The idea of learning styles has been around for many years. Even though more than 50% of educators believe that learning styles affect the efficiency of learning, there is still no reliable evidence that learning styles can be beneficial for learners and educators (Newton & Miah, 2017). However, Fleming (2012) states that it is crucial to understand that the lack of evidence is not evidence of the lack of benefits. Fleming (2012) insists that learning styles are still beneficial for everyone, even though scientists failed to find any evidence. The present paper aims at determining my preferred learning style and discussing how it affects my ability to perform educational activities.
Determining Preferred Learning Style
There are many tests that help to determine the preferred learning style. One of the most reliable ways to identify the preferred learning style is the VARK Questionnaire. According to the questionnaire, my preferred learning style is multimodal (VARK, 2020). This implies that I learn new information when it is delivered in more than one sensory mode (VARK, 2020). I need to process the information in several ways to achieve a satisfying learning outcome. In particular, I need to combine charts, diagrams, trial, and error, listening, and watching somebody else doing it. According to VARK (2020), being a multimodal learner is not a rare phenomenon, as between 50% and 70% of people prefer more than one learning style.
According to VARK (2020), I need to combine different types of learning strategies to acquire the best results. I can use visual strategies by using pictures, diagrams, flowcharts, and maps. I should use different fonts and draw to enhance my learning. At the same time, multimodal learners can use aural strategies, such as entering study groups, trying to explain new information to other people, reading aloud, and listening to the recording of my own speech. Finally, I can use kinesthetic strategies, such as learning by trial and error and applying my knowledge to real-life situations. I can still use reading-and-writing strategies; however, they seem to be the least effective.
Even though I try to use a wide variety of learning strategies, I use reading-and-writing strategies most frequently. They appear the most convenient, as I can use them without the help of others and under almost any circumstances. Additionally, when I have time, I watch YouTube videos, analyze diagrams, and try to think of examples when I learn a new concept. However, the VARK test demonstrated that reading and writing is my weakest learning style. Thus, I need to think of discussing new material with my classmates and colleagues, seek to find applications to my knowledge, and listen to audiobooks more frequently to improve my learning outcomes.
Importance of Learning Styles
Even though the majority of educators agree that learning styles have a considerable impact on people’s ability to perform educational activities, scholars still doubt their effectiveness. In particular, scholars believe that the idea of learning styles I conceptually wrong, it pigeon-holes learners, wastes resources, and undermines the credibility of education (Newton & Miah, 2017). However, at least 33% of educators continue using learning strategies effectively (Newton & Miah, 2017). These educators believe that individual learning styles have a significant effect on the degree to which a learner can understand or perform educational activities (Sreenidhi & Tay, 2017). In particular, using inappropriate learning strategies undermines the ability of students to understand the new material.
Assessment of learning styles can be beneficial for both learners and educators. According to Sreenidhi and Tay (2017), “When an individual knows his or her preferred learning style(s), he or she is able to understand the type of learning that best suits him/her” (p. 18). The cornerstone is that students may find it easier to learn in their preferred learning style (Sreenidhi & Tay, 2017). Thus, if the educators identify the learning styles of the students, they can adapt their approach to teaching to maximize the benefits for learners.
Learning Style and Health Promotion
The understanding of learning styles is crucial in health promotion. In particular, understanding the learning styles may be beneficial for providing patient education to promote behavioral change. According to Plack and Driscoll (2017), the assessment of learning styles leads to a better selection of teaching strategies to provide appropriate patient education. Improved ability to transfer information to patients can lead to the promotion of behavioral change (Palck & Driscoll, 2017). However, varying the teaching style according to patients’ preferred learning styles may be difficult, especially when providing education to a group of people (Palck & Driscoll, 2017). Thus, educators need to understand that different patients have different learning styles and diversify their approach to the provision of patient education by including all types of teaching strategies.
Understanding learning styles can help to identify the best mix of learning strategies to improve learner outcomes. For educators, appreciation of learning styles can help educators to diversify their approach to teaching to help the learners achieve the best results. The analysis demonstrates that learning styles can help in health promotion and behavioral change. However, despite the fact that learning styles are a widely accepted idea, there is still little scientific evidence that confirms the matter.
Sreenidhi, S.K., & Tay, C.H. (2017). Styles of learning based on the research of Fernald, Keller, Orton, Gillingham, Stillman , Montessori and Neil D. Fleming. International Journal for Innovative Research in Multidisciplinary Field, 3(4), 17-25.
Newton, P. M., & Miah, M. (2017). Evidence-based higher education–is the learning styles ‘myth’ important? Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 444. Web.
Plack, M.M., & Driscoll, M. (2017). Patient education: Facilitating behavior change. Nurse Key. Web.
VARK. (2020). The VARK questionnaire. VARK-Learn. Web.