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This assignment will be discussing on why it is believed that learning styles are useful to student nurses. In addition, it will focus on the student's dominant learning style, acknowledging her own strengths and weaknesses, identifying areas where it is necessary to improve her weaker style and how these can be built on for the future.
Kolb's (1984), Experiential learning model defines learning as "the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience" (p.26). Fleming (2001) defines learning style as "an individual's characteristics and preferred ways of gathering, organizing, and thinking about information'' (p.1).
According to Honey learning styles (2006), we are all the product of our own learning, including everything we know, everything we do, everything we believe and everything we have learnt.
Learning styles can be defined as a process where each person has different learning styles and method in which they learn. This depends on who and the type of learning they are.
Everyone has different personalities and preferences on their likes and dislikes. Some people also tend to have different learning steps that act as guidelines to their personal learning style. Once student nurses have an idea on their learning style preferences, they will find it much easier to make some important decisions and choices for themselves. Indeed, Honey (2006) stated that learning styles preferences can be ''a revelation''.
The understanding of learning styles will be useful to student nurses because it allows student nurses to have a better chance of overcoming any difficult situation. Having a good understanding of how we learn can help students make smarter choices (Cartel, Bishop, Bixby, & Kravits et al, 1999).
Understanding of learning styles will be useful for student nurses as it allows them to be successful on their nursing programme because knowing how they learn will significantly increase their chances of securing the best possible environment necessary for efficient work being carried out amongst members of the team. Some studies suggest that identification of learning strategies best suited for different learning styles may increase the learning effectiveness of each individual student and will increase student adaptive flexibility to alter their learning styles to respond to the learning demand of specific environment Carnell et al, 2000).
In addition, an understanding of learning styles will allow student nurses to effectively target areas where an improvement is required. Duff (2004) suggests that:
Students with a preference for a deep approach to studying as individuals who look
for meaning in what they are learning and enjoy the learning activity; make
connections to previous learning; use logic, reasoning, and evidence well; and
examine critically what they have learned and are learning. (p.56).
Student nurses with a preference will enjoy studying and organising their routines and managing their time in order for them to reach their highest grade possible.
Understanding of learning styles will be useful to student nurses as it would help them identify the flaws present in their learning style. When they are able to recognise their learning style, it allows them to develop effective and appropriate skills amongst each other. Knowing their learning opportunities and the way which they learn best will make learning easier, more effective and more enjoyable. It saves them ''Tackling their learning on a hit and miss basis'' When they are equipped with different ideas and information about their learning preferences it will allow them to have more ''hits and fewer misses'' (Honey, 2006).
When they acquire enough information about their learning styles, it enables them to locate areas that are harder and tricky to navigate for themselves. Understanding of their learning styles as a student nurse will improve their self-confidence and improve their self-image.
Knowing their learning style as a student nurse will give them insight on their strengths and weakness and will enable them to enjoy their learning process. According to Heffler (2001), ''the individual learning has both strengths and weaknesses depending on what is to be learnt and how'' (p.307-316).
Understanding of their learning styles will enable them to stay up to date professionally and help improve co-operation among their colleagues. Furthermore, understanding each style has an advantage and disadvantage. Knowing their learning styles will expand them as a person and help them to work and learn more effectively and more efficiently. Understanding of learning styles as a student nurse will let them learn their way through their own best strategies.
We all have different personalities, so everyone has different ways of learning. We do not usually choose the type of activities that best suits us because we are unaware that some methods suit us and some do not (Jasper, 2003). According to Jasper (2003) ''Most of the learning that we are aware takes place in a formal learning situation where teaching and learning methods are not chosen by us but are imposed by other such as teachers, mentors and lecturers'' (p.44).
According to Honey (2006) questionnaire, we have four types of learning which includes; Activist, reflector, theorists and pragmatists. Honey explained activist learners as enthusiastic. They like to involve themselves in new experiences. They like to try things out and participate and always want to have fun. Reflector learners always tend to think about things in details before taking action and they are good listeners. Theorist learners are logical and objective and they are analytical and pay great attention to details. Pragmatist learners like to see how things work in practice and they appreciate the opportunity to try out what they have learned
My own dominant traits found from Honey (2006) questionnaire includes; reflector and theorist. No-one learns completely in just one style, we all tend to fall under the one descriptor and borrow characteristics from the others (Kolb 1984).
Gaining awareness in ways I learn best will be useful for me and will help me learn effectively in a way that suits me. ''Students with a preference for a strategic approach to studying want to organize their studying routines, manage their time, and learn what is expected to achieve the highest grade possible.'' (Duff 2004, P. 56-72).
As a reflector, when with a group of friends, I listen to their opinions and apply my own understanding to the discussion before putting points across to other people to hear. Most often, I prefer to take a thoughtful approach in making decisions by thinking in different perspectives to others. I tend to heed to correction in my own time, for instance, I prefer reflecting back on a situation before accepting. At the end of the day, I always have the opportunity to think about what has happened throughout my day, what I have learned and what I could have done better.
Although I generally have the opportunity to reflect on what has happened and how I could improve it, I am sometimes forced into situations that involve taking action without planning. For example, in the first day of my clinical placement, I was asked by one of the staff nurses to wash the patient, which I found quite difficult as I did not have much experience in that.
As a theorist, Reflecting back on my past experience, I feel hesitant contributing to group work due to lack of confidence which then reflect in my work because when given an assignment, I tend to rush through them without planning and I struggle with time management.
When given any tasks to carry out, I always ensure that I think through them step by step. I am quite good at asking probing questions for example 'what exactly do you mean by that'. During my placement, when working with my mentor I discovered that I always ask the same questions repeatedly which got my mentor frustrated at times.
However, I feel uncomfortable with subjective matter and my approach to problems is always logical. I tend to be detached and dedicated to logical objectivity rather than anything subjective and often take unnecessary risks when doing things. I feel out of tune with other participant for example when I am with a lot of activists.
Knowing my own dominant learning has helped me recognise that other people approaches the same situation in a complete different way from me and this has helped me access the ability to learn from experiences David Kolb (1984).
Reflecting back on the feedback from Honey (2006) questionnaire, I realised that my score for activist is low so In order to strengthen my Activist style, according to Argyris (1962 ''emphasizing the process of how to learn, how to diagnose administrative situations, how to learn from experience- these are timeless wisdom'' (p.101-433).
I will need to ensure that I learn from other people's experience rather than just focusing on my own experience. This will benefit me as it would reduce the risk of making mistakes. To strengthen my activist style, I will experiment and involve myself with new and unfamiliar routines.
I will involve myself more into conversations with other people, getting ideas off them and working as a team to solve problems. To strengthen my activist style, I will learn from new experiences opportunities and throw myself into tasks I think are difficult and challenging.
Also, to strengthen my activist style, I will involve myself in more activities that require activist's characteristics and ways of learning such as participating in situations emphasising emotions and feelings and listening more and reading about different ideas that emphasise logic.
In conclusion, I have gained awareness about the ways in which I approach life, my attitude, beliefs and how I will use all these to exploit my learning opportunities throughout my course. Having recognised, explored on my previous experience, my own characteristics and approaches to life I can be able to actively plan to build up in succeeding on my course and while out in practice.
The questionnaire explains students preferred learning styles and guides them towards their learning opportunities that will best suit them. Also, it shows students how understanding of their preferences can help them become more effective and active learners. Furthermore, this book clarifies how students can develop and strengthen their preferred learning styles. The questionnaire provides students with different ideas that will help them develop into something that is possible in their own specific circumstances. Also provides information that will help students learn more easily and expand their ideas by making them more aware of the 4 stages of learning cycles.
The book introduces the concept of reflective practice and why it is important for own personal learning and developing their professional practice. It describes the benefit of what student nurses are trying to achieve in developing strategies for their own learning. This book looks at how students communicate with others and explains how students can form more effective professional relationships. The books helps students identify their own strength and weakness and getting them to think about how they can proceed through their course. In addition, it's gives students knowledge on how they can learn effectively. The book allows students recognise and explore on their previous experiences.
The article clarifies how individual learning styles comprise of strength and weaknesses in which depends on what is being taught, learnt and how. It also describes how students can learn more effectively in areas of their weaker style. It explores on how important and beneficial it is for student nurses to know their own learning style in order to access their ability to learn from experience. The article also explains why it is essential for teachers to know the learning styles of the student group and the benefit of them gaining an understanding of their students learning style.
The journal broadly focuses on the ways in which individuals prefer to learn and how they can enhance their learning processes. In this article, different learning style models are described and discussed. The article describes the six prominent learning style models which includes; Kolb Experiential Learning Theory, Gregorc Learning Style Model, The Vark Model, Felder-Silverman Learning/Teaching Style Model, Dunn and Dunn Learning Style Model and The Revised Approaches to Studying Inventory. It explains how students learn in different ways. The article reflects on the use of learning style instrument which allows students to become a more effective and detailed.
This book focuses on how students can interact and communicate with patient, families and colleagues. It looks at different things that can improve the reactions and responses of those around us. It suggests on how important it is for student nurses to take time to learn more about communication in a health care setting. This book evaluates the important of good inter-professionalism in the practice of nursing. Importance of communicating safely and effective is being discussed. The book also explores on how different skills can be learned. This book reflects on how different activities that are identified will improve our communication in learning situation.
This book contains information on how students can enhance their language and understanding in aspect of learning. The book mentioned the 4 stages of how effective learning can be promoted through, which includes; collaborative learning, responsibility in learning, active listening and learning about learning. This book explores students ideas to plan more effectively for learning in future and help them make sense on their present experiences of learning. This book comprises of information that will help teachers and schools focus on their learning and make an improved connection about different learning part in school.