About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5661-5663
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.2352

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain

IS THE VARK A LARK?: A COMPARISON OF COLLEGE FRESHMAN SEMINAR STUDENTS' LEARNING/STUDYING PREFERENCES

K. Murphy, A. Stoerback, L. Cimino

SUNY Stony Brook (UNITED STATES)
Introduction:
The aim of this project was to increase the awareness of students enrolled in two sections of College HDV 102 Freshman Seminar, Survival of the Fittest: Maximize Your Learning to Maximize Your Potential of their personal studying preferences and in so doing increase the efficacy of their studying and deepen their understanding of coursework. VARK is the acronym for Visual (V), Aural (A), Read/Write (R) and Kinesthetic (K) learning/studying. According to Fleming (2001), Visual learners prefer maps, charts, graphs, diagrams, highlighters, different colors, and pictures. Aural learners like to explain new ideas to others, discuss topics with other students and their teachers, use video recorders, attend lectures, and discussion groups. Read/Write learners prefer lists, essays, reports, textbooks, definitions, printed handouts, readings, web pages and taking notes. Kinesthetic learners like field trips, trial and error, doing things to understand them, laboratories, recipes and solutions to problems and hands-on approaches, to utilize their senses.

Methods:
• The VARK survey was administered and used to determine the learning/study styles of students in each Freshman Seminar Section.
• The students were asked to complete the survey and bring it to class the following week to review their results.
• A follow-up survey was administered to determine whether or not these students changed their learning/study habits based on their results of the VARK survey. If they did change their habits, they were asked to explain how.
• Survey data were collected and entered into an excel spreadsheet.
• The students were then assigned a survey to be completed on Blackboard with the question: “Given your VARK results, have you changed your learning/study habits?”

Results:
Quantitative Data:
In Section 1, 29.41% of students were more aural learners. This is in great contrast to Section 2, where 55% of students were more kinesthetic learners. In Section 1, 12% of students were least likely to have read/write learning style while in Section 2, 10% of students reported to be aural and 10% read/write. When the section results were combined, most students, 55%, were identified as kinesthetic. Read/write learners made up the least amount of the population with only 11%.
Qualitative Data:
A total of 28/37 students completed the follow-up survey. In Section 1, 13/17 students completed the follow-up survey and 2/13 students stated that they changed their learning/study habits as a result of taking the VARK survey. In Section 2, 15/20 students completed the follow-up survey and 5/15 students stated that they changed their learning/study habits as a result of taking the VARK survey.

Conclusion:
Of the students who completed the follow-up survey stating that they changed their study habits, 100% identified themselves as visual learners and began creating and using visual aids to improve their studying. Most found that there was improvement in their courses as a result of their changed study habits. The follow-up survey was completed by 28 students, with only 7 stating that their learning/study habits have changed. However, in class discussion for both sections, all students expressed the importance of their awareness of study habits and tailoring their future study habits accordingly. They felt that their knowledge of study habits made their studying more efficacious which resulted in deeper understanding of course work and better grades.
@InProceedings{MURPHY2016ISV,
author = {Murphy, K. and Stoerback, A. and Cimino, L.},
title = {IS THE VARK A LARK?: A COMPARISON OF COLLEGE FRESHMAN SEMINAR STUDENTS' LEARNING/STUDYING PREFERENCES},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.2352},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.2352},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {5661-5663}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Murphy AU - A. Stoerback AU - L. Cimino
TI - IS THE VARK A LARK?: A COMPARISON OF COLLEGE FRESHMAN SEMINAR STUDENTS' LEARNING/STUDYING PREFERENCES
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.2352
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 5661
EP - 5663
ER -
K. Murphy, A. Stoerback, L. Cimino (2016) IS THE VARK A LARK?: A COMPARISON OF COLLEGE FRESHMAN SEMINAR STUDENTS' LEARNING/STUDYING PREFERENCES, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, pp. 5661-5663.
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