Multimodal strategies, from the VARK website, are a combination of the other four learning preferences. This shows that these learners prefer to combine the various methods of studying, learning and remembering new information. I prefer to use different media and strategies to pass and also receive new information. Using and combining the various methods helps in ensuring high levels of information retention. From the survey, I scored the highest score for kinesthetic learning, and this is true as I prefer hands-on practical learning. Trying out whatever we are learning helps us understand better what we are doing, and do so in a faster way. Using multiple learning strategies is essential for more rapid learning and doing so in a more profound way. At a later date, it will be easier to recall the same information. In the instance that one learning strategy, such as aural, is not available, such learners can use comfortably shift to another learning style, or another combination (VARK, 2018). Multimodal learning strategies are critical for most learners as they give them a chance to be more aware of all the learning preferences (Walsh, Willard & Whiting, 2011). This results in their strong desire and ease in learning new material. In addition to that, from the VARK survey, it is evident that combining different learning modes is fundamental in ensuring a more balanced approach to studying, knowledge acquisition. This leads to even greater understanding and retention.
Comparatively, aural learning preference incorporates listening, discussions, talking and recalling strategies primarily. These are learners who learn best from the spoken word hence the facilitator or lecturer speaks aloud to be heard. It is important that aural leaners attend their classes without fail or else they will struggle to catch up with the rest. Attending class discussions and involving study groups is essential for these learners and ensures that they retain as much information as possible. Recitation, restating of the vital information in the learner's own words, and summarising of fundamental ideas is critical. Active listening is a skill that these learners have to cultivate to reap the maximum benefit from their classwork (VARK, 2018). People who prefer to learn aurally can sharpen their learning skills by speaking aloud to themselves, especially about the learning content.
Visual learning preference entails the depiction and presentation of information using charts, diagrams, flow charts, maps, labelled diagrams, hierarchies and pictures among other forms. These learners have a strong preference for visual learning designs such as PowerPoint presentations as opposed to traditional static lectures. The facilitator in this learning has to prepare for class and involve learning aids such as whiteboards and projectors. For maximum benefit, these learners have to sit near the front of the class or in a position where they will not be distracted by obstructions. As these learners tend to view information through their mind's eye, use of appealing colors and graphics, gestures and graphic language, application of different media such as pictures, video, slides and screenshots, and use of books with good views and diagrams may be helpful. Visual learners should not be distracted, and they should be allowed maximum time to absorb the information available. From the VARK website, it is noted that such learners can benefit by putting their summarized notes on tape, reading their notes aloud, and attempting to explain their work to another person (Walsh, Willard & Whiting, 2011).
Kinesthetic strategies, on the other hand, involve the application of senses, practical exercise, and manipulation of tools and learning aids. A significant characteristic of learners who prefer this mode is that they have a difficult time studying through the traditional lecture-based classwork and often moves more. Their brains and bodies are active and engaged. Their experienced hand and eye coordination can enhance their learning rates. This also relates to their excellent motor memory which makes it easy for them to duplicate and repeat something after doing it once. The preferred learning environments include laboratories, field trips, attending lectures with real-life examples, and hands-on experiences. In learning, therefore, more real examples and exercises make it easy to remember the content. Active use of lab manuals, use of pictures and photography and recall experiments can help such learners sharpen their knowledge and make it easy to recall (VARK, 2018).
Finally, read/write strategies is where the printed word is the preferred mode of conveying and receiving information. Such learners prefer to use lists, notes and other forms of the written word. Summarizing and writing down notes, lists, headings, glossaries and definition helps them to understand the content. Understanding information is more efficient when these learners read textbooks and recommended classroom texts. Rewriting down ideas and principles is essential for them to follow. Such learners prefer exams where they can write down their answers. They should practice more multiple choice questions, reading and writing down the content during practice (Pritchard, 2013). In the delivery of content, organizing the diagrams and other pictorial content into words is essential for these learners.
Pritchard, A. (2013). Ways of learning: Learning theories and learning styles in the classroom. Routledge.
VARK, (2018). The VARK Modalities. VARK.. Vark-learn.com. Retrieved 21 September 2018, from http://vark-learn.com/introduction-to-vark/the-vark-modalities/
Walsh, B. E., Willard, R., & Whiting, A. (2011). VAK self-audit: Visual, auditory, and kinesthetic communication and learning styles: Exploring patterns of how you interact and learn. Walsh Seminars Publishing House.
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