Essay, Pages 8 (1954 words)
Choose the answer which best explains your preference by placing a check on the squares next to the choices. You may have two answers per item if a single answer does not match your perception. Leave blank any question that does not apply.
A group of tourists want to learn about the parks or wildlife reserves in your area. You would:
give them a book or pamphlets about the parks or wildlife reserves.
talk about, or arrange a talk for them about parks or wildlife reserves.
take them to a park or wildlife reserve and walk with them.
show them internet pictures, photographs or picture books.
You have to make an important speech at a conference or special occasion. You would:
gather many examples and stories to make the talk real and practical.
write out your speech and learn from reading it over several times.
write a few key words and practice saying your speech over and over.
make diagrams or get graphs to help explain things.
You want to learn a new program, skill or game on a computer. You would:
use the controls or keyboard.
follow the diagrams in the book that came with it.
read the written instructions that came with the program.
talk with people who know about the program.
You have finished a competition or test and would like some feedback. You would like to have feedback:
using examples from what you have done.
using a written description of your results.
from somebody who talks it through with you.
using graphs showing what you had achieved.
Do you prefer a teacher or a presenter who uses:
demonstrations, models or practical sessions.
question and answer, talk, group discussion, or guest speakers.
handouts, books, or readings.
diagrams, charts or graphs.
You are helping someone who wants to go to your airport, town centre or railway station. You would:
write down the directions (without a map).
go with her.
draw, or give her a map.
tell her the directions.
I like websites that have:
audio channels where I can hear music, radio programs or interviews.
things I can click on, shift or try.
interesting written descriptions, lists and explanations.
interesting design and visual features.
You are planning a holiday for a group. You want some feedback from them about the plan. You would:
phone, text or email them.
use a map or website to show them the places.
describe some of the highlights.
give them a copy of the printed itinerary.
You are going to choose food at a restaurant or cafe. You would:
listen to the waiter or ask friends to recommend choices.
choose from the descriptions in the menu.
choose something that you have had there before.
look at what others are eating or look at pictures of each dish.
You are about to purchase a digital camera or mobile phone. Other than price, what would most influence your decision?
Trying or testing it
The salesperson telling me about its features.
It is a modern design and looks good.
Reading the details about its features.
You are going to cook something as a special treat for your family. You would:
use a cookbook where you know there is a good recipe.
ask friends for suggestions.
cook something you know without the need for instructions.
look through the cookbook for ideas from the pictures.
Other than price, what would most influence your decision to buy a new non-fiction book?
It has real-life stories, experiences and examples.
Quickly reading parts of it.
A friend talks about it and recommends it.
The way it looks is appealing.
Remember a time when you learned how to do something new. Try to avoid choosing a physical skill, eg. riding a bike. You learned best by:
watching a demonstration.
diagrams and charts – visual clues.
written instructions – e.g. a manual or textbook.
listening to somebody explaining it and asking questions.
You are not sure whether a word should be spelled `dependent’ or `dependant’. You would:
find it in a dictionary.
write both words on paper and choose one.
see the words in your mind and choose by the way they look.
think about how each word sounds and choose one.
You have a problem with your knee. You would prefer that the doctor:
used a plastic model of a knee to show what was wrong.
gave you a web address or something to read about it.
described what was wrong.
showed you a diagram of what was wrong.
You are using a book, CD or website to learn how to take photos with your new digital camera. You would like to have:
diagrams showing the camera and what each part does.
a chance to ask questions and talk about the camera and its features.
clear written instructions with lists and bullet points about what to do.
many examples of good and poor photos and how to improve them.
Please fill in this form so that your results can be included in our research
Are you male or female?
|Are you:||18 or younger,
19 to 25,
26 to 34,
35 to 44,
45 to 54,
55 or over?
|Where do you live?||USA,
|Is this the first time you have filled in the VARK questionnaire?|
|Yes, this is the first time,
No, I have filled it in previously
|Which of the following best matches your perception of your VARK results?|
|That looks just like me
I’m not much like that
I’m not sure
Are you involved in education (as a faculty member or as a student)?
Are you a:
Which level of education are you involved at?
What is your main area of study?
This questionnaire critique is an evaluation of the VARK questionnaire which measures the learning preferences of individuals. VARK stands for the four types of learning preferences which are visual, aural, read/write and kinesthetic. The questionnaire is geared towards determining how individual take in and give out information in the learning context.
It is not similar to learning styles but is a necessary component of the learning style of an individual. The questionnaire contains 16 items only with four choices per item. The four choices correspond to the four different learning preferences (visual, aural, read/write and kinesthetic). The questionnaire is designed to identify which learning preference category the individual highly favors based on his/her responses on the 16 items. The questionnaire is online; therefore it is accessible to a wider range of individuals.
The sampling of respondents is not limited to a certain group since it is online and anyone who comes across the website can take the questionnaire. Moreover, the distribution of the questionnaire occurs only if the questionnaire used was the printed version, but if the online questionnaire is used, it only waits for people to complete the survey. The collection of the data or the responses is automated, it is already programmed and this is added to the database of responses which have been used to establish the validity and reliability of the questionnaire.
The demographic data is then asked after the taker has completed answering the questionnaire. The demographic questions include gender, age, location, status and field of expertise. The demographic data are then used in the research conducted by the authors of the VARK. The demographical details required in the questionnaire are standard and usually the most commonly asked in questionnaires.
The VARK questionnaire was designed appropriately; the questionnaire is short and yet contains all the information needed to make a good assessment of what learning preference the individual has. The questions are straightforward, it asks about a specific event or situation and the choices are related to the questions and can be an accurate answer to the question whichever the individual chooses it to be. The directions however are not very clear, in the online version, the instruction is to encircle the letters beside the choices, but there was no letters to encircle instead it was an online program that is to be clicked on by the test taker.
This may provide confusion to those who may have to use the print version of the questionnaire. The results are immediately processed after the individual hits complete and it can be saved in the website for later use and for the use of the authors to gather as many respondents as they can to validate the questionnaire. The items in the questionnaire can be easily read and understood, there are no jargon or complex words and it makes use of situational events that makes answering the questions more believable and comfortable for the respondents.
However, a problem may still arise when the taker is not well versed with English or those who have different cultural backgrounds which limit their knowledge of the different situations presented in the questionnaire. The questions also do not have double meanings or measures two things in one question; instead it places the taker in a certain context and is then asked to respond using the four choices. There are no negatively stated items which are therefore more psychometrically easier to collate and analyze as there are no reverse scores.
The structure of the VARK questionnaire is just average, the questions are different from each other, and the choices follow a certain order that reflects the four different learning preferences. Although, these are easier to score and to determine which learning preference the taker uses in the different situations that are being presented in the questionnaire the obvious arrangement of the items and the choices may bias the taker or lead his/her answer to the most favorable one. The demographic data is then surveyed after the taker finishes with the main questionnaire and the results are presented instantly, since the questionnaire is online, the individual is somewhat rewarded with his/her score and has the option to volunteer the information needed for the research part of the questionnaire or not.
However, some takers may not take too well with volunteering personal information and may opt not to complete the demographic questions which would be a setback for the authors as it would mean a lesser number of respondents to be used to validate the instrument. This is in keeping with the ethical guidelines of using human respondents in the conduct of surveys and questionnaires for research or other purposes.
The online survey is also administered in the same way each time since it is in electronic form and is online and has been programmed to interact with the respondent in the same way each time. However, what the authors has to risk is the varied situations that the respondent comes across the questionnaire, others may be in a crowded café with too much noise and distractions, others may also not read the questionnaire very well and just click on the circles while others may choose not to complete the survey.
In general, the VARK questionnaire has been designed excellently, this could be due to the fact that the questionnaire has undergone a number of revisions and upgrades and that the questionnaire had been first published in 2001. The responses to the VARK had provided the author with the information on how to improve the questionnaire and to improve its reliability and validity. Therefore we could say that with time and scientific tools, the VARK is a good example of a well designed and effective questionnaire despite its weaknesses which may be again improved as time wears on.
Fleming, N. (2007). VARK Questionnaire, Retrieved November 10, 2007 from