This test is analyzing where I stand as a leaner, how I can help myself to improve my performance by focusing on areas which are relevant to the study of any subject and which will have a significant influence on my mark or grade. As a student, we should responsible for my own learning and development there are skills can use to improve my performance. However the most important of this test to me is that it determines where I stand today and defines the direction for where I want myself to be successful in the future.
The test is conducted on myself i.e. VARK, learning styles , MBTI, and Belbin, those outcome is justification based on my personal experience from various individual who know me to determine the trueness associated with the outcome.
1.1 Application of VARK Test
The first test that I performed was the VARK questionnaire 'How do I learn best' (Appendix 1). The VARK is a questionnaire to provide users with a profile to their learning preferences for taking in and giving our information. The VARK consist of the 16 questions with four options, and the learner can select more than one option for each question. This instrument, recently updated, is free either as an online or printable version (www.vark-learn.com).
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Other than this, VARK also provides students with an indication of their preferences for learning and as such it will indicate stronger and weaker preferences. Specifically, take the four preferences emphasized in the VARK questionnaire (visual, aural, reading/writing, and kinesthetic) and make specific recommendations for how training can be designed to maximize learning for individual with each of these different preferences. For example a student with a strong Read/Write preference might learn to use Visual strategic for note-taking or expressing his/her learning. However, a student with strong Visual preference might attend a course to assist with kinesthetic ways of taking information in or for expressing it. Indeed, there are a number of such courses available is most communities.
For the result my scores on this test for the dimensions of visual, Aural, Read/write and Kinesthetic were 10, 9, 5, and 9 respectively. VARK describe this as a multimodal learner i.e. myself because I have good score on three variable. Since the three variables have nearly the same scores, the VARK guide will provide an insight on the lists and combinations present in the multimodal study strategy in each of these (Flerning, 2007).
The results of VARK, I reviewed my past life, learning and outcomes. I realize today that I have been getting good score in visual, in fact very good marks from the age of primary schooling to the university standards today through the math and act subjects. Whenever the lecture notes on power point or any other mechanism, my focus was on pictorials and diagrams the material rather than read/write. Besides that, I always have had this habit of the imagination sometime will more clearly. Beside than visual is also another source easy to understand and remember it. This assisted me in improving quality of my ability of memory. My visual strength always assisted me in absorbing rich knowledge with ease as I realize across many pictorials like formula, diagram analysis, and other reference materials for doing assignments as well as for enhancing knowledge on a given subject. Most likely, this habit of mine has developed its strong roots since the time of my childhood and therefore, led to a high score on visual aspect.
After that, I am trying to improve my read/write weakness and try to develop some method for its improvement. I have been scoring quite low in theory subject during my secondary school, and I realize that it difficult to remember the history, theory and language. For overcoming this weakness of mine, VARK suggests writing out the words again and again or turning reactions, actions, diagrams, charts and flows into words to improve my read/write weakness.
1.2 Application of Myers Briggs Test
Another well-known instrument is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) (Briggs & Myers, 1977). According to Curry's (1987) typology, the MBTI falls in the first tier, a measure of personality and psychological type. The MBTI Technical Manual (Myers & McCaukkey, 1989) notes that the MBTI identifies individual styles of information gathering and decision making the might put the tool in the category of information processing. The first edition of the MBTI was published in 1962 (Myers & McCaulley). It was designed to assess personality type and interpersonal functioning but has been used to assess learning-style patterns as well (Golay, 1982).
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The MBTI (Briggs & Myers, 1977; Myers & McCaulley, 1989) assesses four different bipolar indices: extraversion-introversion (EI); sensing-intuition (SN); thinking-feeling (TF); and judgement-perception (JP). The MBTI postulates that opposite poles are mutually compatible (that is, that a preference for one pole is neither positive nor negative, simply a difference) (Laurie, Darlene F., 1997). This is a questionnaire that can help us find out personality type. So, finding out our personality type is more of an art than a science.
Form this table, can see that I have two similar personality types. The highest percentage was ESTJ and second highest was ENTJ. The percentage scores reflect how close my responses are to the pattern for each type. According to team technology (2009) said there is a 'dominant function' two of the letters in the type code are much more important that the others.
The most important letter between ESTJ and ENTJ preferences are E and T. It indicates that I have Extraverted and Thinking in common. My dominant function is Thinking, oriented towards the outer world. I always will introduce organisation and a logical structure into the way things are done. However organise and systematise the world also around with me. I am able to handle to make plan, use the correct procedures and make sure they are followed. The roles and responsibilities are properly defined and that the right resources or skills are available to carry them out. For an example, when I were my friends has the plan to travelled, if I will become the leaders to make the plan, I would like to use the correct procedures and make sure they are followed.
According to the ESTJ personality type analysis, the dominant function is the judging on of thinking. This function include, likes making decisions on the basis of logic, using objective considerations, or is concerned with truth, principles and justice. In a team environment, the ESTJ can contribute by: working hard and efficiently to complete tasks by the deadlines set, contributing practical organisational skills, or applying relevant and realistic logical arguments (team technology, 2009).I am strong agreeing with this described, when I am encounter the problem in my studying, I would thinking base on the basic logic and making decisions. This was being more useful to help me to solve many of problems.
Both on my top-scoring types share the same dominant function. These two types are therefore very similar. The difference between ESTJ and ENTJ are the Sensing/ Intuition. According to team technology (2009) the ENTJ personality type analysis, they will organise life in on a logical basis, classifying, ordering, and directing facts and situations. Take an impersonal approach, focusing more on system and organizational needs than each individual's feelings. Basically this two description is almost the same, and I was agree that I am the person is always thinking on logic.
1.3 Application of Belbin Inventory Test
Belbin Self-Perception was a researcher from Cambridge, Meredith Belbin, has conducted in-depth research into the membership of successful teams (Sally, 1998). Meredith Belbin concluded that terms composed of similar people will not work well together and lack creativity. Belbin identified than nice team roles and state that these are the key team roles are the key team roles and that creative team need a balance of these roles to be creative and successful (Sally, 1998). According to Sally (1998), Belbin has designed a "Self Perception Inventory" (similar to a questionnaire) which can be completed to establish what a person's key team role is; although a person usually has a dominant role they will probably have a back-up role.
Belbin claims that not all nice types are necessarily needed but a good mix of roles is important (Sally, 1998). It is an interesting exercise to conduct the Belbin Self Perception Inventory for a team. We can find out what roles people have within a team and see what team roles are short. If we have this information we can more easily compensate for the roles that we do not have. According to Sally (1998) said that, some organizations use Belbin's Self Perception Inventory when putting a work team together to ensure that all the key roles are covered.
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The Belbin Perception Inventory was created to measure a subject's strongest and weakest. There are nice such team roles and those are: Plant, Resource Investigator, Co-ordinator, Shaper, Monitor Evaluator, Team worker, Implementer, Completer Finisher, and Specialist. I applied this test to myself to determine several of my behaviour. In accordance to the Belbin Test results (see Appendix 3), it highlights that my best preferred role is monitor evaluator, second highest is plant and least preferred role is implementer.
Roughly I am agreeing with my profile. As the results shown and compare with my personal history, I found to be a serious minded, strategic and discerning. According to John (2002) said that, Monitor evaluator is the person who is serious mined, prudent and, unlike the shaper or resource investigator, has built-in immunity from enthusiasm. The monitor evaluator is able to stand back and evaluate ideas and suggestions so that is better placed to take balanced. For an example, when I was in the secondary school, I used to be the leader of the school basketball team in 2002. I was in charge for the whole team, for example make the decision on the practising etc, to ensure they have the best level to involve in the competition. Moreover, I had good communication with my team player and encourage them. Eventually we lose the match but we did enjoy the competition and gain our experience.
The report of the test also implies my weakness in which I am not good in implementer person. Therefore I need to enhance and improve my disciplined and change my bad temper in habits. Previously, in my college life has the group discussion, I know that one of my group member, he had no such experience to work as a team, so he always came late and without prepared because he does not know what he should prepare but I can saw he try his best to put much more effort on it. In the first two case studies, I fell I was suffering in this team work because I am only the person work in this group, so, in the last case study due to the problem above and my emotional problem so I leaved a very responsibility message for them in blackboard and make them mad. I also need to take the responsibility for what I done, on the second day I really very sorry and immediately apology to them. I learn that group work is not always successful sometimes it will conflicts. I learn something new and think I should learn better especially I need to control my emotional because in working life, these type of situation will occur very often.
Personal learning styles
Honey and Mumford's (1986) Learning Styles Questionnaire (LSQ) based around Kolb's (1984) this questionnaire is designed to find out you preferred learning styles (s). And the questionnaire will help you identify your learning preferences so that you are in a better position to select learning experiences that suit your style. The results on this test have four general descriptions those are activists, reflectors, theorists and pragmatists.
For the result my scares on this general descriptions test and the outcome indicated that I had a very strong preference in pragmatic and the low preference a theorist (Appendix 2).Pragmatists are keen on trying out ideas and take the first opportunity to experiment with applications. Besides that, they like to get on with things and act quickly and confidently on ideas that attract other people.
I think that I am closer to pragmatists and rather than disliking structured procedures I take comfort from them for example in my secondary school I am very good in mathematical, is because this subject positively search out new formula and get the answer, so my mathematical will better than other subject.
The report of the test also implies my weaknesses in which I am not good in theorist descriptions. So I strong disagree with that, for the Myers Briggs analyze that my dominant function was think and think problem through in a vertical, step by step logical way. Thus I can listen to or read about idea and concepts that emphasise rationally or logic and are well argument in my education.
Summary of my four tests
In the overall four tests, I understand that I am a multimodal learner. So I need to read and develop the multimodal study strategies that can assist me in achieving better outcome. In my personality, I know that I an extrovert learner, therefore I like to explore the new thing and the best way to solve my forward problem. In a group setting, I like stand be a leader and provide the idea to work out the problems. However I also like to maintain the good relationship and communication within my group member. Finally of these four tests, I also understand that my English communication skill and grammar were my major weakness now. Therefore I need to enhance those skills as soon as possible.
Friend and family comment.
Based on my findings and to have them verified, I had interviewed some of my friends, my parents and my brothers. Their opinions were close as the outcome of these tests; however, I was surprised to find out that they strong agree that me being has a good leader.
Which I truly felt I am
Northumbria University Business School modules really give me a very good opportunity to learn how to work as a multicultural mixed group member. In the beginning, I feel so excited I know it will a memorable experience for me to learn difference things because previously I studied local college in Malaysia and I have no chance to mixed with any people come from different countries with different cultural. After first group meeting, I feel it was not much different between the styles of a group of people work together in Malaysia and United Kingdom. in my opinion, form some case studies I learn a lot of things, it is a useful and difference way for me to learn from case study, something out of text book related to the case and carry out research by our own.
On the other hand, my presentation skill is getting slightly better from the first presentation to third presentation. I know how to target audiences by using some animation and pictures so they would not feel bored to out presentation. Previously, in my college I also got such experiences, it was not much differences but I still will feel nervous the moment I am going to present. I know I still can do much more improvement on my language and presentation skill in the future. In this multicultural mixed group, I found that leader is not naturally born it can be train because previously I know that I am a good team member but I do know I have the talent to become a leader. It is impossible a group of people work in a team without a leader to lead them in the right way. So, I take this responsibility is such a big challenge for me.
As conclusion, I learnt many useful things from my module and I will be more open mind to corporate with other group member in the future. What I learn was a team work must be communicate to each other, must speak out, must be shared opinion to each other, and each of us can sharing our skills to achieve the task. Group work is not always successful so , I should learn it better because it will be very useful in my future working life.
Implications for Career Choice.
Lifelong learning is an interesting concept in the world today. According to OECD Education Ministers (2000) the importance of the issues of the affordability of lifelong learning for all depends first on how ambitious or modest the vision is and the extent it is implemented. If lifelong learning for all means simply to ensure that everyone has access to book, the costs are far more manageable than a goal that envisions that all adults have the reading skills needed for employment and self-directed learning.
In other hand, OECD Education Ministers (2000) also said that fairly ambitious in the goal that they agreed to assign to lifelong learning for all, and in outlining strategies for achieving those goal. The discussion below examines first the policy making process by which individual countries evaluate where they are standing and establish targets, it summarises the progress to date towards defining lifelong learning target, and then it considers the likely costs of reaching those targets.
Peter, Jim (2006) state that lifelong learning become a key issue in international education policy. The concept basically involves the simple message that learning can and should be a lifelong occupation. This poses the fundamental question of whether the processes of learning are the same irrespective of age. In relation to adult education, many scholars are researchers have claimed that adults' earning as a psychological function is basically similar to children's learning. In addition our complicated society, the amount one should learn far outstrips what ant person can manage, and this applies not only to the content of learning but also to the options for attitudes, modes of understanding, communication possibilities, patterns of actions, lifestyles and so on. Selection becomes a necessity, and in principle adults would like tp carry out and take responsibility for this selection themselves.
John, Mal (200) state that lifelong learning in the learning society is currently a hot issues for education worldwide. There are , if we take them at face value, two linked motivating ideas in this movement for increased learning across the lifespan, which Taylor untangles as 'the perceived needs of an increasingly sophisticated economy for a more skilled and educated workforce, and the desire, within a context of greater accessibility, for wider participation' (Taylor, 1998).
I, as a learner, lifelong learning is important to me and this will influence in my future and career. In 21st century the world will no pity on the person who get lazy attitudes about learning and now most for the organization want people who adapt lifelong learning. After my graduated from university, I plan to move towards the career of a logistics and supply chain management. In the business sector we should respond to the positive and negative external and internal driving forces which are constantly in flux.