Vark: Learning and Kinesthetic Learners
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People learn in different ways. In this paper, the VARK learning analysis quiz and learning styles will be discussed as well as the advantages and implications of understanding the different learning styles. VARK stands for visual, aural, read/write, and kinesthetic. Neil Fleming and Colleen Mills designed a questionnaire for to help them identify their individual learning style. The different categories identified by creators of the questionnaire are sensory modalities that people use to learn (Fleming & Mills, 2011). The quiz is 16 simple questions that break down the learning style into the four categories. Some may find that they score the same or overlap in several of the categories making them multimodal learners.
Visual learners are those who take in and process information that is in a visual format such as maps, graphs, charts and diagrams that take the place of the written word (Fleming & Mills, 2011). Television is not considered tools for teaching visual learners. “Visual learners prefer seeing what they are learning”. (Russell, 2006, pg 352). Auditory learners are those who learn through hearing information presented in the auditory format such as “from lectures, group discussion, radio, email, using mobile phones, speaking, web-chat and talking things through.” (Fleming & Mills, 2011). Auditory learners may even talk to themselves or repeat back directions aloud when doing a task (Russell, 2006). The Reading/Writing learner learns best when the information is displayed as words. Students learn better when an instructor has a list or outline to go by when giving a lecture. This learner tends to learn better from what is obtained in the textbook and class notes.
The reading/writing learner also tends to study better alone in a quiet room. Writing out sentences and phrases that summarize key information obtained from a textbook and lecture can be beneficial. Making flashcards of vocabulary words and concepts that need to be memorized is a great way for a student to learn. Kinesthetic (or tactile) learners learn best by touching and doing. Hands-on experience is important to kinesthetic learners. The kinesthetic learner uses all of the senses: sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing. This learner also uses hands on learning and trial and error learning. A teacher who uses real life examples during lectures helps the kinesthetic leaner.
Most of the people have multimodal learning styles which incorporates two or more learning styles. They may have their preferred learning styles but due to requirements from some assignments, a combination of various learning methods becomes more effective. For instance, a multimodal student can have visual as well as reading and writing inclinations. This implies that such a student will prefer a learning process that uses demonstrations, diagrams and flow-charts in addition to note taking. On the other hand, if a student has auditory as well as reading and writing preferences, the best ways to enhance their learning is to attend classes in addition to use of notes and handouts.
After taking the VARK quiz, my learning style is kinesthetic. Kinesthetic learning occurs as students engage a physical activity: learning by doing, exploring, discovering. My learning style is similar to kinesthetic but incorporates reading/writing too. I usually take notes during a lecture and use a highlighter when reading or taking notes. I also prefer to learn hands on during skills. I feel I gain a better understanding when demonstrating the skill and asking questions. A great idea for me to incorporate in my learning style is to talk with other kinesthetic learners. I did not know this was a better way for me to learn but I plan on making this change in my habits. I hope to see more results by doing this. I already find that I like lectures that use real facts and stories and that helps me remember the facts a lot better. I found that a lot of the examples given in the VARK quiz fit my learning style almost perfectly. I found it interesting that tactile-kinesthetic learners make up about five percent of the population.
This quiz was informative and helpful. It is always great for a student to gain a better understanding of their learning style. The VARK quiz helps the student to find ways to better their learning, change the way they learned and improve their scores. All students should take this quiz and make the changes necessary to improve their learning style.
Coffield, F. M. (2013). Kinesthetic Learning. On The Cutting Edge: Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty, 7. Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing, a. t., & Medicine, I. o. (2011). The Future of Nursing:. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2011. Fleming, N. (2001-2012). VARK. Retrieved February 9, 2013, from VARK A Guide to Learning Styles: http://www.vark-learn.com/english/index.asp lumosity. (2013). www.learning-styles-online.com. Retrieved February 9, 2013, from Discover your learning style graphically: http://www.learning-styles-online.com/