Learn, Do Not Copy!

Establish own learning style

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Learning styles describe the individual preferences we have for learning and retaining information. A particular learning style may be effective for one group of individuals but ineffective for another. For this assessment criterion, you will be required to establish and evaluate your own learning style using a recognised assessment tool. By understanding your own learning style, you will be able to approach your learning and development in the way that is most effective for you.

The VARK Model

One of the most widely used models for identifying learning styles is the VARK method (Fleming, 1987). Learners will usually have a preference for one of the four learning styles shown below.

  • Visual learners – learn best through images, graphs, charts and diagrams (e.g. looking at pictures of someone doing something)
  • Auditory learners – learn best through listening, speaking, discussing and verbal repetition (e.g. listening to an expert explain how to do something)
  • Read/write learners – learn best through reading and writing, which includes keeping notes (e.g. reading about how to do something)
  • Kinaesthetic learners – learn best through physical interaction, practical sessions and movement (e.g. learning by doing)

By completing a VARK assessment, you can identify your own preferred learning style. For individuals that have no clear preference, they are assessed as being either:

  • VARK Type 1 – learners will switch styles depending on the needs of the situation
  • VARK Type 2 – learners gather information using all learning styles and as such are thorough but may be slower in making decisions

When you have established your learning style, you should evaluate if it is congruent with your own preconceptions about how you learn. Also, think about the methods that you can use with respect to your learning style to be more efficient in your learning and development. For example, a read/write learner would read books on a subject to learn more about it, whereas an auditory learner would probably prefer the audiobook.

You can also use learning styles to promote support learning and development within your team. If you know an individual’s learning style, you can tailor their learning to their unique individual needs. For example, to teach a new skill to a team member you could give them information to read or images to look at, talk to them about it or observe them doing it, dependent upon their learning style.

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