Introduction and Definition
Individuals exist in different personalities, exhibiting different capabilities and interests. The differences in people’s behaviors and attitudes have been studied in the area of education and the learning process. As a result, studies note that different people have different ways of efficiently learning and retaining new information. Therefore, it is very necessary for individuals to find out how best their brain works, which will ultimately explain their learning style. When individuals take time to examine themselves in terms of learning and retaining information, the knowledge acquired will assist them not only in terms of receiving and processing information but will also play a vital role in maximum career explorations and success. Conversely, technological developments and industrial revolutions have made distance education feasible. Consequently, through distance learning, education takes diverse approaches and communicative environments.
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According to Kia, Aliapour, Iran, and Ghaderi (2009, p. 24), the cognitive approach is an important theory of learning, which recognizes the essence of considering individual differences in any learning process. In the cognitive approach to education, differences in learning styles and strategies are employed in information dissemination (Pritchard, 2009, p. 17). Moreover, learning styles are defined in different ways. For instance, Kia et al. (2009, p. defines learning styles as, “individual ways in which people process information in learning concepts and principles.” Additionally, learning styles have been defined as, “individual characteristics or qualities which influence the ability of the learner in acquiring information, interacting with learners and teachers as well as their ability to take part in a learning process” (Jester & Miller, 2000, p. 1). Using the VARK assessment results, this paper presents an account of my personal learning style, which turns out to be the multimodal learning style. Accordingly, this paper looks at my preferable learning strategies in the multimodal learning style relative to the identified learning strategies.
A Summary of the Multimodal learning style
Studies note that there are many types of learning styles including visual, aural, read/write, kinesthetic, and multimodal (Fleming, 2011). Relative to the VARK assessment results, my learning style turned out to be the Multimodal learning style with strong preferences in aural, read/write, and kinesthetic (ARK) learning styles. The scores obtained during the assessment are: visual (6), aural (12), read/write (11), and kinesthetic (9). Accordingly, it is important to note that individuals who are multimodal are able to apply any of the four learning styles in any learning process. Thus, such individuals are like workers with diverse tools to do the same job. Moreover, they are able to successfully approach learning in different ways.
Conversely, aural learners are individuals who learn by interacting with others in a listening and speaking exchange. Such learners can benefit from attending lectures and getting involved in group discussions (Jester & Miller, 2000). In addition, aural learners tend to interpret the meaning of speeches by listening to the voice tone, pitch, and speed. Writing information or text does not make any meaning to these people until it is read out aloud. They recall information by memorization and using tape recorders to record and listen to the information later (LdPride, n.d.). On the other hand, people with preference for reading/Writing learn by processing information through reading the material several times. Here, emphasis is placed on the meaning of words. Therefore, such learners benefit when instructions are given in a written form so that they can read them over and over while analyzing the content (Fleming, 2011; Mixon, 2004, p. 50).
Further, kinesthetic learners grasp information by touching, moving, or doing something. These learners are always on the move. They process their information by exploring the physical environment and physical demonstration of concepts.
As opposed to other categories of learners, visual learners have to see the picture of the concept to analyze and learn from it. Thus, they learn best when information is presented visually and in written form. Such learners can benefit from teachers who present lectures using overhead transparencies (Jester & Miller, 2000). Some useful tools for visual learning include diagrams, illustrated textbooks, videos, flipcharts, movies, maps overhead transparencies, and handouts. Overall, visual learners tend to absorb information through detailed notes and diagrams connected to the main points (LdPride, n.d., Mixon, 2004, p. 48).
To this end, it is worth noting that multimodal preference learners are individuals who can use any of the aforementioned learning styles. Multimodal learners may approach information using either a specific approach, which entails applying the learning styles based on the subject/concept one is dealing with, or a whole-sense approach, which involves applying all learning styles to process information (Fleming, 2011).
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My preferred learning strategies
From the discussions above, it is apparent that my learning strategies relative to the multimodal learning style include reading, listening, using handouts, using illustrated textbooks, attending lectures where the instructor uses overhead transparencies, studying privately, and recording notes during lectures before reading them over and over.
My learning strategies against the identified learning strategies
Some of the identified read/write learning strategies include making lists, headings, and glossaries; writing out words several times; rewriting the ideas and principles using one’s own words; turning actions, diagrams, graphs, and charts into words; and arranging words into hierarchies and points (Fleming, 2011). Here, it is certain that the identified strategies totally contrast with my preferred learning strategies. Accordingly, the identified aural learning strategies include discussing topics with other learners and teachers; explaining new ideas and notes to other people; using tape recorders during lectures; summarizing notes into tapes and listening to the recordings later; expanding notes after lectures; and using textbooks (Fleming, 2011). Again, it appears that the identified strategies greatly differ from my preferred learning strategies except for using textbooks.
It then follows that my preferred learning strategies are limited in many ways while the identified learning strategies are vast and exploratory. As a result, there are some learning styles and strategies that I have never considered important, but then through this assessment exercise, I have discovered that learning entails employing diverse strategies relative to different learning situations, and this is the approach I intend to use in the future.
In this paper, the VARK assessment results show that my preferred learning style is the multimodal style with strong emphasis on read/write, kinesthetic, and aural learning styles. More importantly, the assessment shows my ability in applying different learning styles and strategies depending on what needs to be done. As a result, this assessment exercise has informed my insight into different and more important learning styles and strategies some of which I have never explored in the past such as the kinesthetic and visual learning styles. Overall, my approach to learning after this assessment will entail exploring more learning strategies regarding kinesthetic and visual learning styles as well as adopting more learning strategies from aural and read/write learning styles to add to those already existing.
Fleming, N. (2011). A guide to learning styles. Retrieved from (Insert the URL here)
Fleming, N. (2011). VARK: A review of those who are multimodal. Web.
Jester, C., & Miller S. (2000). Introduction to the DVC learning style survey for college. DVC Online. Web.
Kia, M. M., Iran, T., Aliapour, A., & Ghaderi, E. (2009). Study of learning styles and their roles in the academic achievement of the students of Payame Noor University. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 10 (2), 24-37.
LdPride. (n.d.). Learning styles explained. LdPride.net.
Mixon, K. (2004). Three learning styles: Four steps to reach them. Teaching Music, 11 (4), 48-52.