Sunday, April 22, 2007

VARK - Finding Out Your Learning Preferences

Sitting in class there are days when I wonder why I'm sitting here. Nothing seems to penetrate my brain and I feel like a class A dope. There might be a reason but it not because anybody in the program is stupid.

It might be a miss match in learning styles. If you are a reader but have to listen to a lecture then you are not going to take in as much information as a natural listener. That same listener may not do as well as a hands on person in an art class. We all have different ways of taking in and processing our experiences.

Now lets take this one step further. You are in the library. A patron comes up and ask for help finding cookbooks. You tell them go up the ramp, turn left and head for the 600s.

That was a spacial direction. They might have wanted help in finding an Italian cookbook. It does get tricky but there is a way for you to identify your learning style.

VARK-Learn has a free questionnaire on determining what your learning style is and how you process information. Personally, I think this kind of testing should happen at the grade school level and then we really could have effective teaching that worked with instead of in spite of the child's learning style.

You can answer the 16 questions to find out your learning style. Very few people are absolutely one style. You may be a combination visual/kinesthetic or an auditory/reader but one might take predominance.

Once you know this about yourself you can use it to be aware of how you deliver information or to have a few alternative methods to ensure communication and understanding.

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