VARK Analysis

VARK Analysis

NRS-429VN

Grand Canyon University:

People learn in different ways. A person’s learning style refers to the most effective way one processes, organizes and interprets information. One way to identify different learning styles is to use the VARK Modalities. VARK refers to four modalities: Visual, Aural/Auditory, Read/write, and Kinesthetic. Each modality defines a learning style unique to both the educator and the student. A person might also be multimodal, which is a combination of two or more modalities. Nurses need to be familiar with various learning styles. Understanding their own learning style, as well as their patient’s learning style, helps to achieve positive outcomes in patient education. Nurses serve as educators for health promotion. Health promotion is defined as, “the act of educating people about healthy lifestyles, reduction of risk, developmental needs, activities of daily living and preventative self care” (Whitney, Health Promotion Section, 2018). This writer is a student in a baccalaureate program and is a professional nurse. This dual role offers a look at both the learner objective, and the educator objective, of learning styles. Identification of learning styles is crucial to patient care, to patient education, and to enhancing patient outcomes.

The Read/Write Modality

This writer identified with the read/write modality under the VARK questionnaire. The read/write preference is simply defined as the person prefers to read and write. This modality describes people who like to use lists, and categorize things. They find meanings in headings, find clarity in writings, and argue rules/regulations due to wording. They tend to correct mistakes. They are also described as people that like to write/speak with challenging words. People with a read/write preference are organized. They like to list, number, use headings and bullet points, and write notes. In education, this person will read and write notes multiple times, do extra work, and will organize visual aids into statements. In the workplace, this person analyzes strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. They use risk analysis and management plans. They write lists of tasks and are familiar with business journals (VARK, 2019).

This writer does relate to the characteristics listed in the VARK analysis. Order, lists, prioritization, and knowledge are important to feeling in control. This writer tends to research and develop their own data, rather than taking the word of someone else as truth. The second highest modality score for this writer was the kinesthetic modality. Kinesthetic modality describes a person that uses experiences, simulations, demonstrations, case studies and applications as examples for learning. The kinesthetic modality also describes a person who will trust their own experiences over someone else’s experience (VARK, 2019). This ties in to the read/write modality.

This writer utilizes tons of lists in daily life. Organization is the foundation for every task. It is hard for this writer to be wrong. If a mistake is made, research is done to find out the correct answer. People that share knowledge and data are taken at face value. If information is important, this writer will double-check the data that was given before considering it to be true.

The Importance of Learning Styles

Identification of a learning style for the learner will further improve the quality of education. Information that is presented in a way that the learner can relate to will make a bigger impact on how much of the information is retained. Whitney states, “education expands thinking and enhances personal knowing” (Examination of Learning Types, 2018).

Educators that identify the learning style of their learners can help the learner achieve the goal or change that the education focuses on. Barriers to learning, like literacy, may block important information.

In health promotion, it is important for nurses to identify the learning styles of their patients so that positive patient outcomes can be achieved. Health promotion leads the patient to a better quality of life.

Health Promotion, Behavioral Change, and Desired Outcomes

Health promotion, as defined earlier, is educating patients on healthy lifestyles. Nurses have an important role in this education. Whitney states, “educating patients requires the establishment of learning and behavioral objectives aimed at moving patients toward their health-related goals” (Introduction, 2018). Quality education leads to positive patient outcomes. The goal of any education is to produce success. In order to achieve health promotion, the nurse must consider the patient’s level of motivation, level of engagement, their previous life experiences, and their ability to apply information they learn. Assessing the learning style of the patient occurs at admission. Any barriers to learning must be identified early. This allows the nurse to compile appropriate education for the patient. Once the learning style is understood, it is the responsibility of the nurse to provide evidenced-based practice education. This is education that is informed and based on current, most accurate medical information. “Use of evidenced-based practice means integrating the best research with clinical expertise and patient values to achieve optimal health outcomes” (Winters and Echeverri, 2019). It is also important for the nurse to work with the patient and their family to produce achievable goals. Patient participation in setting goals will also help the nurse assess the patient’s motivation and willingness to change. Desired outcomes will emerge when the nurse successfully identifies a patient’s learning style, uses the information to create a care plan, and works with the patient to set goals geared towards a healthy lifestyle.

Conclusion

VARK refers to four modalities of learning styles: visual, aural/auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic. This writer has a preferred read/write learning style. As both a student, and a professional nurse, this writer relates to the characteristics of the read/write modality. Learning styles are important to learners and educators. Identifying the best way to present information helps achieve the desired outcome. Nurses are educators of health promotion. They assess the patient’s learning style from the very first contact. The nurse then considers if the patient is motivated, engaged, and able to apply education. When the patient is ready, the nurse presents evidence-based practice education to better the quality of life for the patient. Patient care, patient education, and patient outcomes are all influenced by the definition of learning styles.

References

(2019). VARK Questionnaire. Retrieved from http://vark-learn.com/the-vark-questionnaire/

Whitney, Stacy. (2018). Teaching and Learning Styles. Health promotion: Health &

wellness across the continuum. Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs429vn/health-

promotion-health-and-wellness-across-the-continuum/v1.1/

Winters, C. and Echeverri, R. (2019). Teaching Strategies to Support Evidence-Based Practice.

Retrieved from http://ccn.aacnjournals.org/content/32/3/49.full