The VARK Questionnaire: Learning Styles

Introduction

The VARK Questionnaire is a helpful tool that is used to determine a person’s learning style and to provide him or her with important suggestions regarding the application of appropriate learning strategies. It is possible to distinguish between aural, visual, kinesthetic, read-and-write, and multimodal styles (The VARK questionnaire, 2017). The purpose of this paper is to summarize the preferred learning style, describe favorite learning strategies and those strategies that are associated with the specific learning style, and discuss the role of knowing a person’s style in teaching and learning.

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Summary of the Learning Style

The identified learning style can be discussed as associated with a multimodal learning preference where aural and read-and-write styles play a more important role in comparison to visual and kinesthetic approaches. The multimodal learning preference is characterized by an ability to learn the information that is presented in different forms (Jindal, Kharb, & Samanta, 2013). For such learners, the material should have various elements, for instance, written and visual arts to be understood and analyzed effectively. In this particular case, the multimodal learning preference means the focus on the material that is provided in a written form, that can be read, and that can be presented in the form of lectures or discussions. However, the multimodal learning style also means that in situations when written and audio materials are supported by visual elements and models, the information can be learned even more successfully.

Preferred Learning Strategies

Persons with a multimodal learning style can have a lot of preferred learning strategies. It is possible to name some of them. The first technique is the reading of textbooks and articles that have many visuals of different types. The second technique is the use of PowerPoint Presentations that include the written material and visuals and that are accompanied by audio files. One more preferred strategy is the use of notes and mind maps during lectures to write down and visualize the material in the most appropriate form (Prithishkumar & Michael, 2014). Even though the identified learning strategies are not numerous, they are helpful for a person who has a multimodal learning preference and wants to work with different formats of the provided information simultaneously.

Comparison of Learning Strategies

After completing the VARK Questionnaire, it is possible to examine learning strategies that are proposed to address different individuals’ needs. For a person who demonstrates a multimodal learning preference, the combination of aural, visual, kinesthetic, and read-and-write strategies is offered. It is possible to compare them with the strategies determined as preferred ones. Thus, according to the provided recommendations, learners will benefit from making lists and notes, using handouts, and writing essays. Therefore, it is important to cut notes to organize them most efficiently. To use notes actively, it is necessary to reread them and design diagrams.

The next set of recommended learning strategies is associated with an aural learning preference (The VARK questionnaire, 2017). Learners need to have such style to attend classes and listen to lectures, discuss different topics, and describe experiences. An important strategy that is not included in the list of preferred ones is the use of a tape recorder. It is possible to state that the described preferred and recommended strategies are rather similar because of their focus on using notes and attending classes or lectures to listen to a speaker. However, it is also possible to improve learning while using tape recorders and support the audio material with short notes.

Awareness of Individuals’ Learning Styles

It is important to pay attention to the fact that the awareness of individual learning styles and selected strategies can affect the quality of teaching and learn significantly. While referring to learners, it is possible to state that, to synthesize facts and remember the material effectively, people need to apply preferred learning strategies. However, many young persons or adults do not know what type of preferences is associated with their learning. Therefore, it is important to use instruments similar to the VARK Questionnaire to contribute to the learner’s awareness of his or her preference. In this case, it is possible to improve study results and the quality of learning in general (Bennadi, Kashinath, Bharateesh, & Kshetrimayum, 2015). Furthermore, the understanding of different learning styles is also important for teachers who need to use a variety of approaches in their work to address diverse learners’ needs. Thus, when teachers are aware of students’ learning styles in their classroom, the quality of the proposed study materials increases, and this fact can contribute to learners’ outcomes.

Conclusion

To determine an individual learning style, it is necessary to use an available instrument. After identifying learning preferences, it is possible to concentrate on strategies that are proposed to improve learners’ outcomes. In this case, it is necessary to understand what learning strategies can be discussed as preferred ones and what other techniques can be used to improve the quality of learning and personal experience.

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References

Bennadi, D., Kashinath, K. R., Bharateesh, J. V., & Kshetrimayum, N. (2015). Assessing learning preferences of dental students using visual, auditory, reading-writing, and kinesthetic questionnaire. Journal of Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry, 13(2), 163-168.

Jindal, M., Kharb, P., & Samanta, P. P. (2013). Comparative analysis of instructional learning preferences of medical students of first and seventh semester. International Journal of Physiology, 1(2), 32-48.

Prithishkumar, I. J., & Michael, S. A. (2014). Understanding your student: Using the VARK model. Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, 60(2), 183-188.

The VARK questionnaire. (2017). Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, March 21). The VARK Questionnaire: Learning Styles. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/the-vark-questionnaire-learning-styles/

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "The VARK Questionnaire: Learning Styles." March 21, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/the-vark-questionnaire-learning-styles/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'The VARK Questionnaire: Learning Styles'. 21 March.

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