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Meredith Conn-Brauns

Dr. Bailey Cunningham

OT 7440: Fieldwork Preparation

3 February 2019

Learning Styles Reflection

VARK

Like similar questionnaires that I have taken before, the VARK questionnaire helped

confirm my multimodal learning preferences. This preference means that I do not rely primarily

on one particular learning style but rather draw equally from all learning strategies. The VARK

questionnaire indicated a nearly equal distribution of scores across all learning preferences. In

my day-to-day life at school, I can see how these scores play out quite clearly. When one of my

learning preferences is lacking use in the classroom, it can be difficult for me to learn the

information well. However, when I have an opportunity to draw on all of my learning styles, I

retain the information much more clearly and efficiently.

While the VARK indicated a nearly equal distribution across learning preferences, my use

of visual strategies stood out to me the most. My preference towards visual strategies works well

when I am in the school setting but may be more difficult to incorporate when I am in a

fieldwork setting. For school and studying purposes, when I am confronted with a large amount

of data that I need to learn and memorize, I rewrite it out using structured bullet points and

colors to indicate the information’s relationship to each other. However, in a fieldwork setting,

important information is spread all throughout EMRs and should not be rewritten as I would run

the risk of violating HIPAA. Also, as part of my visual preferences, I find flow charts to be
exceptionally helpful for me. If there is a scenario where a flow chart is relevant or could be

incorporated, I may ask my FWEd to help me construct one or confirm one that I have created.

Another learning preference that the VARK brought to my attention was my use of aural

strategies. For me, using aural strategies seems most effective only when supplemented with

visual and reading/writing components. When I am first learning information in the classroom, a

typical setup of lecture accompanied by an organized PowerPoint is the most ideal. Then, to

engrain the information into my memory, discussion right after with peers and studying it aloud

by myself really helps. From past experience, I know I can have difficulty remembering

directions or instructions that are only given verbally. For this reason and with the permission of

my FWEd, I plan to use a small notepad to write down instructions for tasks that are less routine.

The Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire

The Index of Learning Styles questionnaire was helpful not only because it identified

what type of learner I am, but also what kind of learner I could grow to be. It is natural for me to

have preferences towards particular learning styles (like active, sensing, verbal, and global

learning), but it would be to my advantage to practice learning in other ways too.

I believe my strong preference towards active learning has proved itself useful in

graduate school and will continue to do so in fieldwork. Being able to learn concepts in class and

immediately practice the related skills has helped me understand the material more than if we

were not given the opportunity to do so. As I head into my first set of level I fieldwork, being

able to start practicing what I have been learning will prove to be more beneficial than when I

simply job-shadowed in undergrad. While level of involvement may still be somewhat

constricted, I plan to ask my FWEd to use my skills whenever possible. Diving into a situation,

no matter how uncomfortable, generally helps me learn information or skills best.


Teaching Style Preference Survey

Completing the Teaching Style Preference Survey revealed that I have a high preference

for teachers who personally model while they teach. I find it very helpful for teachers to

demonstrate and give examples of what their expectations are for us, before we attempt the skill

or project ourselves. I believe this preference will work well in the fieldwork setting as I get to

watch my FWEd interact with his/her patients before I begin to do so. While new to the overall

experience, I would assume that most FWEd’s for Level I’s prefer to describe and model their

expectations rather than delegating responsibilities immediately. I can sometimes have a hard

time standing up for myself and expressing when I need help, but if my FWEd does not tend to

model, I will make sure to ask him/her to do so.