The VARK is developed by Neil D. Fleming in 1987. The VARK test is found out the personal learning preference by a questionnaire with 16 questions. The VARK classified 4 different types of learning preferences, Visual (V), Aural (A), Read/Write (R) and Kinesthetic (K). Each of the preference represents that the corresponding methods that the person would be the more preferable in learning. In other words, these methods could provide the more effective mode to learn. The understanding of the learning preference could assist a person to choose the better media to learn and also imply the suitable teaching approach for that person. The following explains the details of the VARK and their learning mode.
The people with the ” Visual” preference imply they are able to capture the information from the graphs, flow chart and other types of graphical tools more effective than other learning ways. When they learn, they should try to transform the notes to be more visualized, such as pictures, diagram or link the information to be a whole drawing.
The people with the ” Aural” preference imply they are able to capture the information through the listening and the discussion more effective than other learning ways. They preferred to learn from hearing the speech of the teacher in the class and discussion within classmates. They are also good in learning using the e-mail and Web-chat with the chat-style informal language. When they learn, they could try to record the speech and repeat the listening or they can take the notes with their own wording.
The people with the ” Read/Write” preference imply they are able to capture the information by the typical text-based reading and writing method more effective than other learning ways. They preferred to learn from taking the notes and reading the materials given by the teachers. Obviously, this is the most common teaching method of today because most of the students are supposed to be good in learning by reading and writing. When they learn, they should still organize the information in well-structured instead of just repeating the notes provided by the teacher.
The people with the ” Kinesthetic” preference imply they prefer to capture the information by practices and by examples than other learning ways. They like to experience what they learnt and connected to the reality. They are strong in applying the knowledge to the real situations and learnt during the implementation. When they learn, they should learn from the real case or deal with practical problems.
After completed the questionnaire of the VARK, I found that I got the highest score, 9, in the ” Aural” and the lowest score in the ” Visual”, 3.
My VARK results
396I agreed that ” Aural” would be my learning preference. Actually, I like to adopt the information and knowledge from the speech of the teacher during lecture. I would like to share my ideas and thoughts with my classmates with discussion after the class. I would listen to others very carefully to avoid misunderstanding. I usually speak much during discussion and repeat asking the questions until I fully understood the opinions, which quite matches with the learning behavior that describes of ” Aural” in VARK. However, I don’t like either taking the notes in the class or reading the text-book alone. I found that this is hard for me to understand the knowledge or theories by reading the text. I attempted to focus on reading but it is not easy to organize the information in my mind. I would try to think about the practical case to understand what I was reading. I could learn faster and better when I have some real problems that required the knowledge and theories to solve. I could understand and remember the information when it is able to map the information to the real cases. Therefore, I believe myself would prefer to learn by practice, ” Kinesthetic”, rather than ” Read/Write”. Since I am not a student with the reading and writing style, I don’t like to draw the diagram too. I could not transform very well to organize the information into a flow or graphic. It does not help me to understand the knowledge but create another barrier in learning in my point of view. The VARK results are basically matching my self-observation. I think this is not only telling me my learning preference but also my communication preference.
About HONEY & MUMFORD Questionnaire
Honey & Mumford Learning Style Questionnaire (LSQ) was developed based on the Kolb Learning Style Inventory (LSI) by Peter Honey and Alan Mumford. The Honey & Mumford defined 4 types of learning styles. They are Activist, Theorist, Pragmatist and Reflector. Similar to the key objective of other learning style analysis models, Honey & Mumford advises the person about his/her learning preference so that he/she could use the proper methods to learn more effectively.
The people with the ” Activist” learning style imply they would learn by acting and like to experience everything new. They are open-minded and able to accept new challenges rapidly. They prefer to try first before planning or thinking about the next actions. They don’t prefer to apply the theory to tackle problems but prefer by the brainstorming. They like the group activities so that they could keep exciting from the new challenges.
The people with the ” Theorist” learning style imply they would learn well by building up the models and concepts. They prefer to learn the theory and analyze the problem completely at first before taking any action. They would feel comfortable if they could build up the information in logical forms, such as the principles and theories. They need to act very logically and objectively. They just reject anything with subjective judgments and lateral thinking.
The people with the ” Pragmatist” learning style imply they would learn by attempting to apply the knowledge in the real situation. When they learn the new knowledge or theories, they would try to experiment those things in solving the real problem. If they found the techniques do not work in practice, they will discuss and try to find the better way.
The people with the ” Pragmatist” learning style mean they would like to collect sufficient information with different perspectives before drawing any conclusion or taking any action. They prefer to take no action until they believe themselves understanding the entire situation thoroughly. They present their ideas as the last after everybody have expressed the ideas to avoid making quick conclusion. They may prefer to keep low profile and even keep some distance to the other. However, they like listening the ideas and observing action of others.
After completed the questionnaire in the Honey & Mumford, I found that I got the highest score, 14, in the ” Activist” and the lowest score in the ” Reflector”, 11.
11LowI am not surprised that the results show my learning styles most likely are ” Activist” and ” Pragmatist”. Actually, I quite enjoy having the new challenges from time to time. When there is a new problem, I would spend only limited time to think about the approach. I prefer to deal with the problem by trial-and-error method. I would think many alternatives to see if any of them could solve the problem. I like to have the discussion with others to see if any possible solution rather than looking for the solution from the book or Web. These behaviors are typical style of ” Activist” I believe. If someone telling me the method and knowledge to solve the problem, I would try to apply to the case at once. I would not try to understand the theory behind at the beginning. What I am concern is if the problem could be really solved. That is exactly what the ” Pragmatist” to be described. However, after the problem was solved, I would usual to look back the methodologies and the theories that solving the problem. It is because I would like to apply the knowledge in next time. It is something like the lesson-learn and I want to improve myself after the action taken. That’s why the questionnaire resulted I am also the ” Theorist”. I am a person to share my opinions at once during the discussion. I would just speak out what I am thinking in my mind without too many considering other perspectives. I believe this is the value of an open discussion. Therefore, I agreed that I am not the ” Reflector” Overall, I think the results of Honey & Mumford quite match with my personalities. It also brings me new ideas to improve myself. That would be discussed in later section.
About MMDI (Mental Muscle Diagram Indicator) Test
The MMDI is developed based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®). The MBTI makes use of the theory of psychological types developed by C. G. Jung to describe the essential preferences and perceptions in personality. Both MMDI and MBTI describe 16 types of personality (Table 1-1) with combinations of 4 elements with following 8 preferences. E or I (Extraversion or Introversion)S or N (Sensing or Intuition)T or F (Thinking or Feeling)J or P (Judgment or Perception)
Introverted Sensingwith Thinking
Introverted Sensingwith Feeling
Introverted Intuitionwith Feeling
Introverted Intuitionwith Thinking
Introverted Thinkingwith Sensing
Introverted Feelingwith Sensing
Introverted Feelingwith Intuition
Introverted Thinkingwith Intuition
Extraverted Sensingwith Thinking
Extraverted Sensingwith Feeling
Extraverted Intuitionwith Feeling
Extraverted Intuitionwith Thinking
Extraverted Thinkingwith Sensing
Extraverted Feelingwith Sensing
Extraverted Feelingwith Intuition
Extraverted Thinkingwith IntuitionTable 1-1: Myers Briggs personality types (Source: http://www. teamtechnology. co. uk/myers-briggs/myers-briggs. htm)
E or I (Extraversion or Introversion)
The people with personality of extraversion imply they would put the energy to the social activities and focus on what happening in the outer world. They prefer to action instead of thinking. They like to work in group and enjoy the time to stay with people. On the other hand, the people with personality of extraversion imply they would put the energy to the inner thinking and focus on the ideas and deal with information by their own. They prefer to learn and work alone rather interactive with others. (5)http://www. myersbriggs. org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/extraversion-or-introversion. asp
S or N (Sensing or Intuition)
The people with personality of sensing imply they would focus on the facts and what actually happened in the real world. They believe what they could be clarified rather than what the book says. They prefer following what they had known and experienced even when solving brand new problem. On the other hand, the people with personality of intuition imply they would try to fully understand the meaning of the information before taking action. They would try to think new ideas or new approaches to solve the problems by generating new possibilities from the information they had. They would spend the time to build up the entire picture by looking into unknown. (5)
T or F (Thinking or Feeling)
The people with personality of thinking imply they would make the decision in more logical way. They prefer to use the systematic approach to analyze the best decision. They don’t like the decision would be influenced by both their own biases and others. They want the decision and following actions they took could be explainable based on the advantageous facts and truth. On the other hand, the people with personality of feeling imply they would make the decision in more considering in their own beliefs or the feeling of those people who involved in the situation. They are trying to make everyone feels comfortable and keep harmony. The decision may not be logical or based on the truths but this is not what they most concern.
J or P (Judgment or Perception)
The people with personality of judgment imply they prefer a stable and organized living style. They like to make the decisions confirmed as soon as possible and the follow the planned tasks and activities to work and life. On the other hand, the people with personality of perception imply they would keep the options open until they think the sufficient information has been collected. They like to keep the flexibility for changing if needed. They prefer to put the decision to be confirmed at last minute or even try not to plan too much for work and life.
I basically agreed with the test results that my leadership style is ” Action-oriented”. I am an outgoing person and like to work with people (Extraversion). I would try to solve the problem initially by my experience without studying from the book and Web. I prefer to deal with the problem directly and would not think about the theory or methodology at first (Sensing). However, I would also think about the new possibility and find out the alternative ways to solving the problem (Intuition) so that I think myself is with the types of both ” Sensing” and ” Intuition”. When I making decision, as similar as the typical ESFP, I usually consider what I believe in and subjective feelings. I am rare to analyze the pros and cons of the issue. I tend to ask the opinions from other people and ask for their feelings for different options (Feeling). I don’t claim myself is ” Perception” because I would try to organize the tasks and schedule the daily activities. I would feel more comfortable when I got a plan. Although I am often unable to follow the plan or I would let some issues to be flexible, I would prefer to have a plan at all. Therefore, in my thought, I am with the ” Judgment” style but in practical, I am the ” Perception” style. The results show me I am with the personality of ESFP. It implies that I am a person who would focus on outer world and like to interact with people and make decision using personal preferences and considering the feeling of others. The person with ESFP would prefer to deal with the practical issues with tangible outcomes by using the flexible working style without too many planning. However, I would claim myself would be more likely both the ESFP and ENFP in the real life. http://www. teamtechnology. co. uk/careers/esfp. php
About BELBIN Inventory Test
The Belbin test was developed by Dr. Belbin. Belbin identifies 9 different roles that the team members would behave. Each role represents the special characteristics and major contributions that in the team. The 9 roles are Plant (PL), Resource Investigator (RI), Co-ordinator (CO), Shaper (SH), Monitor Evaluator (ME), Teamworker (TW), Implementer (IMP), Completer Finisher (CF) and Specialist (SP).
I got the highest score in the ” Specialist (SP)” and lowest score in ” Completer Finisher (CF)” (http://www. belbin. com/rte. asp? id= 3)
108510251070905100I have never thought myself as a preferred roles in specialist but it seems that it describes my characteristics are single-minded and dedicated instead of a real expert in particular knowledge. The result also advises that I am not a good player in ” CF”. It is true that I am not a patient person to search for the mistakes and omissions for others. However, I am a hardworking person and conscientious, which are the common comments from my friends. I would try to deliver the outcome on time but I would try to accomplish it by assigning the others to response for their own jobs. Therefore, I only partially agree the result telling me the ” CF” is my least preferred role. From the results, my preferred roles seem in 2 extreme characteristics in the team roles. I got score over 70 in RI, TW, IMP and SP but PL, CO, SH, ME and CF less than 25. I am not good in solving difficult problem and not confident. It may be due to my weakness in analytic skills and hence it would be the reason that I am not suitable to drive the team to over the obstacles, question the accuracy and find out the errors. However, I would definitely be a good team member. This is agreed by my classmate and colleague that I am cooperative and willing to work. I am able to communicate with other and execute the actions with good discipline.
Implication for my learning
I am good in listening to others and driving the discussion (VARK). I am an action-oriented person which my friends and I are totally agreed. I would try to take action at first and then see what will happen. I am rare to think about the entire plan. I used to apply the knowledge to solve the practical problem (Honey & Mumford). I have a strong sense of immediacy and urgency as I would not spend too much time to analyze the pros and cons when making decision (MMDI). I would allow subjective feelings to be one of the decision-making factors. Although I may not be good leader, I am a hardworking team member (BELBIN). In my personality and learning style test, I am weak in the reading and writing. I like to take action and apply the theory rather than remember the theory. Obviously, the formal learning is not suitable for me and I strongly believe that why I did not get good results in the traditional education in my secondary school. With the style of ” Aural” and ” Activist”, I should join the presentation, group discussion and role-play to be my major learning activities. In the studying, I should try to spend more time to think about how to apply the knowledge in the real situation rather than try to remember the theory or the text from the books. It would be more effective for me to study by the case analysis. I should use the approach of brainstorming and discussion to solve the problem. In a team, I can contribute by involving member in the discussion and increasing the team morale by building up a humor atmosphere. As an action-type person, I could keep the approach to be practical and executable. However, I used to take action but in fact most of the knowledge has to read and understand the meaning at the beginning so that I would have the objective and theory to coach my actions to approach the success. It would be a barrier for me to learn effective when I am too focuses on the practical but missing the logical method. As advised by the BELBIN, I could take more opportunities to work with someone who is good in logical thinking and serious minded so that I can overcome this weakness by learning from the strength of others.
Part 2: Implications for career choice
The globalization drives the quick development of the knowledge-based economy. The fast growing in the information technology also changes the operations of business rapidly. The skills required in working environment are being changed from time to time. No skill is never changed today. The ability to learn and adapt new knowledge and skills are more important than ever. (MarjanM Laarajal na nLda aPle /y mPraonc Sedailaa m–a Stoi c/ iParl oacnedd iBae -h Saovicoiaral la Sncdi eBnecheasv 0io0r (a2l0 S1c1ie) n0c0e0s– 3010 0(2 012) 399 – 403)The lifelong learning (LLL) includes the skills, knowledge and training that the people acquire in daily-living. The learning could be in the contexts of formal, informal and non-formal (Tissot, P., 2004). The formal learning covers the structured context in an organizations, educational institutions and in-house training that the formal recognition and certificate after the completion. Non-formal learning covers the skills and knowledge that people acquire in the planned activities. The informal learning is the various knowledge that acquiring from daily life. There are 2 types of knowledge, explicit and tacit, defined by Polanyi (1958). ” Explicit or codified knowledge refers to the knowledge that is transmittable in formal, systematic language” (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995). Explicit knowledge includes objects which can be captured and shared. The tacit knowledge is ” personal, context-specific, and hence is hard to formalize and communicate” (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995). Tacit knowledge is that people carry in their minds so that it needs to express with the human context. The formal learning mainly focuses on the explicit knowledge as it always have the read and write process to prove you have understood or remember the knowledge, such as an examination or test. In the informal or non-formal education, the knowledge usually is tacit one. It would need longer time to practice and adapt, for example, the communication skill and management skill. With the least preferred learning style in reading and writing, I should focus more on the informal and non-formal learning. The LLL provides me a chance to improve my knowledge and skills continuously after the traditional educational system which I don’t have many chance to apply the knowledge in the daily life as I was a full time student. The LLL is able to let me have the time to think about how the knowledge could be applied in the real situation and working environment. The LLL is the lifelong, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge (Watson, 2003). (Constan_a Aurelia CHI_IBA / Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 46 ( 2012 ) 1943 – 1947) . The studying experience in LLL helps me to understand myself that I need practical learning approach to have the effective learning. I would expect myself to obtain the 5 benefits of LLL that stated by Hildebrand D. S. (2008). The benefits are as below. 1) Sharpens the mind: to keep the mind sharp and improve memory. 2) Sharpens the confidence: to gain confidence in ability to learn and overcome the fear3) Sharpens the interpersonal skills: to engage people around us and to enhance our relationships. 4) Sharpens the career opportunities: to learn a new skill or trade and improve chances of career growth5) Sharpens the ability to communicate: to improve the abilities in reading, listening and writing(Marjan Laal / Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 46 ( 2012 ) 4268 – 4272)
The transferable skills were defined as those skills that are central to occupational competence in all sectors and at all levels (DfEE, 1997). The transferable skills are valuable due to those skills could be transferable across workplaces and hence essential to both organization and personal career success. I would consider the 5 benefits bring from the LLL (Hildebrand D. S. , 2008) are those the transferable skills to achieve and continuously to improve. The importance of the transferable skill is relatively higher than the golden rules and theories in the book. In the fast-change world, the employers tend to employ the people who would adapt the workplace culture and communicate to the colleague well so improve the organization performance (Woodley & Brennan, 2000). Technical skills, such as the hands-on and professional know-how, are important but most of them are not transferable. The soft skills, personal skills, coaching skills, data analysis, management and organization skills are what we should consider as the transferable skills. The linkage between the benefits of LLL and transferable skills are shown in table 2-1. Benefits of LLLTransferable skillsExamplesSharpens the mindData analysisEvaluation / Critical ThinkingNumeracy / Economic / MonetaryInformation Gathering / ResearchSharpens the confidenceCoaching skillsManagement / Past ResponsibilityLiteracy / WritingSharpens the interpersonal skillsSoft skillsPersonal skillsSocial NetworkingPeople / Groups / TeamworkSharpens the career opportunitiesManagement and organization skillsComputer SkillsAdministration / OrganizationSharpens the ability to communicateSoft skillsCoaching skillsPresentationCommunication / Verbal / ExplanationCustomer ServiceThis is agreed that the specialized skill is the essential to build personal competitive advantage and ensuring success in a particular industry but the development career is also limited. However, the objective of the LLL is not going to provide such specialized skill but the transferable skills. The skills become more valuable in the knowledge-based economy today.
Justify chosen career choice
I have been worked as merchandiser for over 10 years. I am required to communicate with internal parties, such as design and QC, and external parties, such as vendor and shipping agency, every moment. The job nature of merchandiser is needed the good interpersonal and communication to interactive different parties and people. Things must be done very flexible and dealing with problem by action quickly to avoid any delay of goods delivery. There is no room to think about the plan usually. Sometimes I have to stress others hardly to get the job done on time but sometimes I have to convince the people to accept my opinions. These tasks are needed the good personal skills. My leadership style is ” Action-oriented”. I like to work with people (Extraversion). I have a strong sense of immediacy or urgency (Sensing). The style of ” Aural” and ” Activist” imply I am good in discussion and deal with practical problems. I would consider the feeling of others when making decision. That helps me to choose the correct approach to drive the different parties. As suggested by BELBIN test, I am an ” implementer” and ” specialist” and it implies I am good in executed the practical steps with disciplined, dedicated and self-starting. Overall, these personalities quite match the job natures of the merchandiser. Till today, I believe that I fit for this career because it is quite suitable to my personality. On the other side, however, from the above tests, apparently my weaknesses in learning are not good in reading and writing and build up the charts and graphic to understand the information from the results of VARK. I am not good in understanding the theories and collecting information before action as per the results of Honey & Mumford. I usually take the subjective view in making decision without analyzing the problem according to the MMDI. I am weak in leading a team to solve the problem and judge the accuracy of the outcome with the results showing in BELBIN. I believe, therefore, I should develop my career further by avoiding using the tried and tested methods of solving problems. I should use more systematic way to handle the problem. I should learn thinking and understanding the entire aspects before acting. Try to complete one task before going on to the next one with a better planning and time management skills.
Part 3: References
1) VARK — A Guide to Learning Styleshttp://www. vark-learn. com/english/index. asp2) Understanding Learning Styles Based on the VARK Learning System http://www. schooltutoring. com/blog/understanding-learning-styles-based-on-the-vark-learning-system/3) Honey and Mumfordhttp://www2. le. ac. uk/departments/gradschool/training/resources/teaching/theories/honey-mumford4) Myers Briggs Personality Typeshttp://www. teamtechnology. co. uk/myers-briggs/myers-briggs. htm5) MBTI® Basicshttp://www. myersbriggs. org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/6) ESFP Personality Typeshttp://www. teamtechnology. co. uk/myers-briggs/esfp. htm7) Transferable Skills in the Workplacehttp://www. bayt. com/en/career-article-2721/8) How to identify your transferable skillshttp://theuniversityblog. co. uk/2011/01/13/how-to-identify-your-transferable-skills-and-why-theyre-so-important/9) Lifelong learning challenges and opportunities for traditionaluniversitiesConstan_a Aurelia CHI_IBA / Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 46 ( 2012 ) 1943 – 194710)Benefits of lifelong learningMarjan Laal / Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 46 ( 2012 ) 4268 – 427211) Lifelong learning: What does it mean? MarMja. nL aLaala/ lP / rPorcoecdeiad i–a S- oScoicaila al nadn dB eBheahvaioviroarla Slc Siecniecnecse 0s0 2 (82 (021011) 10)0 407–00 0–0 4 7412) Lifelong learning; why do we need it? MarjanM Laarajal na nLda aPle /y mPraonc Sedailaa m–a Stoi c/ iParl oacnedd iBae -h Saovicoiaral la Sncdi eBnecheasv 0io0r (a2l0 S1c1ie) n0c0e0s– 3010 0(2 012) 399 – 403