My learning style preference as per the VARK questionnaire feedback is multimodal that combines the four preference styles of visual, aural, read/write, and kinesthetic. The visual preference is whereby a person uses symbolism and different formats, font, and colors when emphasizing an important point. The questionnaire reveals that individuals with visual preference usually prefer to draw things; use plans and maps to explain ideas or convey a message; and use logos, branding, and design. They also prefer things and activities involving the use of shape and color including festivals and decorations. The aural preference is all about spoken or heard information, and making statements and using questions are important for individuals with this preference. People with an aural preference often favor talking things over even if they do not resolve them, explaining by talking, putting forward a case for and against. Additionally, they desire to learn from the ideas of others and what they say about ideas, debating and being involved in arguments and discussions, listening to those who know a lot and have authority, inserting witty comments, and putting forward their point of view.
People with a read/write preference convey message and receive or pass information mainly using printed words. According to VARK-learn, such individuals also lean towards “writing and reading, using lists and ordering things into categories, and arranging words into hierarchies and points.” Persons with this preference are also incline toward extracting meanings from titles and headings, correcting mistakes they come across, as well as challenging regulations and rules because of how they are worded (VARK-learn). Moreover, such people tend to pay attention to clarity in what has been written and interact a lot with people who write and speak using challenging words. The kinesthetic preference revolves around the use of experience and things that are real even when they are presented as images or on screens. Individuals with kinesthetic preference prefer autobiographies and documentaries, applications before theories, demonstrations followed by application of what is learned, talking about real things in life, doing things through action and making things happen, as well as finishing tasks. Moreover, such people prefer their experiences rather than those of others, physicality, and measurable outcomes.
Preferred Learning Strategies
How I apply to learn strategies differs depending on the learning issues at hand as well as the subject of study and the learning goals to be achieved. In a biology classroom during a lesson about the process of photosynthesis, I prefer to listen to the instructor and write notes. Moreover, I find it important for the instructor to explain the process of photosynthesis using diagrams as this enhances understanding. Besides, hands-on practice is important in such a context as it promotes the retention of both information and knowledge over the long term. For me, other preferred learning strategies include repetition, involvement in group discussions, writing notes as I read and listen to lectures, watching videos on online platforms such as YouTube, explain topics to peers, answering multiple and true/false questions, doing research on specific topics, and coming up with a topic and related questions and answering the questions.
A comparison of my current preferred learning strategies to the identified learning approaches of the multimodal learning style reveals numerous similarities. I tend to have visual, aural, read/write, and kinesthetic preferences. Persons with visual preference tend to draw things and work with plans, maps, and diagrams. These are a true reflection of my current learning strategy as I usually find it appropriate for instructors to use diagrams and maps to explain various aspects during a lesson. People with aural preference desire to talk things over and engage in debates, arguments, and conversations, which reflects my current learning strategy as I prefer to engage in group discussions with peers and to explain topics to peers. Individuals with a read/write preference are usually inclined to reading and writing, using lists and ordering things into categories, and extracting meanings from headings and titles. The mentioned characteristics reflect my current preferred learning strategy of writing notes as I read or listen to lectures. The final learning style is kinesthetic in which people with this preference like to watch demonstrations or videos on various topics, do things with others, and being part of a team. I believe that this is an illustration of my current desired learning strategies of watching videos on platforms such as YouTube, being part of groups or teams, and explaining various topics to my friends.
How Individual Learning Styles Affect Degree to which learner Understands/Performs
It is important for the learner to be aware of his or her preferred learning style if he or she is to achieve positive outcomes in the long run. The extent to which a student understands or performs an education-related activity is impacted by whether he or she is aware of the preferred learning style. In most cases, learners tend to gravitate and be involved in learning activities that are compatible with their learning styles (Bhagat, Vyas, & Singh, 2015). If a learner’s preferred learning style is being part of group discussions, the teacher’s use of this approach is likely to enhance the learner’s understanding and trigger his involvement in educational activities performed in groups. On the other hand, it is important for educators to identify individual learning styles and preferences of learners when working with them so that they can use teaching strategies and styles that match the learning styles of the student. That way, the teachers motivate the students and enhance their performance in various educational activities. Educators must understand that poor performance by learners is mostly because their learning styles are different from those used by the educator (Chick, 2016).
Learning Styles and Health Promotion
Understanding the learning styles of individuals participating in health promotion is important as it helps the person facilitating the health promotion to use appropriate methods that could be effective to specific individuals (Savage, Arif, Smoke, & Farrell, 2017). Some individuals may understand concepts better when sounds accompany their explanation. In such a situation, the person facilitating the health promotion ought to use sounds to help such people process information effectively, thus achieve the desired outcomes. One of the primary objectives of learning is to change people from a behavioral perspective. Thus, effective learning through the use of appropriate or the right learning styles for an individual can set the stage for behavioral change in an individual. In health promotion, accommodation of different learning styles can entail allowing individuals to operate and work at their own pace while using multisensory approaches as well as having staff who are conversant with and can deal with individuals with different learning styles.
Bhagat, A., Vyas, R., & Singh, T. (2015). Students awareness of learning styles and their perceptions to a mixed method approach for learning. International Journal of Applied and Basic Medical Research, 5(Suppl 1), S58. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4552069/
Chick, N. (2016). Learning styles. Vanderbilt Center for Teaching. Retrieved from https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/cft/guides-sub-pages/learning-styles-preferences/
Savage, K., Arif, S., Smoke, M., & Farrell, T. (2017). Preferences in learning styles and modes of information delivery in patients receiving first-day education for radiation therapy. Journal of medical imaging and radiation sciences, 48(2), 193-198. Retrieved from https://www.jmirs.org/article/S1939-8654(16)30129-1/fulltext
VARK-Learn. (n.d.). Read/Write Strategies. Retrieved from http://vark-learn.com/strategies/readwrite-strategies/