"Hello my name is Neil. I'm a left brain, visualist, slight extravert. I tend to intuitive, feeling and perceiving. I'm wholist, logical,-mathematical and reflective. I tend to deep learning. I'm somewhat of a theorist. But to adapt the retort of Patrick McGoohan's character from `The Prisoner', "I am a name not a label!".
There are many strategies about the ways of people learning. The VARK system is one of them developed by the Neil D. Fleming and Colleen Mills. The VARK system describes different ways of absorbing the information by the people. VARK stands for visual, aural, reading/writing and kinesthetic the four types of learning. Most people get information through these channels and each person has usually preferred format.
Visual learners learn when they see the material representation. They can learn from the diagrams, charts, maps, video and nonverbal sources. Books, speeches and text heavy sources are not the way to retain the information. They can remember the important numbers by picturing their figures on keyboards as they dial them.
Aural learners use the ways to hear the information and remember the sounds. They can remember and learn from the lectures and discussions. The numbers of phones are remembered by the tones when dialed.
Reading and writing learners love to use the texts and words. They use the ways of reading books and other journals and then write a summary about that reading. They write the important numbers in note books.
Kinesthetic learners like the information and remember the time where they were and how they felt to perform the new skills. They select best practices to remember the phone numbers and use the little finger dance. Learners have used many preferred modes to develop the effective learning. For this purpose the Kolb's work is important along with the Quite Learning Styles of Publication (Lockitt, 1997). This model uses the preferred ways of learning by seeing, hearing and doing etc.
VARK tests are also important to determine the preferences which are electronic and online versions (VARK, 2005). Mostly questions require the options of yes or no responses to be selected from number of possible answers. The language of the questions is quit subtle and ecological validity of the tool is questioned. Some of these tests are web based without any cost but majority of them are the copyright of the initiator and publishers. Many authors have set out the critical review of these learning styles (Klein, 2003). Teacher always start to teach their students according to their learning styles. The value of preferred learning styles can also be seen when students ask their teachers to teach them in most difficult and preferred styles. Students demand their teachers to explore their topics in a difficult style. Is it possible for the teachers to teach their every student in a preferred personal style of learning? The answer is "no" and matching of the preferred learning styles is needed for the teachers. Students ask a little various about their concepts during the week and matching concept is criticized as being the resource of hungry. A single teacher cannot teach every student in its preferred learning style.
In past several approaches are found in literature as James and Galbraith (1985) suggested that seven procedural modes are the source of the learning and identified as Perpetual Learning Styles. Another approach is used to sensory learning which is based upon the VARK model. Fleming and Mills (1992) have found that students prefer the dominant learning style out of four categories: visuall, aural, read/write and Kinesthetic (VARK). Tutors and mentors can help effectively to another people seeking the assistance because they know about the learning style theory. Instructors and mentors develop the dominant learning styles and can assess the learning preferences using the VARK model.
Learning theory reveals that a person's ability is judged not by the talent it possesses rather by utilizing the preferred ways of learning. Dias and Sousa (1997) have suggested that 80% of students are visual or kinesthetic learners while 20% students are auditory learners. It is appropriate to say that same place and routine can bore us so making good study habits guarantee the one's success. Students apply these habits to make success during the studies. We can change our study habits to achieve the success. Most adequate changes are following as Never try to study much at one time, it will tire you and this studying will not be effective. Make sure that you chose the shorter period of time, it will restore your metal strategy.
Study time must be related to schoolwork because it asks you to complete the assigned work. Making the routine of study at every day prepares us to begin the study and set goals of study focus and monitor our progress. Avoid procrastination because delays in study always take us to a loss and we found it hard to overcome it. Assignments are hard to complete and start the work with most difficult work. A student in the beginning of study has mental energy to complete the work. Seek timely help from other students because two heads are better than one.
In this paper we have discussed the VARK learning styles and important strategies. We have compared the preferred learning strategies with the identified strategies for our learning styles. Finally changes in study habits are included in this paper.