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Teaching style- Multimodal learning style

Teaching style- Multimodal learning style

Summary of Multi-Modal Learning Style

VARK provides four sensory modalities that determine a person’s learning style. A person’s learning style enables learning and teaching plans to be developed to promote effective teaching and learning respectively.

The multimodal learning style is a unique style that is different from the VARK styles because it consists of a variety of learning styles (Gardner et al., 2009). It refers to learning through different means. This mode of learning uses audio, visual, tactile, sensory and symbols. Several approaches, methods, techniques, and applications compile together to form multimodal learning. A learner could learn through one modality, whereas another learner benefits through combined audio, visual, sensory, and symbols.

Multi-modal learning is effective for both basically-skilled and highly-skilled learners. In this style, learning becomes effective when numerous modalities are used. An instructor could use text, pictures, audio, animation, and captions to enhance the learning process. The fundamental goal is to communicate in the most efficient way possible. Multi-modal learning is beneficial because learners can switch from one learning style to the other (Gardner et al. 2009).

Preferred Learning Strategies

VARK identifies five learning styles that include visual, kinesthetic, auditory, and read/write. Visual learners prefer information depicted in maps, charts, diagrams, and people that represent words (Gardner et al., 2009). Aural learners prefer spoken words. They perform better in group discussions, lectures, mobile phones, and talks. Readers prefer information in the form of words. This style requires individuals who have good reading and writing skills. Reading/write is also useful when learning new material. Kinesthetic learning style refers to the use of experience and practice. The learners prefer connecting to reality through personal experience or simulation. A learner can use audio and visuals in slideshows, textbooks, journals, and documentaries to study.

Other psychological scientists have identified other learning strategies. Weinstein and Smith outlined six strategies that include spaced practice, retrieval practice, and elaboration (1970). Other methods include interleaving, concrete examples, and dual coding. The spaced practice involves spacing to study over time. Retrieval practice involves using materials to gain information. Elaboration enables a learner to explain and describe ideas using many details (Smith & Weinstein, 1970). Interleaving involves switching ideas during a study. Concrete examples enable a learner to understand abstract ideas, whereas dual coding combines words and visuals in the learning process. Most students utilize spaced practice, elaboration, and combined coding.

All these strategies are necessary for the learning process as they help learners to retain content. Learning becomes easy when learners study small chunks of information over time. Easy learning involves explaining contents in detail and leaving room for open-ended questions (Smith & Weinstein, 1970). The learning styles provide students with opportunities to learn in varied contexts.

Preferred Learning Strategies versus Identified Strategies

Visual, aural, kinesthetic, and read/write are preferred learning strategies of multi-modal learners. In the mixture of these modes, no one strategy surpasses the rest. Communication and participation are crucial components of multi-modal learning. Some learners learn by adapting to one style, whereas other learners need multiple approaches to grasp the same content.

Multi-modal learning is advantageous to learners who are active in communication, discussion of given topics and participation in open-ended questions. They use these skills to understand the content. Other skills, such as elaboration and dual coding, can be brought together with multimodal learning. All these styles provide learners with opportunities for communication, observation, open-ended questions and enthusiastic participation.

Significance of the Awareness of Individual Learning Styles

Every student has a unique learning style. These styles determine how the students concentrate, retain and grasp the contents in their own way. The style also depends on how the learners interact, learn, process, and perceive their past experiences in the learning environment. Multi-modal learning plays a significant role in teaching and learning. Awareness of individual learning styles enhances teaching and learning. Students vary in the way they perceive, process, and understand new information. When a learner gains a comprehensive awareness of the preferred learning style, he or she can develop appropriate learning strategies. Apart from facilitating learning, the styles encourage learners to learn more effectively than before. Therefore, learning becomes a constant way of processing information.

Awareness of the learning styles enables teachers to understand the learning preferences of students for effective learning outcomes. When teachers understand the varied styles, they can use these strategies to assist every student in grasping content (Wilson, 2011). A single strategy does not work for all students. A teacher may read out material, but not all students will take notes on their own. In such a case, the teacher must understand student characteristics to apply appropriate learning interventions. The primary goal of teachers is to help students become successful learners. Understanding the learning styles and matching them to learning in the classroom creates an effective learning environment for all students.

The VARK is a useful tool that assists a learner in understanding their ideal learning style. The questionnaire enables students to know whether they possess outstanding kinesthetic, visual, aural, read/write or a combination of the styles. Every individual is unique, and the different learning styles assist in creating exceptional learning experiences for everyone (Wilson, 2011). The learning styles are beneficial to basic and highly-skilled teachers because it enables them to grasp the modalities of instruction. Understanding the various learning styles enables learners and teachers to develop unique teaching and learning strategies.

References

Gardner, J. N., Jewler, A. J., & Barefoot, B. O. (2009). Your college experience: Strategies for success. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Smith, M., & Weinstein, Y. (1970, August 18). Six Strategies for Effective Learning. Retrieved July 23, 2017, from http://www.learningscientists.org/blog/2016/8/18-1

Wilson, M. L. (2011). Students’ learning style preferences and teachers’ instructional strategies: correlations between matched styles and academic achievement. Liberty University.

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Question 


Initial Post:  Despite a lack of evidence to support that learning styles correlate with learning outcomes, current educational discourse maintains that teachers should assess student learning styles and incorporate teaching methods and materials to address them all. In your initial post, comment on your reactions to the article and video below.  If learning styles do not significantly affect learning outcomes, how might this information still be useful to both students and educators in other ways?  Share an article from a peer-reviewed journal that talks about how cultural and social factors have influenced the development of learning style inventories and/or how these influences might skew the student’s results.

Teaching style- Multimodal learning style

Teaching style- Multimodal learning style

Learning StylesLinks to an external site.

https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/learning-styles-preferences/

The Biggest Myth In Education – YouTubeLinks to an external site.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhgwIhB58PA

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