As analysis of the VARK questionnaire reveals one challenge facing students and educators today is: awareness and adaptation to individual learning styles, preferences and strategies. This paper will compare and contrast the five different learning styles: visual, aural, read/write, kinesthetic and multimodal as they apply to an actual questionnaire result. In addition, it will discuss how the awareness of these individual learning attributes have and will continue to influence the future of teaching and learning.
To better understand the VARK concept in its entirety, an individual must complete the multiple-choice sixteen question survey which then provides a sample of his or her learning style. In addition, an explanation of the trend identified is provided for cross-reference. Completion of the questionnaire by this writer provided an identified multimodal (aural, read/write, kinesthetic) learning preference. In short, the multimodal approach is any combination of the four learning styles. This blended learning method can be utilized one of two ways: (1) the learner requires the same content to be presented in several of the learning modes in order to comprehend it; or (2) the learner can understand the material when presented in any single component of the multimodal domain (Fleming, 1992, p.137).
As a student, this assessment of learning style was interesting as the read/write technique had already been assumed to be the strategy of choice for individual learning preference. This assumption was made from endless in-class note taking and homemade index cards listing every important detail of the subject to be learned. The VARK questionnaire assisted in providing self-reflection and a new awareness of personal learning strategies. It is easy to imitate the learning strategies of other individuals that are emulating success, all while losing the strategy that works best for the particular individual attempting to learn.
Preferred Learning Strategies