The VARK Questionnaire: Learning Style Preferences and Effects on Learning

The VARK Questionnaire: Learning Style Preferences and Effects on Learning

Grand Canyon University: NRS 429VN

The VARK Questionnaire: Learning Style Preferences and Effects on Learning

Learning styles is a blanket term that encompasses a group of vastly different educational theories and procedures. The term characterizes a commonly acknowledged principle amid the greater part of educators that students vary extensively within their styles of learning, exhibiting partialities in the manner of which they manage events in the classroom, and that educational methods should be created with a cognizance of noticeable variances amid students in the manner that they learn. The VARK Questionnaire is a widely used questionnaire that pinpoints students’ preferred learning styles. Consisting of 16 multiple choices questions with four potential answers each, the questions are instinctively comprehended, and the outcomes are easily calculated and simple to grasp by the students. “The program includes information sheets that both explain the student’s preferred learning style and includes strategies for improving in all ways of receiving information” (Stirling, B. 2017).

Author’s Learning Style

According to the VARK Questionnaire, the author’s identified learning style is the read/write strategy. This learning style utilizes the printed word as the most significant method to communicate and obtain material and data. If your favored learning style is Reading and Writing (R&W), the subsequent suggestions should be utilized. Exercise the use of key words by noting them in lists, summaries and writings. To obtain and process information, use “lists, headings, dictionaries, glossaries, definitions, handouts, textbooks, readings – library, notes (often verbatim), teachers who use words well and have lots of information in sentences and notes, essays, manuals (computing and laboratory)” (VARK-learn.com). Use the Study Without Tears (SWOT) method that creates an instructional file by altering your notes into a learnable package of a 3:1 ratio. Rewrite your notes, recite them to yourself repeatedly, and rephrase the concepts and philosophies. Reorganizing diagrams, graphs, reactions, actions, and flow charts into written word, help to intake and process the information presented. Organize items into multiple choice questions and differentiate them from one another. To produce and yield data effectively on tests, assignments and exams, drill writing out assessment answers and multiple-choice questions. Rehearse scripting paragraphs from start to finish, construct itemized data by utilizing lettered and numbered formatting, and arrange your writings by importance of order and content.

Preferred vs Identified

The VARK Questionnaire was founded in 1987 by Neil D. Fleming, as portion of a questionnaire that fosters learners in classifying their individual learning styles leading to optimal learning. A learning preference communicates the most operative and proficient method that a learner prefers to utilize to comprehend, develop, and collect and recall data. The author always considered themselves to be a visual and tactile learner. “VARK visual modality indicates that the learner prefers graphics in the form of maps, outlines, diagrams, graphs, charts, or videos to understand information, ideas, or concepts” (Whitney, 2018). The VARK results identified the author as a read/write learner. This modality recognizes the learner’s preference for the written word, such as texts, articles, lectures in prose, and compositions. Conversely, most learners classify themselves as kinesthetic learners who profit from individual practices, either imitation or genuine, that produce the sense of performing a task. It is very rare that learners classify with only one preferred learning method, but instead, a combination of methods referred to as multimodal. “Multimodal preference allows for varying preference of learning style based on the current learning task. Interestingly, the learner can change modality to accommodate learning based on attitude or motivation” (VARK.learn.com).

Learning Style and Education

Every person is “believed to acquire information in different ways, and no learning style is superior to others” (Zhu et. al, 2018). Urging every person to take full advantage of their own learning style is key. Individual learning styles affect the degree to which a learner can understand or perform educational activities. “An understanding of the learning styles and preferences helps to incorporate preferred methods and to make the teaching learning process more effective” (J.P. & Ranadev, 2018). The educator must be cognizant of how an individual learns. Determining a person’s learning style is essential prior to the planning and implementation of an educational plan. Presenting a properly devised plan will improve the probability of achievement for the learner. Learning patterns are developed as a child and the “learner” discovers what works best for his or her individual learning style. Assessment of a person’s learning style is essential for effective teaching to take place, which may necessitate more than one learning method to facilitate understanding.

Health Promotion

Lopez & Johnston (2019) state that health promotion is essential throughout lifestyle medicine. Identifying and employing the learning style of individuals involved in health promotion is key to attaining the anticipated outcome. “Ideally, the nurse should incorporate teaching methods and materials based on the preferred learning style once it is established; however, including all learning patterns should be considered best practice when instructing a group” (Whitney, 2018). Due to the several patient learning styles, nurses must be cognizant of an assortment of approaches to foster every patient’s specific educational requirements within health promotion. Remaining attentive to the differing styles of learning and individual partialities promote improved learning results and optimal patient outcomes. Learning styles affect the possibility for behavioral change by dictating whether a positive outcome will result. For behavioral change to take place, the educational plan must be constructed by employing the patient’s specific personal learning styles. If their learning styles are not considered while developing the plan of care, the preset behavior change goals are unrealistic and the teaching will be ineffective, leading to a low probability for success. As soon as the learning style is determined, the nurse adjusts the educational materials to the ideal style. For the visual learner, the nurse should supply resources for the patient to read or observe. The information should be systematized, stimulating, interesting, and simple to read. The availability of current technology offers numerous options to present to the visual learner. With auditory learners, the nurse should restate central ideas and queries in various ways to convey the proposed message. Varying the tempo, volume, and tone aid in generating a stimulating aural quality. A quiet setting, desirably with the capability to shut a door coupled with little to no diversions or distractions where the patient and family can hear the information, is vital while urging the patient to take notes on key points. To further help the auditory learner, include audiovisual aids of sounds, song, or dialogue. Kinesthetic learners favor recurrent breaks to get up and change positions. Nurses should urge the patient to jot down notes as they offer tactical and manual tasks. Offering examples enables the kinesthetic learner to rehearse what they are learning, which validates understanding via return demonstration.

No matter one’s stance concerning learning styles, there is no question that teaching has never been an easy subject of distributing information into like minds. As long as learners resume not existing merely as modest repositories of educator knowledge, inquiries concerning how the minds of various learners participate in distinctively individual ways within identical tasks will persist to contest educators.

References

J. P., G. A., & Ranadev, C. (2018). Learning Style(S) Preferences and the Perception of the Learner’s Learning Style with Academic Performance of Nursing Students in a Private University, Oman. International Journal of Nursing Education, 10(4), 48–52. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.5958/0974-9357.2018.00100.9

Lopez, T., Arlinghaus, K. R., & Johnston, C. A. (2019). Developing Adaptive Learning Environments to Support Long-Term Health Promotion. American Journal of Lifestyle

Medicine, 13(1), 30. Retrieved from https://lopes.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/

login.aspx?direct=true&db=edb&AN=133798349&site=eds-live&scope=site

Stirling, B. V. (2017). Results of a study assessing teaching methods of faculty after measuring student learning style preference. Nurse Education Today, 107. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2017.05.012

VARK-learn.com. (n.d.). Introduction to VARK: Do you know how you learn? Retrieved from http://vark-learn.com/introduction-to-vark/

Whitney, S. (2018). Health Promotion: Health & Wellness Across the Continuum. Teaching and learning styles. Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs429vn/health-promotion-health-and-wellness-across-the-continuum/v1.1/#/chapter/1

Zhu, H., Zeng, H., Zhang, H., Zhang, H., Wan, F., Guo, H., & Zhang, C. (2018). The preferred learning styles utilizing VARK among nursing students with bachelor degrees and associate degrees in China. Acta Paulista de Enfermagem, (2), 162. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1590/1982-0194201800024