October 20, 2011

Effective Learning Skills? VARK!

Portfolio was on the 19th; tutor is Ceri Marriott.

Completed a VARK questionnaire; can’t say I think the results reflect terribly well (5/5/9/5) – while I am good at learning from reading (and recitation!), I learn better from worked examples and the Kinesthesia score is far too low for that! I’d agree on the low aural score if not the visual – after listening to someone talk for too long I feel my attention waning.

So, points:
1. Take advantage of synaesthesia of memory by associating words with colours/sounds/whatever – give yourself more mental hooks to connect ideas with
Don’t think this one needs explanation – it’s a simple trick. Hope it works :)
2. Try to remember things based on what was said, as opposed to what was written
This is trickier – I think it’s probably a good idea to develop my aural learning style as the majority of ideas are delivered in lectures. I think I’d currently learn the same amount if the noise in the lectures themselves was replaced with a dissonant buzzing so long as the same ideas were expressed in writing. Once again, taking things in in multiple ways should aid memory.

Going to stop there – shouldn’t ask too much at once, I think.

- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Nick

    There is a book called “The psychology of learning mathematics” which also contains some helpful tips. It’s not in print any more, but was written by a Warwick professor (Richard R. Skemp) so there may well be a copy in your library.

    21 Oct 2011, 10:30

  2. Ceri Marriott

    The VARK questionnaire is only one way of thinking about what sort of a learner you are, Chris – you could try out the Honey and Mumford Learning Styles Questionnaire if you wanted to identify your learning style using a different assessment method. (This categorises learning style descriptions as ‘Activists’, ‘Reflectors’, ‘Theorists’ and ‘Pragmatists’ and also suggests ways of improving your learning style.) As the information on the VARK handout indicates, many people have multiple approaches to learning. It may be that you readily understand information through reading and are able to process and recall this easily, even though you prefer worked examples to transfer knowledge from your short term to your long term memory.

    I’ll look forward to reading how you get on with focusing on synaesthesia and increasing your attention to aural input and how / whether this impacts on your learning.

    26 Oct 2011, 10:04

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