Topic 1: Teaching and Learning Styles
Learning styles represent the different approaches to learning based on preferences, weaknesses, and strengths. For learners to best achieve the desired educational outcome, learning styles must be considered when creating a plan. Complete “The VARK Questionnaire,” located on the VARK website, and then complete the following:
In a paper (7501,000 words), summarize your analysis of this exercise and discuss the overall value of learning styles. Include the following:
Cite to at least three peer reviewed or scholarly sources to complete this assignment. Sources should be published within the last 5 years and appropriate for the assignment criteria.
Personal learning profiles can be determined with the use of the VARK questionnaire in order to personalize learning preferences to help develop additional, effective strategies for learning and for improving communication skills. The VARK learning style model was introduced by Neil Fleming in 2006 and represents four modalities: visual, aural, read/write, and kinesthetic learning styles, developed in hopes to guide students to become better learners (Khanal, Koirala, & Shah, 2014). In correlation with the VARK analysis this student will provide a summary of their learning style as well as favored learning styles, compare learning strategy preferences to the identified strategies for their favored learning styles, and also discuss how the awareness of individual learning styles, preferences, and strategies influence teaching and learning.
Nurses, of all health professionals, devote the majority of their time to one on one patient care giving them multiple opportunities to recognize educational needs as well as the readiness to take in and comprehend new information and behaviors. The population nurses care for is quite diverse consisting of varied socioeconomic backgrounds, wide ranges of ages, diverse cultural background, previous educational experiences, levels of competency, and desired learning strategies. Effective teaching can be [cmppp_restricted] difficult and challenging when dealing with such a wide range of patients, or in other words, learners. Michael and Prithishkumar stated in the article Understanding Your Student: Using the VARK Model, “Teaching is a process of knowledge presentation while learning is often multifactorial and depends on the mindset of each student” (2014). This student’s VARK score was as followed: visual 10, aural 7, read/write 1, and kinesthetic 8, correlating with the multimodal learning preference. There are seldom instanced where just one mode of learning is used creating various combinations of the four modes. Multimodal was further classified into bimodal, tri-modal and quadri-modal; having two, three, or four preferences respectively (Michael, Prithishkumar, 2014). Visual and kinesthetic were the top two scoring 10 and 8 respectively, making this student a bimodal learner.
“A learning preference is defined as the most ‘effective and efficient modality,’ in which a learner has a natural preference to ‘perceive, process, store, and recall new information” (Michael, Prithishkumar, 2014). This student’s preferred educational styles are as listed: the use of different colored pens, highlighting important information with bright highlighters, using a hands-on approach, being provided real life examples, bouncing information back and forth with others, and looking at something that is visually pleasing to the eye and non-cluttered (pictures and bullet points). The visual modality states that the learner prefers different formats, fonts, and colors to emphasize the more important information being presented (VARK, 2015). In order to take in new information, the visual learner enjoys lecturers that incorporate body language and colorful communication and expressions, pictures, videos, power point slides, contrasting colored highlighters, textbooks with charts and pictures, graphs and flowcharts, symbols, and white space. During the study phase, visual learners are recommended to utilize the techniques mentioned during the intake process, reconstruction of the images in a different way, redrawing the page from their memory, replacing words with symbols, and looking at the pages (VARK, 2015). Performance on a test, assignment or examination can be enhanced by utilizing diagrams, drawing, writing exam answers, and practicing reverting images back into words (VARK, 2015). Visual learners want the whole picture and are often swayed by the look of an object. These learners are interested in color, layout, and design and know exactly where they are (VARK, 2015).
Kinesthetic learners are partial to acquire knowledge through exposure and practice, and would rather acquire knowledge that has an association to reality. A kinesthetic learner takes in information best by using all their sense (sight, smell, hearing, toughing, and taste), working in laboratories, taking field trips/tours, listening to lectures that provide real-life instances, using applications, doing hands-on advances, looking at exhibits and photographs, and recipes that have solutions to problems (VARK, 2015). Learning and retaining the information is enhanced by reducing the notes, talking about the notes with another kinesthetic learner, remember the “real” things that happened, using illustrations and photographs that illuminate the concept, going back to the laboratory, and recalling experiments and field trips (VARK, 2015). Expressing learning performance on test and assignments can be accomplished through writing practice tests and paragraphs, and role playing the exam situation. Kinesthetic learners wish to be exposed and own experience in order to understand it. The concepts are only beneficial if they sound practical, real, and relevant to the learner. These learners need to experience through hands on to understand (VARK, 2015). This students preferred learning styles compared to the suggested learning styles of a visual and kinesthetic learner are extremely similar except for creating own practice questions and writing up paragraphs. Photographic memory and studying pages is accomplished better with short concise bullets point, bright colors, and a study partner for this learner.
There is distinguished best way to teach; however, those who teach should diversify their teaching styles to gratify to the learning styles and preferences of each distinctive student (Michael, Prithishkumar, 2014). Awareness of preferred educational learning amongst students makes it necessary for teaching to fluctuate between the traditional teacher-centric lectures to a reciprocating, student-centric atmosphere associating numerous learning-teaching strategies (Michael, Prithishkumar, 2014). Diverse modalities of knowledge presentation are imperative to effectively mold to student learning preferences. Certain individuals with a multimodal educational preference require the same objective presented in multiple modes in order to completely comprehend the material while the remainders can effectively learn utilizing any single one of their multiple preferences. Studies have concluded instructors who try to match their teaching with student’s preferred learning preference, students achieved higher scores than when mismatched and also made learning easier and more enjoyable (Khanal et al., 2014).
Learning styles refer to modes of gathering, interpreting, processing, organizing, and reflecting about learned material. Students possess a broad diversity in learning alternatives. It is imperative for those whom teach to effectively deliver material and information in accordance to the essential demands of the student. Because the majority of learning is multimodal, multiple modalities of knowledge presentation are necessary to hold the attention and motivation of students requiring a transition between the teacher centric lectures to an interactive student centric multimodal approach. Students learn proficiently as long as the teaching approaches encompass a combination of activities that exhilarate and foster the visual, aural, read‐write and the kinesthetic sensory modalities.
Michael, S.A., Prithishkumar, I.J. (2014). Understanding Your Student: Using the VARK Model. Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, 60(2), 183-186.
Khanal, L., Koirala, S., & Shah, S. (2014). Exploration of Preferred Learning Styles in Medical Education Using VARK Model. Russian Open Medical Journal, 3, 1-8. DOI: 10.15275/rusomj.2014.0305.
VARK Learned Limited (2015). VARK A Guide to Learning Styles. Retrieved from http://vark-learn.com/.[/cmppp_restricted]