James A. Hickok
Grand Canyon University
April 4, 2015
It is commonly understood that everyone does not learn in the same way. Tailoring the manner in which education is presented can determine the instructor’s and the student’s success. There are several tools that teachers and students can use to assist with this process. Among these tools is the VARK Questionnaire. The VARK Questionnaire is a survey that can help determine the preferred learning style of an individual. This paper will discuss the author’s results of this questionnaire. Compare some of the learning strategies suggested to the preferred learning style. It will discuss how the knowledge of the different learning styles can influence how teaching is presented.
The VARK Questionnaire is a survey tool developed in 1992. The assessment categorizes the individual’s results into five styles of learning. They are as follows: Visual, Aural, Reading, Kinesthetic and Multimodal. A learner with who has a visual style of learning best comprehends seeing diagrams and graphs. A learner with an aural learning preference best comprehends hearing information. A learner with a reading style preference best comprehends with written directions and lists. A learner with a kinesthetic style preference best comprehends with a hands on approach. The last style of learning presented is the multimodal or mixture style. This style a learner does not utilize just a single style. But instead may switch styles depending on the task. (Fleming & Mills, 1992) The VARK website states that learning is not static and life is “multimodal”. This is to mean that an individual’s preferred learning style is not the only way they can learn, but the best way for them to learn.
According to the results of the VARK questionnaire the author’s preferred style of learning is kinesthetic. Learners with this preferred style are often referred to as “hands on” learners. With this style of learning and individual utilizes the sensation of touching and seeing examples to learn. The tactile nature of this style can pose challenges for a student in the traditional classroom setting. Where other styles of learning can be accomplished with reading and listening, a kinesthetic learning best comprehends moving around and manipulating objects. (Fetter, 2012) This author has had success utilizing this approach to learning in the past. While studying the author will walk around while reading, listening to music. This is not acceptable in most traditional classroom environments. The author has approached the traditional classroom experience by actively listening, making flashcards, and by participating in demonstrations. It is very difficult to sit still and just learn by reading only. Comparing the strategies recommended by the results of the VARK Assessment draws some interesting parallels to the authors past experience. Some of the recommendations that the VARK website offers is laboratories, field trips, and lecturers who give real life examples. It also states that role play scenarios help to seat the memory for recall later. These strategies all hold true with the authors’ experience. It is easier for the author to retain information that is tied