Belize/Study Skills/Student Success/Learning Styles

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This course unit on Learning Styles and Study Skills contains two sessions:

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After completing this unit, you should be able to:
  • Apply an appropriate study strategy to your learning style;
  • Identify the study skills which contribute to being a successful student
  • Identify your learning strategy;
  • Identify and use a study strategy appropriate to your learning style.

Learning is a complex process that is constantly under study. There are many theories about how we learn. We usually talk about different pathways to learning, namely sight, sound, and movement. These three pathways translate into styles of learning, which are often labelled visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Once you recognise the way you learn, you can use the strategies that help you learn most effectively. In this unit we will be using a specific tool called VARK (Visual, Auditory, Read/write and Kinesthetic), which was developed to help people assess their learning styles and determine appropriate study strategies.

In addition, we recognize that most of you are trying to juggle the demands of work family life and study. In this unit we will try to identify the skills which you need to develop and enhance in order to be successful students.

VARK tells you something about yourself that you may or may not know. It can be used to understand your boss, your colleagues, your parents, your teacher, your relatives and yourself. It is a short, simple inventory that has been well-received because its dimensions are intuitively understood and its applications are practical. It has helped people understand each other and especially students to learn more effectively and teachers to become more sensitive to the diversity of teaching strategies necessary to reach all students.

You begin this session by going to the VARK website and completing a questionnaire to find out your learning preferences. We will explain the steps to access the questionnaire in this manual. Alternatively, you may log into Moodle and proceed to Unit 1 and follow the instructions there.

The VARK questionnaire

  • Please go to the VARK website, read the instructions and complete the on-line questionnaire.
  • After completing the questionnaire, you should receive scores and an indication of your learning style

The following self assessment activity will help you to better confirm your learning style and to pay more attention to study strategies.

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Self Assessment

Go to the Learning Styles website. This is a Learning Style Survey, which is a bit different from the VARK questionnaire you just completed. After you have completed the survey, your scores will be calculated automatically and reported on a webpage. You will have to download a brief report. Your preferred learning style will be identified together with suggested learning strategies. Compare the results of this survey with what you got from the VARK study.

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This session was intended to help you determine your learning style and be aware of the ways in which your learning style impacts on your study. You were introduced to VARK through the website and the questionnaire intended for you to identify your learning styles. You were also encouraged to find appropriate study strategies.