The VARK Questionnaire: How Do I Learn Best?
My scores in the questionnaire were visual two, aural five, read/write three and Kinesthetic 8, which established that I have a mile kinesthetic learning preference (VARK, 2017).
Personal Learning Styles and Strategies
According to Herod (2004), learning styles is defined as the way in which people select certain information for further processing, make use of significance, principles, expertise, and approach to decipher problems and create new meanings and make decisions. Herod records availability of numerous categories of learning styles (2004). However, the styles are categorized broadly into four categories namely, physical sphere of influence, which includes the visible, auditive, and causative styles), cognitive sphere of influence, which includes abstract, sequential, and unsystematic styles, affective sphere of influence, which includes the core and peripheral psychological factors that impact on the emotions of a person as well as culture and learning domain.
Most of the people prefer the learning domain and within that domain a preferred learning style (Centra & Gaubatz, 2005). Among these styles, I too prefer learning styles since it is the easiest approach to applying in common instances. It is always necessary to be responsive of the learning styles to keep away from counterparts flanked by instructors and learners. This is because when a teacher uses a preferred style, not all of our students will have the identical style and learning may be weakened. Possession of a preferred learning domain does not mean, however, that we cannot use or develop alternative domains. Developing an appropriate knowledge of other styles and effectively focusing on them to build up weaker ones improves learning by providing numerous approaches of assuming and implementing information.
Learning styles in the physical domain refers to the use of physical senses such as sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste (Herod, 2004). Even though majority of these styles are applied in learning, majority of the public strongly prefer one intervention to others. Visual Style Learners with a visual style prefer to use their eyes to learn (Cartney, 2000). For effective learning, these learners need to understand the material in varied forms. Auditory Style Learners apply their audibility assortment to learn. This means paying attention to a lecture on a given topic instead of reading it, discussing the material with others or through reflection. On the other hand, visual learners learn better through phonetic approach. Motor Style, also referred to as a kinaesthetic refers to practical learners that need to do an activity, practice a talent, or influence substance bodily for effective learning. For instance, when learning to spell students will probably prefer inscribing the words, since muscle movements enable them in the learning process.
As an individual, I prefer touching and sight more than hearing. This can be depicted from the results of the questionnaire (VARK, 2017). Rather than sitting to listen to a lecture, I would rather walk around and perform a practical, see as other students perform it and then ask questions. I have come to realize that the best approach to learning in my case is through field trips, experiments, role-playing, puzzles, and videos. By applying these approaches, I am certain that I can cognitively learn and process any information I acquire physically.
Techniques and Learning Aids for Visual Style entail the maximum use of visual aids to enhance greatly learning for visual individuals (Hock & Mellard, 2011). Some illustrations of visual aids consist of films, and written materials with plenty of graphics in charts, tables, and photographs. Generally, any system, which permits students to employ their visuals are effective. Therefore, it is necessary to include within the activities lessons, which involve watching, reading, and writing. Physical style is the simplest and most straightforward to identify and incorporate into instruction. Once learners who prefer physical learning style have been identified, learning sessions can then be easily structured to address specifically each of the styles.
Techniques and Learning Aids for Auditory Style entail providing maximum opportunities to perceive the sound of the material to be learned. Generally, any practice, which involves listening or talking are effective. These practices encompass group discussions, lectures, reading aloud, videos, and films. Conversely, auditory students must hear the material. This implies that the teacher reads a story while the learners listen.
Techniques and Learning Aids for Motor Style entails physically involving the learner since the key to enhancing their learning is lots of practical activities. Field trips, experiments, role-playing, puzzles, and games make up effective approaches. Cognition domain is defined as the way a person thinks thus a person develops a cognitive learning style, which is mentally centered. Thus, a cognitive learning style implies the preferred approach to learning, which mainly, is mentally centered. While we all learn cognitively, some people may be processing information in the physical domain, whereas other people may prefer meditating for problem-solving, brainstorming, and analysis. The affective domain (emotional and relational domain) encompasses emotional and physical perceptions (Hock & Mellard, 2011). These feelings are affected by both internal and external factors, such as hunger, fatigue, and illness while external factors involve environmental reassurance and type of distraction, and physical surroundings.
Under the culture domain, a teacher is respected, and is rarely questioned. Learners in this cultural outlook facilitate learning session whereby differences of opinion are encouraged. To an instructor who fails to identify this may attribute a student’s lack of participation to a lack of knowledge. Consequently, learning effectiveness can be diminished substantially. Identifying this cultural difference can assist an instructor adapt to instructions accordingly.
Perceptions of teaching and learning
Effective teaching practice refers to the strategies and techniques that create optimal learning opportunities that motivate and inspire learners to achieve the desired learning outcomes (Cartney, 2000). Effective teaching is assumed mostly based on the consequence of effective learning (Hock & Mellard, 2011). This principle is the foundation for countless validity studies, which have been conducted on students and teachers assessments of courses. Final course examination reflects only limited perception of the learners’ outcomes even though it has been a primary criterion for establishing validity of student assessments. More pointers however of the outcome focus beyond a particular exam score. These conclusions underscore the objectives of the courses. The pointers underscore student perceptions on their increase in interest in varied courses they take, critical thinking skills, interpersonal outcomes that involve cooperative abilities, intrapersonal effects such as self-understanding among other broad course outcomes. Moreover, instructors should note that student perceptions of learning are interconnected extremely with their general ratings of teaching usefulness. Another advantage of student perceptions of learning over final course examination scores is that the latter are limited to multi-section courses that use a common final exam (Centra & Gaubatz, 2005).
Cartney, P. (2000). Adult Learning Styles: Implications for Practice Teaching in Social Work.
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Centra, A. J. & Gaubatz, B. N. (2005). Student Perceptions of Learning and Instructional
Effectiveness in College Courses: A Validity Study of Sir II. Perceptions. Pages 1-49. Available at https://www.ets.org/Media/Products/perceptions.pdf
Herod, L. (2004). Learning Styles and Strategies. Adult Learning & Literacy. Pages 1-60.
Available at https://www.gov.mb.ca/mal/all/publications/learning_styles_and_strategies_aug_2004.pdf-
Hock, F. M. & Mellard, F. D. (2011). Efficacy in Learning Strategies Instruction in Adult Basic
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VARK. (2017). The VARK Questionnaire: A Guide to Learning Styles. Available at http://vark-learn.com/the-vark-questionnaire/