
This learner will also read notes aloud and hear her own voice when studying. This author believes that the VARK questionnaire was very accurate to her preferred learning type. It has been beneficial to observe different learning types and styles that work best for the individual. Understanding the different learning types will not only benefit the learner but will assist when dealing with people in general on a daily basis in ones profession as they attempt to teach others.
Flemming, N. (n.d.). VARK: A REVIEW OF THOSE WHO ARE MULTIMODAL. Retrieved September, 20, 2012, from http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page-content/multimodality Lazear, D. “Multi-Modal” Learning. Retrieved September, 21, 2012, from http://www.davidlazeargroup.com/free_articles/multi-modal.html http:/www.vark-learn.com
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