This paper will describe the meaning of the acronym VARK and the purpose of the VARK questionnaire. I will provide a summary of my personal learning style as outlined by the results of my VARK questionnaire and I will compare my learning strategies to the strategies that are identified by my preferred learning style. Additionally, I will discuss how the awareness of individual learning styles influence teaching and learning. What is VARK?
VARK is an acronym for one of the most common models of learning style. It was developed by an educator named Neil Flemming. The VARK Model, which was introduced in 2006, breaks learning styles down into four categories: Visual (V), Aural (A), Read/write (R), and Kinesthetic (K). (Kagan, 2010) It further describes that visual learners learn by looking, aural learners learn by hearing, read/write learners learn by reading printed material and kinesthetic learners learn by hands on experience. (Prithishkumar, 2014) My VARK Style of Learning
After completing the 16 question VARK questionnaire, I learned that my style of learning is multimodal. My total score was 39 which further categorizes me into the whole sense approach of the multimodal learning style. Visual and read/write were my two highest scored modalities. This group of the multimodal learners tend to use a combination of learning styles for decision making and learning. . (Flemming, 2011) Learning Strategies
Approximately 60% of the population fits into the multimodal learning. When evaluating learning strategies, multimodal learners need to review 2 to 4 help sheets on the VARK website. This is due to the fact that they have preferences for more than one learning style. (Flemming, 2011) Upon reviewing the VARK learning strategies from the visual and read/write modalities, I found that I related to both of these categories and feel that they appropriately described my learning styles. I tend to get more out of a lecture or presentation with the use of visual items like arrows, flowcharts and graphs, as well as, by taking lecture notes, using handouts and textbooks. Since returning to school to obtain my bachelor’s degree, I am discovering that the online portion of this program presents somewhat of a challenge. Initially, I resisted the need to have printed material, but I have since found out that learning is much easier for me when I have hardcopies of the articles, lectures, assignments and rubrics. It is important to my learning to be able to highlight items in articles and have a space to make notes. I was surprised that my aural score was not higher because one of the reasons I took the cohort class was to be able to hear the lectures and discussions. In reviewing some of the VARK learning strategies, I have discovered that I do not use most of the “Study Without Tears” suggestions, such as replacing words with symbols, redrawing my pages from memory, rewriting the ideas and principle into other words or imaging my lists arranged in multiple choice questions. (Flemming, 2011) I will be trying some of these suggestions to see if there is an improvement in my learning. Benefits of the Awareness of Learning Styles
Using the VARK questionnaire and results gives learners additional knowledge regarding their style of learning. Having an awareness of one’s own learning style can help influence individual learning by allowing students to expand on the strategies that are encouraged for review after completing the VARK questionnaire. Learners may gain valuable suggestions related to their style of learning. Ultimately, this will make the students better learners. As an instructor, the awareness of their students’ learning styles may offer insight to strategies that may be beneficial when students are having difficulties. When in a classroom setting, it would be difficult to focus on one type of learning style and meet everyone’s needs. I feel a multimodal approach would best...
References: Fleming, N. (2011). VARK. Retrieved from http://www.vark-learn.com/english/index.asp
Prithishkumar, I. J., & Michael, S. A. (2014). Understanding your student: Using the VARK model... visual, aural, read/write, and kinesthetic. Journal Of Postgraduate Medicine, 60(2), 183-186. doi:10.4103/0022-3859.132337
You have a multimodal (VARK) learning preference. (Flemming, 2011)
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