VARK Analysis Paper Argumentative
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While many individuals pursue an advanced education, the method in which students absorb and retain the required learned material varies from individual to individual. To give oneself the best possible opportunity for success, one must effectively decipher the method of studying which will best assist them in succeeding in their academic career. The VARK website assists individuals in identifying the correct information collection method in order for one’s success. Of all of the most useful pieces of information provided in the VARK website which I found to be the most eye-opening comment was the statement “preferences are not the same as strengths” (Fleming, Understanding the Results, 2011). While one might prefer a specific study method, a method which one may have been using for years, your internal self may require a different technique in order to learn and retain the essential information. Although it is a well-known fact that students’ preferred learning styles vary, many instructors teach in the way that reflects their own learning style preferences despite the fact that mismatches in teacher-learner styles may result in lower student achievement (Leopold, 2012).
According to the VARK website, the sixteen question questionnaire alerts people to the numerous approaches available to acquire essential information when learning. The analysis also assists individuals who have been having difficulties with their educational endeavors. Many individuals, educators, students and even employee supervisors can benefit from themselves, employees, or pupils using VARK assessments in order to restructure educational opportunities by developing learning strategies specifically catered to the audiences learning style. The Writer’s Learning Style
After completing the VARK analysis, the writer was surprised to learn that her preference for learning is kinesthetic. So what exactly is a kinesthetic learning style? According to the VARK website, kinesthetic learner’s use of all of their senses: sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing in order to comprehend and retain all of the new information (Fleming, 2011). These type of learners are usually considered the most “hand on”. Kinesthetic learners absorb most effectively by direct involvement, causing learning to transpire as a result of what was done as opposed to reading the materials or listening to a lecture. One exception to this rule is if the lecturer provides a “real life” experience, as kinesthetic learners are more probable to retain “real life” information.
The VARK analysis recommends that kinesthetic learners summarize their notes into a smaller number of pages, mainly the highlighting the required information. While taking notes, a kinesthetic learner should make note of plenty of summarized examples expressed in the lecture (Fleming, 2011). Using case studies and diagrams or pictures will also help a kinesthetic learner retain the material.
From the time which this writer initially became a student, she have attempted numerous study methods in order to determine what works best for herself. Like many students, she has studied individually, in groups, with homemade flash cards, by taking quizzes, by reading the material repeatedly and by having friends or classmates quiz one another back and forth. According to the VARK website, one should convert “notes” into a learnable package by reducing them (Fleming, 2011), which is what the writer does when using flash cards to highlight the main points obtained from the lecture or reading material. Throughout the trials of the various study methods, the writer has consistently found that her preferred method for obtaining and retaining material has been through constructing flash cards. Writing out the flash cards initially places the material in her mind, while reviewing them over and over, as repetition assists in preserving the material. Incorporating other types of learning methods into training
During her time at University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, the author worked closely with the education department, teaching an Emergency Severity Index triage class monthly to staff members. Knowing that each individual absorbs information differently, she always attempted to incorporate numerous types of materials in diverse methods in order to accommodate to each student’s preferred learning method. Using visual objects such as graphs, charts, pictures, and wording during PowerPoint presentations, which assisted the visual learners who learn best by having visual prompts in order to fully comprehend the material. According to Indiana University, using visual objects such as graphs, charts, pictures, and any other visual information has been proven to assist visual learners in being able to memorize and recall the information better (The Trustees of Indiana University, 2014).
In terms of auditory learners, while flipping through the PowerPoint slides, the presentation presenter verbally elaborated on information both included as well as not included on each slide in order to assist the verbal learners in their education process. Real life stories relevant to the topic and corresponding slides were also vocalized. Since the VARK website and many other educational websites show that auditory learners, as well as reading and writing learners, take fewer notes during lectures (Fleming, Neil, 2011), a composed a triage manual was composed to distribute to the class to reinforce the material. Both auditory learners as well as reading and writing learners benefit from the written manual which I produced and distributed.
Clients who are considered “read/write” learners frequently have a fondness is for information displayed as words. According to Neil Fleming of the VARK website, many educators and students have a strong preference for this mode. This inclination emphasizes text-based contribution in all its forms, but especially manuals, reports, essays and assignments. Individuals who favor this modality are often addicted to PowerPoint, the internet, lists, diaries, dictionaries, quotations and words (Fleming, The VARK Modalities, 2011).
According to an article written by Neil Fleming, multimodal preferences represent nearly one third of respondents in the VARK assessment. A large group of respondents are in a group which has two or three preferred modalities (Fleming, VARK: A Review of those who are Multimodal, 2014). In a recent study by Dr. Ivan James Prithishkumar, 86.8% of students were found to have a multimodal learning style (Prithishkumar, 2014). Multimodal clients should be given several choices to enrich their learning potential. In terms of the triage manual which the writer of this paper used when educating nurses on the use of the Emergency Severity Index triage system, the triage manual which was produced had countless material references including (but not limited to) copies of the actual PowerPoint used for the class, graphs, electronic health record computer screen shots, sample cases, case studies, triage algorithms, and practice quizzes with corresponding answers and rationales. While the manual is ideally a multimodal client’s supreme resource, incorporating the manual with the verbal and visual PowerPoint presentation provides something all students with every learning style. Conclusion
In conclusion, learning is mirrored in the way we respond to environmental, social, emotional and physical stimuli, in order to understand and retain new knowledge. Learning style is defined as the way that information is processed, focusing on strengths, not weaknesses. There is no single best way to teach, but teachers can diversify their teaching styles to cater to the learning styles of each distinctive student. Awareness of learning styles will help educators identify and solve learning problems among students (Prithishkumar, 2014). Excellent
Fleming, N. (2011). The VARK Modalities. Retrieved from VARK: a guide to Modalities: http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=categories Fleming, N. (2011). Understanding the Results. Retrieved from VARK: a guide to learning styles: http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=understandingresults Fleming, N. (2011). VARK: a guide to learning styles. Retrieved from Kinesthetic
Study Strategies: http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=kinestheticprint Fleming, N. (2014, August 5). VARK: A Review of those who are Multimodal. Retrieved from VARK: a guide to learning styles: http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page_content/multimodality.htm Fleming, Neil. (2011). Aural Study Strategies. Retrieved from VARK: a guide to learning styles: http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=aural Leopold, L. Prewriting Tasks for Auditory, Visual, and Kinesthetic Learners. TESL Canada Journal [serial online]. March 1, 2012;29(2):96-102. Available from: ERIC, Ipswich, MA. Accessed August 8, 2014. 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 The Trustees of Indiana University. (2014, August 5). Bepko Learning Center: Three Learning Styles. Retrieved from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis: http://blc.uc.iupui.edu/AcademicEnrichment/StudySkills/LearningStyles/3LearningStyles.aspx