VARK is a comprehensive approach and guide meant to analyze an individual’s learning styles. It includes visual, aural, read or write, and kinesthetic types of learning. Understanding unique methods of learning helps to improve how one goes about receiving and giving information that has tremendous applications in academic and professional development.
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The VARK modality that was outlined as a result of the questionnaire was the read/write approach. Students adhering to this learning style have a preference for the use of text-based input and output, rather than visual forms. This mode is the most traditional, used in the majority of academic and professional contexts. It is often sought after by employers. Information is recognized and processed through the use of words, which can be found in textbooks, reports, manuals, and essays. Students with attributes in the read/write mode have significant use of various text-based media, including internet search databases, PowerPoint, and other materials available online (“The VARK modalities,” n.d.).
Reading/writing helps the student succeed in lecture style environments and is helpful for taking notes and recording information. The use of notes helps to reinforce information and used for studying later. Students succeed through the use of various tools such as dictionaries and glossaries. In order for such individuals to efficiently process the information, they need to understand the meaning of terms. The reading/writing learning style encourages constant reading and recognition of concepts through text. This is essential in order to translate abstract concepts into words which is an extremely daunting task.
The preferred learning styles of the individual student are using a combination of text-based and visual media. It is most helpful to read about a specific subject or concept to grasp its fundamental basics. However, depending on the subject matter, it may require additional visual aid or hands-on practice in order to grasp it completely. It is most evident in mathematics, where simply reading the explanation is not enough to understand its practicality.
The student also perceives information well through the use of written lists and directions, which outline step-by-step a specific method or concept. The student actively expresses any ideas, including cognitive or emotional, through the writing of essays. It helps to efficiently structure any thoughts in a coherent manner, which the student can review and quickly grasp after reading. The student’s learning preferences have allowed to maintain a level of independence in academics as any new concepts could be understood from the learning material with more depth than regular classroom lectures. The student sought intellectual challenges in all life and academic activities to acquire knowledge through reading.
The preferred learning styles strongly matched with those identified by the VARK system. The intake of information using textbooks, readings, manuals is accurate with the benefit of lists in order to structure the information. To comprehend information, the student learns best by writing out the text (or taking notes) and rereading personal writing. Diagrams and graphs are used to support the learning process, but still, require translation into words to gain the best understanding of the concept. The output is characterized by written exam answer or practice of multiple choice questions. The organization is key through the use of lists, headings, and argument points (“Read/write strategies,” n.d.).
The preferred strategies generally matched identified strategies because this is the most fundamental and traditional style of learning. The only difference was that the preferred strategies indicated the use of visual diagrams and practical applications in specific subject matters. It would make little sense to translate a visual diagram into words unless it was necessary to analyze it.
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Almost half of the students generally have a uni-modal learning style with about 21.7% having the reading/writing approach (Sarabi-Asiabar et al., 2014). Learning styles have also been attributed to having a connection to gender. In teaching, having an awareness of personal and student’s learning styles can help to develop an instructional method and teaching techniques that promote the best capabilities in students.
Although a classroom setting may have students with a variety of learning styles, it helps to find individual approaches to the troubled student or provide a multi-modal instruction method so that all students feel included. Understanding strategies can enhance the learning experience by applying different instructional methodologies such as lectures, interactive tutorials, experimental methods, and independent self-study (Kharb, Samanta, Jindal, & Singh, 2013).
In learning, strategies are a combination of patterns and combinations of educational activities used during the instructional process. The quality of learning outcomes depends on the strategies used by individual students. Students generally can partially regulate these strategies based on individual approaches to learning while the instructional learning process controls the other part. Knowing one’s learning style with appropriate strategies can help approach the educational process with an absolute advantage in order to incorporate techniques that contribute to the best processing of information.
Furthermore, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the individual learning style helps to have some flexibility so that students can optimize each instructional situation to their benefit (Bhagat, Vyas, & Singh, 2015).
Bhagat, A., Vyas, R., & Singh, T. (2015). Students awareness of learning styles and their perceptions to a mixed method approach for learning. International Journal of Applied and Basic Medical Research, 5, S58–S65. Web.
Kharb, P., Samanta, P. P., Jindal, M., & Singh, V. (2013). The learning styles and the preferred teaching—Learning strategies of first year medical students. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 7(6), 1089–1092. Web.
Read/write strategies. (n.d.). Web.
Sarabi-Asiabar, A., Jafari, M., Sadeghifar, J., Tofighi, S., Zaboli, R., … Shams, L. (2014). The relationship between learning style preferences and gender, educational major and status in first year medical students: A survey study from Iran. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 17(1), e18250. Web.
The VARK modalities. (n.d.). Web.