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Analysis of Learning Styles and Theories

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Published: Fri, 05 Jan 2018

Section A

Part 1: Who I am as a learner?

What is learning style?

According to Honey and Mumford’s learning style questionnaire (1992) learning is seen as a continuous cycle in which a person has a learning experience, reviews the experience, concludes from that experience and plans the next step. A person’s preferences for one or more of the stages of the learning cycle translate into strengths and weaknesses of learning style.

In experiential learning theory, the model of style is based on a theory of learning. The theory defines four phases in the process of learning from experience: concrete experience; reflective observation; abstract conceptualization; and active experimentation. Individual learning styles are defined by a person’s reliance on these four learning modes. (Boyatzis and Kolb, 1995)

Gagne (1984) says these strategies “enable learners to choose at appropriate times the intellectual skills and declarative knowledge they will bring to bear on learning, remembering, and problem solving”.

1. VARK

Introduction of VARK:

The VARK stands for Visual (V), Aural (A), Read/Write (R), and Kinesthetic (K). It is a tool for learner to analyze their learning style. According to the Fleming (2009) VARK is a questionnaire that provides users with a profile of their learning preferences. It is about a learner’s preferences for taking in and giving out information in a learning context. The purpose of VARK is to help learner to think about their learning style in multiple ways. It suggests some ideas for learner to know which learning methods are suitable for them and how they can learn effectively.

However, the limitation of VARK is that questionnaire does not show anything about motivation. It only contributes to improve learning. Learners only can change their study methods based on their VARK results (Fleming, 2009).

My learning style result of VARK is as follows:

According to my VARK result, I have got nine marks in Aural. Visual, Read/ Write as well as Kinesthetic are all in seven marks. It shows that I am a multimodal learning style. I can learn from different learning styles and it implies that I have strong in Aural area.

Aural learner learns by listening who likes to be provided with aural instructions. In fact, my result of the VARK is closes match to my own learning style as I often use different learning methods under different situations. For example, I prefer attend group discussions, lecture and tutorial. At school, I like to attend the lecture to lectern the teacher to explanation. In the final year project, I enjoy discuss with my group members and explain new idea to others. Also I follow my group leader instructions to find some useful data from the internet for our project.

On the other hand, I also as a Visual style learner. Visual learner prefers demonstrations in their learning and can learn through descriptions. In my working experience, I work in Wellcome supermarket, my supervisor demonstrated that how to placed the goods on the shelves and told me all products in which area. I can easily get the meaning and memorize it because of leaving a strong impression in my mind.

For the kinesthetic learner, I prefer experiencing things rather than only read the notes during the learning process. For example, I need to trials on my own when buying a new mobile phone, rather than reading the leaflet of the products.

Finally, VARK result can indicate my learning styles. Sometimes I like practice actively, sometimes I prefer listening only. That’s why I have multimodal preferences. In fact, I have to pay more attention in different learning styles. VARK is very useful for helping me to know more about my learning preferences.

2. MBTI

Introduction OF MBTI:

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was developed by Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myer. It based on the theories of psychologist Carl Jung (Morgan and Barbour, 2008). Hutchinson (1997) shows how personality indicators such as the MBTI can he used in a practical way to understand differences in how people behave and to assist in team building and communication in a business environment.

The MBTI scales measure a preference for four dimensions: (Saggino, Cooper and Kline, 2001)

  • Extraversion-Introversion

Which represents the orienting toward the outer world of people and things or the inner world of concepts and ideas.

  • Sensing-Intuition

Which reflects the individual’s preference for factual realistic or global possibilities perception.

  • Thinking-Feeling

Which represents arriving at judgments by impersonal and logical processes or by subjective processes.

  • Judging-Perception

The process of coming to a conclusion about something or becoming aware of something.

In combination, the MBTI is a sixteen-type personality profile instrument. (Goby and Lewis, 2000)

However, according to Coe (1992), he said that “the MBTI has several limitations. First, it does not show any indication about people’s values and motivations. Second, the MBTI does not measure pathology. Third, the MBTI does not measure how well the preferred functions are performed.”

My MBTI result for my Personality:

According to my MBTI results, the above result shows that my preferred style of MBTI is ESFJ and ESFP which are 72% and 66 % respectively. It shows the most dominant function is extrovert, sensing, as well as feeling.

For the ESFJ, the most important preferences are Extraverted Feeling. This means I focus on building harmony in the working environment. I like to build rapport with people and create a positive atmosphere. I look after people’s welfare. Also I like to keep everybody happy and have a good relationship with others. I value other people’s contributions, seek to develop the role that others play, and invest a lot of effort in building positive relationships. I try to overcome differences of opinion and find ways in which people can agree.

For the ESFP, the most important preferences are Extraverted Sensing. I bring things to fruition by getting things done, and getting them done now. I am very action-oriented, dealing with whatever tasks the current situation presents. I often spur others into action as well. I make use of your experience and utilize tools or processes of which I already have knowledge. I try to have an immediate impact on things, injecting a sense of urgency, and aiming to achieve clear goals and tangible results.

Base on the result, MBTI helps me to understand the personality. I agree that I am an extravert person. As I have worked as Wellcome Supermarket, I found that building the positive atmosphere can improve the relationship within the company. I also like to build a good relationship with customers that I enjoy work into a happiness environment. Also I am a vice-president of my secondary schools’ alumni association. I like to share my study path with others.

Besides that I also concern on what group member’s feeling rather than my feel and invest a lot of effort in building positive relationships. So I am a feeling person. As a sensing person, when I am doing assignments, I want to focus on the facts which help my working process. Also, I like to ask my classmates who had experienced those situations previously in order to make a better decision.

Those two personality types (ESFJ and ESFP) are differing in Judging and Perception. This preference is about the process of coming to a conclusion about something or becoming aware of something. I also think the judging is my personality. I like to make a plan and follow the guideline to work within a time limit. When I am doing final year project, I hope myself and my team members follow our plan and to meet the requirement.

3. BELBIN

Introduction of BELBIN

The Belbin team-role inventory is a well-known and established measure for identification of individual team roles (Senior and Swailes, 1998). Belbin’s particular focus on the establishment of roles within a team, where the assumptions of duties and responsibilities depends on a measure of self-discovery combined with a perception of the needs of the team as a whole. Belbin identify 9 team roles in relation to different needs of a group including plant, resource investigator, co-coordinator, shaper, monitor evaluator, team worker, implementer, complete finisher and specialist.

My BELBIN result for my Team Role:

According to my Belbin report, the most preferred roles that I suited are team worker and specialists in which I scored about 80 and 100 respectively.

Specialist means people who have the specific knowledge and skills to do their tasks. This type of people is enthusiastic in providing special knowledge and skills to accomplish the team goals. They will only contribute on only a limited front and dwell on specialized personal interest. They only consider their own specific area to come out a solution, so they cannot provide a wider perspective. For example, I am interested in computer. I prefer to do something about data analysis and search information from the internet. In final year project, I use my knowledge to analyze the research data and give the conclusion on that part. Also I provide technical support in the presentation.

Team worker represents the people who are co-operative, mild, perceptive and diplomatic. They prefer to work with others and usually listen, builds and avert the friction within the team. They are indecisive in crunch situations. For example, I often listen to others’ instructions in my work. Also I need to cooperate with my colleagues to complete the works.

4. Summary

To summarize, I believe these tests are quite reliable. According to the test results, I know and understand myself more. I am an extravert person who likes to talk with others and learn from different learning styles. I can cooperate with others and also concern their feeling. I provide my computer knowledge for people and give some advice for them.

Therefore, these tests help me identify myself and let me know how to improve myself. It makes me think more and consider which job is suitable and interesting to me. If I want to be a leader, I need to learn more different styles and improve my weaknesses. It will be a great benefit to my future career.

References

  • Boyatzis, R.& Kolb, D. (1995) ‘From learning styles to learning skills: the executive skills profile’, Journal of Managerial Psychology, 10(5), pp. 3-17
  • Boyle, G (1995) ‘Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): Some Psychometric Limitations’, Humanities & Social Sciences papers, Bond University
  • Briggs, K. and Myers, I. (2009) Free Personality Test: MMDI website, Available at: http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/mmdi-re/mmdi-re.htm (Accessed 19th November 2009)
  • Coe, C.K., (1992) The MBTI: potential uses and misuses in personnel administration, Available at: http://www.allbusiness.com/human-resources/343006-1.html (Accessed: 19th November 2009)
  • Fleming, N. (2009), FAQ of VARK official website, Available at: http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=faq (Accessed: 19th November 2009)
  • Goby, V. & Lewis, J. (2000) “Using Experiential Learning Theory and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator in Teaching Business Communication”, Business Communication Quarterly, 63(3), pp. 39-48.
  • Jackson, C. & Lawty-Jones, M. (1996) “Explaining the overlap between personality and learning styles”, Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, 20, pp. 293-300.
  • Lessem, R. & Baruch, Y. (2000) “Testing the SMT and Belbin Inventory in Top Management Teams”, Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 21(1/2), pp.75-83
  • Morgan, A. &Barbour, K. (2008) “An initial study into the personality types of undergraduate business students.” Proceedings of the Academy of Educational Leadership, 13(1), pp.33-38
  • Saggino, A. & Cooper, C. & Kline, P. (2001) “A confirmatory factor analysis of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator”, Personality and Individual Differences, 30(1), pp. 3-9.

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