VARK Assignment: Preferred Learning Styles
Miky Patel, RN
Grand Canyon University: NRS 429V
Jessica Jones, MSN, RNMarch 24, 2018.
VARK Assignment: Preferred Learning Styles
People have different learning styles: “natural, habitual, and preferred ways of taking, processing and retaining new information and skills” (Hatami, 2013, p. 488). There are four major learning styles: visual, aural, read/write, and kinesthetic; which can be determined by completing the VARK Questionnaire – a 16-question online survey designed to help individuals to identify personal learning styles. This paper focuses on recognizing personal learning style and preferred learning strategies. This will involve completing the VARK questionnaire whose result will indicate the learning style, learning preferences, and learning strategies. The paper will further compare personal preferred learning strategies to the identified strategies for the preferred learning style. Finally, it will provide an appraisal of how the awareness of individual learning styles, preferences, and strategies influence teaching and learning. Individual learning styles, preferences and strategies influence the teaching and learning process. Therefore, it is imperative for both educators and learners to know the differences needs, interests, abilities and learning styles to tailor the teaching and learning process, as well as the learning environment to ensure optimal learning outcomes.
Based on the VARK questionnaire, the personal learning style is read/write. The scores were: visual (1) Aural (3), Read/write (7), and Kinesthetic (4). Read/write style: this learning style uses printed words to transfer and receive information (Vark Learn, 2018). Strategies for taking information include writing lists, headings, definitions, and notes. Something that is like the visual strategies of using colors, fonts and different formats to emphasize important points. Additionally, reading textbooks, handouts and manuals are some other ways of taking in information. Teaching and learning takes place with repeated reading and writing, as well as turning actions, reactions, charts, and diagrams into words. These are also used by learners with kinesthetic preference who learn by application and taking examples to principles. Kinesthetic strategies apply a real-life perspective of either visual or aural information. Neil Fleming, the designer of the VARK questionnaire, explains that the read/write learning style was developed from the old distinction which used VAK (visual, aural, kinesthetic model) (Fleming, 2012). This development was necessary to distinguish people who prefer written text, but they are not inclined to visual strategies.
The identified preferred learning style is multimodal learning – a combination of the four learning styles which include visual, aural read/write, and kinesthetic styles. People with a multimodal preference better understands a piece of information if it is presented in several ways to fully understand it, while other individuals can understand material presented in only one of their preferences. Although the four learning styles are distinct in the preferences and strategies used, in a way they overlap. For instance, a person with read/write strategy can use visual (for instance large fonts), recalling interesting stories (Aural), or examples of principles (Kinesthetic). As Fleming (2012) says, VARK is indicative, not diagnostic. Therefore, the strategies for a particular learning environment might change for the same person if the learning environment changes. One might always have a sense of personal learning style, but it is surprising to find what it really is. Although there has been a noted preference of read/write strategies personally, it is interesting to note that other strategies from the other learning styles have been used. The score shows there was positive score for other learning methods, suggesting that the personal style is multimodal.
Fleming (2012) argues that life is multimodal, and it is not likely that any population can exhibit VARK scores of 40% in single preference. Having a high score in a single preference does not mean that the other VARK modalities do not exist. For instance, personal scores indicated the following scores: visual (1), Aural (3), read/write (7), and kinesthetic (4). Awareness of learning attributes influences perceptions of teaching and learning especially to exercise in different context and find out what strategies apply in different contexts. A study by Liew, Sidhu, and Barua (2015) found 81.9% of students has a unimodal learning (Kinesthetic) style as compared to 18.1% who has a multimodal learning style. Interestingly, the learning strategies did not reflect in the learning outcomes. This alludes to a lack of awareness on the learning attributes. This contrasts with Kharb et al. (2013) where about 61 percent of students with multimodal VARK preferences. However, Kharb et al. (2013) had four classifications; multimodal, bimodal, trimodal, and quadrimodal. In the second study, the learners were aware of the different learning styles, preference and strategies.
The personal learning style is read/write, but based on the VARK results, the learning preference is multimodal. Based on these results, there is a likelihood that learning styles change over time. According to Hatami (2013), “a learning style is not in itself an ability but rather a preferred way of using one’s ability” (p. 488). Learning styles are not fixed; different tasks, situations and styles can be modified and extended. The changes may be influenced by the learning environment as well as the kind of learning taking place (Oxford, 2011). For instance, currently going to school and working would mean one is inclined to applying what he/she is learning in practice. This is a kinesthetic way of retaining new information. The information is likely to have been taken in and processes using one or two of the learning styles. Fleming (2012) also distinguished between skill and preference: he argues that a person having a particular learning preference does not necessarily have the skill in using that preference.
The implications to these findings show that that one single approach to teaching and learning might not achieve optimal learning outcomes. Therefore, both the students and educators should not only learn the learning styles and preferences of their students, but also match them with teaching and learning to create an enabling learning environment.
Fleming, N. D. (2012). Facts, fallacies, and myths: VARL and learning preferences. Retrieved from http://vark-learn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Some-Facts-About-VARK.pdf
Hatami, S. (2013). Learning styles. English Language Teaching Journal, 67 (4), 488-490.
Kharb, P., Samanta, P. P., Jindal, M., & Singh, V. (2013). The Learning Styles and the Preferred Teaching—Learning Strategies of First Year Medical Students. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 7(6), 1089–1092. http://doi.org/10.7860/JCDR/2013/5809.3090
Liew, S., Sidhu, J. & Barua, A. (2015). The relationship between learning preferences (styles and approaches) and learning outcomes among pre-clinical undergraduate medical students. BMC Medical Education, 15(44), 1-7. Doi: 10.1186/s12909-015-0327-0
Oxford R. L. (2011). Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies. Harlow: Pearson Longman.
Vark Learn, (2018). Read and Write Strategies. Retrieved from http://vark-learn.com/strategies/readwrite-strategies/