Preferred Learning Style: Multimodal
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Grand Canyon University
August 22, 2013
Today more adults are returning to school for continuing education. It can be very difficult to juggle a full time job, school work, and still find time to spend with the family. Time management is of the utmost importance in order to be successful in furthering education. A student knowing his or her learning style could be an important first step in being successful. Learning style is the way a person absorbs and processes information to be used at a later time. For a student, knowing his or her learning style will enable them to make the changes needed to improve their study habits. Neil Fleming, an educator, launched VARK in 1987. It is a questionnaire used to assess learning styles. The questionnaire is free for use in schools and universities. VARK is an acronym for Visual, Aural, Read/Write and Kinesthetic. Fleming states that it is not a learning style questionnaire, it provides feedback only on one’s preferred modes of communicating. (. There are critics of learning styles. This could be because it is difficult to measure learning.
These critics say that knowing your learning style does not improve your way of learning and it is hard to dispute because there is no evidence to support this . However this learner feels that knowing her learning style will better enable her to adjust to the many demands of continuing education. Although there are four categories of learning preferences, there is also a multimodal learning preference. This preference integrates more than one preference of learning. Approximately 60% of any population fits into the category of multimodal learning preference (. This learner is a multimodal learner. Learners with multimodal preferences may adapt their mode of learning to the situation at hand. For example, if this learner is present in a class and the instructor is lecturing without any visual aids to assist in learning, then she may use the read/write learning style. She make take extensive notes in class then
go back and read all of the notes later. One down side to this method of learning can be the time restraint. If there is a lot of material to cover over a short period of time, then this method may not be best. According to the questionnaire, this learner is multimodal, with read/write and aural as the stronger learning preferences.
On this point she disagrees with the questionnaire, as she feels she is more visual than aural. She scored lower in kinesthetic but feels at times she is definitely a kinesthetic learner. It takes her back to her days in the military when the motto was “see one, do one, teach one.” This fits her especially when learning a new task, as she is very hands on. It goes along with the kinesthetic learner needing to do things in order to understand them. The questionnaire states that visual learner use pictures, posters, books with diagrams, graphs, and flow charts. They may also use different highlighters to emphasize different points. This learner does like the idea of pictures, slides, and flow charts but feels that graphs may be difficult to understand sometimes because the amount of information can be overwhelming at times. The multimodal learner can be placed in two categories. One category is the context specific learner. This type of learner chooses the mode that best fits the need at that specific time. Their scores on the VARK questionnaire are usually between 13 and 26. This learner tends to fall into this category now. The other category is the whole sense approach.
This type of learner uses a number of their modes of learning in combination and their scores on the VARK questionnaire are usually above 30. One disadvantage of this may be that the learner may not fully understand new material. Initially when this learner first returned to school for her Associates Degree in Nursing, she was this type of learner. It did not take long for her to adjust her study habits and find a learning style that was better for her. For the online courses of this nursing program, this learner has used more of the read/write mode of learning. This has worked best for her because of the fast pace of the classes and the amount of material covered. She does use more than one mode of learning when the situation requires it, and she feels that will be the case as the school year continues. The VARK questionnaire was very interesting. This learner was surprised the learning styles could be assessed from only a few questions, but the results were fairly accurate. In this fast paced course of study the learner feels that the results of this questionnaire and good time management will help her to be successful in this and upcoming classes.
Fleming, N. a. (2006). Learning StylesAgain: VARKing up the right tree!, Educational Developments . SEDA Ltd. Issue 7.4, 4-7. Reiner, C. &. (2010). The Myth of Learning Styles. Change. Retrieved from http://library.gcu.edu. VARK a guide to learning styles. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=multimodal.