The VARK Questionnaire is a great tool to use when deciding what one’s best learning strategy is. There is no wrong way to learn, only what works best. This paper will focus on multimodal study strategies and how other learning strategies compare. Summary of Multimodal Learning There are many different study strategies out there. According to VARK, the main study strategies include: Aural, Kinesthetic, Visual, Read/Write and Multimodal. In this case, multimodal will refer to using both visual and read/write study strategies.
If one has many different ways they like to study they fit in to the multimodal category. “Approximately 60% of any population fits (this) category” (Fleming, 2001). Multimodal simply means that one utilizes more than one study strategy in order to learn certain subjects and/or material. Preferred Learning Strategies Visual learners prefer pictures, diagrams, graphs, flow charts, etc. For example, Jason wanted to score well on his exam. He used pictures and graphs he learned about in class, re-drew them repeatedly how he saw them, and chose the correct answer on the exam.
Neil Fleming, the author of VARK Questionnaire, stated that one is “often swayed by the way something looks…and is interested in color and layout and design and you know where you are in your environment” (Fleming, 2001). For example, note cards used would be color-coded. Read/write study strategies focus on lists and words. Jason and others that think this way believe that “meanings are within the words” (Fleming, 2001). Jason, in this case, would utilize handouts, dictionaries, textbooks, and notes for studying.
After reading these things through, Jason would then convert them into a way that was easy for him to understand. Diagrams, charts, and graphs would be turned into words and the meaning of the text would become much easier to understand. These words would then be written down on note cards to make for an easier and more efficient way of studying. With the combined visual and read/write study strategies, more of a secure feeling of knowledge is felt. In other words, the more ways he/she studies something; the more he/she will really learn it. Each student in a classroom has a unique and complex system of thinking and learning” (Lutz, 2011). Although multimodal studying works for Jason, it may not work for others. This is why there are several study strategies out there in order to cater to each unique individual. Comparison of Learning Strategies Two other study strategies that might help are Aural and Kinesthetic. “An aural learner soaks up information the easiest when it is presented in an auditory way. Speaking, listening and music all come naturally to the aural learner” (Priddy, 1999).
In other words, he/she learns best by listening. He/she might tape class lectures, get together with a group to talk about certain subjects, or read their notes out loud when studying for an exam. Kinesthetic learners “learn best when they discover things by doing them” (CLARE, 2010). If he/she is a kinesthetic learner, it might be hard to sit still in class and he/she will rarely take notes. He/she learns best by being active, physically. If he/she were this type of learner, it would help to make flash cards, and study for short periods over time.
It is best to ask for help in class by way of examples. The more examples there are, the better. When comparing Jason’s preferred multimodal method of learning with the other above mentioned study strategies, multimodal works best for him. This is because he is able to combine more than one study strategy in order to achieve success in the learning environment. With multimodal referring to both visual and read/write study strategies in this case; VARK is spot on when detailing what works best for these learners.
Visual, Aural, and Kinesthetic study strategies my be useful but will not give Jason the results that his multimodal study strategies do. Study Habits Emphasis with these study strategies would be on utilizing highlighters, symbols, pictures and re-writing/re-reading notes over and over again (Fleming, 2001). However, one thing that Jason might want to include would be to imagine notes he made as multiple-choice questions in order to test himself on the info that has been collected. This is done in order to make sure that he is on the right track with his information.
When in doubt always ask questions! Conclusion In conclusion, The VARK Questionnaire is indeed the best way to find out what one’s best learning strategy is. Not everyone learns the same way and it is because of that these learning strategies are out there. Multimodal studying works best for Jason but may not be the best choice for others. Find out what is, mold it in to a specialized, individual study plan, and stick with it. There is no wrong way to learn, only what works best. References CLARE. (2010, December 13).
The study gurus: study advice for kinesthetic learners. Retrieved from http://www. thestudygurus. com/kinesthetic-study-tips/ Fleming, N. (2001). Vark: A guide to learning styles. Retrieved from http://www. vark-learn. com/english/page. asp? p=helpsheets Lutz, D. (2011, September 09). Learning strategies. Retrieved from http://www. seenmagazine. us/articles/article-detail/articleid/1663/multi-modal-learning-strategies-for-all-students. aspx Priddy, B. (1999). ehow: Aural learning style. Retrieved from http://www. ehow. com/about_5472528_aural-learning-style. html
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