Running head: LEARNING Kinesthetic Learners This paper will discuss mainly the author’s learning style as determined by the VARK questionnaire (www. vark-learn. com). It will discuss the other learning styles and will compare the author’s preferred learning strategies with the recommended VARK strategies. Lastly it will discuss the author’s preferred learning style in relation to bedside nursing. The author’s determined learning style is strong kinesthetic (www. vark-learn. com). Kinesthetic learners are defined by www. nwlink. om as follows, “Kinesthetic learners do best while touching and moving. It also has two sub-channels: kinesthetic (movement) and tactile (touch). They tend to lose concentration if there is little or no external stimulation or movement. When listening to lectures they may want to take notes for the sake of moving their hands. When reading, they like to scan the material first, and then focus in on the details (get the big picture first). They typically use color high lighters and take notes by drawing pictures, diagrams, or doodling. ” In addition, www. ark-learn. com defines kinesthetic learners in ways in which this author closely identifies. They say that these learners are connected to reality and learn well “from movies and simulations of real things” and that they also learn from demonstration, simulation and case studies. The author’s preferred learning strategies are; skimming reading in assigned chapters paying extra attention to charts, graphs, and pictures, taking practice tests, talking over concepts and teaching others, practicing skills over and over again and reading case studies.
This author always needs to be engaged in class, participating in discussion, highlighting in different colors, reading along in the book and taking notes in order to take in and retain information. This student also needs to take frequent breaks to get up and walk around in preparation for the next block of time sitting through a lecture. In comparing the author’s preferred learning styles with the kinesthetic study strategies from www. vark-learn. com, the author is surprised to find so many similarities and also surprised that this was not something that was assessed earlier in the educational process.
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Some of the suggestions made by the authors at www. vark-learn. com for intake are hands on approaches, laboratories, using all of your senses, professors that give real life examples and reviewing previous exam papers. Some suggestions for studying are to remember the real things that happened, and to put plenty of examples in the summary of class notes. They also recommend talking about class notes with another student and using pictures and case studies to explain abstract concepts. The authors at www. vark-learn. com recommend writing practice answers and role-playing the exam situation in preparation for testing.
The changes that the author will make in studying and learning techniques is to build on the above mentioned preferred study skills. With the knowledge of kinesthetic learning strategies and also concretely understanding that the author is a kinesthetic learner, it will eliminate many of the other strategies that the author has tried. The second highest score for the author was visual, so some changes will be to incorporate more charts and diagrams, as that has also been a preference in the past. It is not just important to learn about and take into consideration learning styles for students and nurses, but also for our patients.
A case discussed in an article about effective discharge planning addresses this point. A patient had reconstruction on a forearm mangled in a piece of farming equipment, including a muscle flap graft (Bowers, Flint & Holt, 2011). About a week after surgery, the graft was stabilized and discharge was ordered. The nurse was giving discharge and wound care instructions and realized that the patient and the family were overwhelmed and having a difficult time even looking at the wound. Even though the patient had indicated that he learned by seeing and doing the instructions were typed in sequence on a sheet of paper (Bowers, Flint & Holt, 2011).
The nurse noticed that the patient had a cell phone with camera and voice memo capabilities and thought that it could be an effective way to help with wound care at home. She photographed all of the supplies and then the dressing change at each step and added voice memo directions with each step identifying supplies used and actions shown (Bowers, Flint & Holt, 2011). Follow-up appointments showed that he was able to successfully follow the wound care instructions and he healed without infection (Bowers, Flint & Holt, 2011).
The VARK learning questionnaire was very effective in identifying the author’s learning and studying style. It has also brought awareness of the importance of taking the time to learn about how a patient learns best and finding ways to focus education and discharge teaching in a way that will be effective. References Bowers, M. , Flint, E. , & Holt, J. (2011). Got the Picture? Using Mobilephone technology to reinforce discharge instructions. American Journal of Nursing, 111(8), 47-51 http://www. nwlink. com/~donclark/hrd/styles/vakt. html http://www. vark-learn. com/english/p