How Your Personal Learning Style Enhanced Your Learning

When my University grade class began in September I had really few of the accomplishments necessary to finish it successfully. In the November of that twelvemonth an initial assignment was completed which outlined the strengths and failings present at the clip, and suggested a program for developing those which were missing. It is now March and the terminal of the first twelvemonth is fast nearing. So looking back, how have I improved? Have I managed to derive any new accomplishments, or polish my older accomplishments? This assignment focuses on those inquiries.
However, it must be pointed out that in order to reply these inquiries fundamental alterations to my apprehension of the construct of survey accomplishments had to alter. As a consequence, farther development to my thought manners, larning environment, ability to debate and concise clip direction besides occurred. Using these freshly refined accomplishments I will travel back and analyze my first twelvemonth at university and determine whether or non the program I created to heighten my acquisition was effectual.
As is widely reputed “ all accomplishments improve through pattern, feedback and monitoring ” ( Cottrell, 1999:30 ) . I hope to demo how I have capitalised on this construct, foregrounding how this twelvemonth has made me more cognizant of my preferable learning manner and what I need to make to better further still. Becoming a more effectual scholar is non something I was able to sit down and larn by reading a book on survey accomplishments, I had to larn to read my work objectively and be able to knock constructively. I will besides explicate subsequently on in this assignment why depicting a personal acquisition manner utilizing merely those theoretical accounts presently available is non ever good to a scholar. That alternatively, cognition should be used to make a individualized and adaptative model which you are in control of ; enabling you to “ aˆ¦learn about yourself and how you perform to your possible under any circumstancesaˆ¦ ” ( Cottrell, 1999:44 ) .

By composing this assignment chronologically I hope to demo that development has both taken topographic point since September, and is still taking topographic point now. This assignment will get down with a brief reappraisal of the survey accomplishments already present at the start of the class, upon which an initial assignment was completed. The work of Stella Cottrell proved to be an priceless plus while researching for that assignment. Trusting chiefly upon her Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats ( SWOT ) analysis to assist with the designation of my survey accomplishments, it has since become apparent that this showed a deficiency of ability to be able to objectively analyze myself. The personal strengths her analysis brought to visible radiation included puting mini-goals, believing logically, debating with a friend, and organizing a physical workspace. Since so, nevertheless, it has become clear that these were non skills in themselves, but instead subskills. These are all properties that a individual learns to develop in order to heighten a chief survey accomplishment ; such as assignment authorship, or general apprehension of a subject. I shall return to analyze these findings, and the importance they played in my hereafter development subsequently on in this assignment.
Having reviewed the accomplishments present at the start of the class, this subdivision of the assignment will concentrate on those which have been developed since. Using the programs I created to attach to the initial assignment three key survey accomplishments have now been enhanced. These include reading ability, administration and the ability to debate. As mentioned earlier, accomplishments are made up of subskills, and it is the subskills which are developed to heighten the survey accomplishment.
Reading ability and thought manners are frequently found manus in manus as a combined survey accomplishment. Last semester I lacked the ability to expeditiously pick out the salient points in a text, due in portion to my inflexibleness when reading. The program designed to keep fluidness and flexibleness when researching and reading helped heighten this accomplishment ( Appendix One ) . In bend, this helped to develop the next subskills of concentration, its lastingness and attending ; every bit good as memory capacity.
However, the ability to debate a subject with a broader circle of people was non enhanced straight by utilizing either of the programs proposed last semester. Alternatively, this accomplishment came as an indirect consequence of an improved concentration, and wider reading and believing abilities. Attending regular categories and seminars, every bit good as take parting in group work, has seen the circle of people with whom I am able to debate class content addition. In bend, nevertheless, heightening the accomplishment of debating has encouraged farther development in all the survey skills antecedently mentioned ; there are now extra grounds to read widely and understand what I am larning.
Finally, when heightening the survey accomplishment of administration, changeless appraisal of how my clip could be best spent was needed, turn outing Cottrell ‘s diagrammatic representation of a twenty-four hours, divided by activity, to be important ( Appendix Two ) . Every clip I referred back to it I reminded myself of merely how much clip I could potentially blow, and how much clip I could liberate up if I merely re-prioritised my day-to-day undertakings. By default this helped to develop the subskills of maintaining an organized physical workspace ; invariably puting come-at-able mini-goals ; and, when combined with the program to keep fluidness, my concentration.
The importance of these survey accomplishments, every bit good as an account of how they have led me to look at other more advanced accomplishments, will be discussed in more item in a ulterior subdivision of this assignment.
Having identified the accomplishments with which I began this class and contrasted them against those accomplishments which I have since learned, it is logical to turn to next the controversial topic of acquisition manners. For the intent of this assignment, I narrowed the available acquisition typologies down to the three most popular among instructors and pupils: the Gregorc Style Delineator ( GSD ) ; the Dunn ‘s Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic theoretical account ( VAK ) ; and the Honey and Mumford Scale.
Upon finishing the GSD, of the four classs available, I placed myself most strongly into the ‘Abstract Sequential ‘ group. The given standards for this group is the understanding that such a scholar is at their optimal if they can “ analyze a state of affairs before doing a determination ” , but that they would happen it hard to follow “ specific regulations and ordinances ” and to be “ sentimental ” in idea. It is apparent from such stiff classification that this peculiar acquisition theoretical account Acts of the Apostless against developing accomplishments and more in favor of placing accomplishments. Sing each strength and failing in bend, it became clear that I really p all four of Gregorc ‘s classs. A categorization which he suggests is non healthy for a scholar to hold ; this averment straight opposes the political orientation of the Honey and Mumford Scale.
When sing the VAK theoretical account it transpired that I am non a strong scholar in any one class ; being every bit able to larn in all Fieldss they propose. Again, they would propose that a scholar in such a place would endure troubles as it is non favorable to cross multiple classs. While this agrees with the GSD in its political orientation, it has a much heavier focal point on practical acquisition. Learning can take topographic point outside of the context of a book or other likewise formatted text, information learned through drama or music, for illustration, is besides valid.
Finally, of the three theoretical accounts evaluated, it was the Honey and Mumford Scale that was most broad in its attack and actively encouraged a pning of classs. Although this is the most clip devouring theoretical account to finish, it is more thorough for being so. I pulled in front strongly in two of the four classs, with a 3rd non far behind. Their advice upon such a categorization is to work to better the classs which score most ill. This last typology, as I have stated, seems the most utile to any scholar in detecting failings and strengths in larning and taking to develop those failings. The theories underlying the political orientation of the Honey and Mumford theoretical account will be explained in more item within a farther subdivision of this assignment, alongside which will be my ain ideas on how the acquisition typologies presently available can be combined to make a more personal acquisition manner.
To analyze in more item the first subdivision of this assignment, in which the accomplishments present at the clip of composing the initial assignment are reviewed, the construct of soul-searching will be farther discussed. Although it can be said now that the trust upon Cottrell ‘s SWOT analysis showed an inability to objectively analyze myself, it must besides be pointed out that my apprehension of what a survey accomplishment is has besides changed. In the initial assignment such strengths as ‘setting mini-goals ‘ were identified without associating them to the overall accomplishments they helped to heighten. Following this illustration, the subskill of puting mini-goals improves administration, as does holding a designated physical workspace. Given that the initial assignment focused to a great extent on all the subskills linked to administration I will seek and broaden the focal point with this assignment. While it is true to state that my administration has improved over the last twelvemonth, it is no longer a subject that requires such an extended analysis. Herne, Jessel and Griffiths ( 2000 ) explain that presuming active control of larning ensures that mental constructions will develop to help apprehension. Over the continuance of the last two semesters I have managed to develop one of their suggested productive survey schemes based on doing connexions: the construct map, or head map. This has proved to be utile in organizing non merely my ideas, but besides my essays and instance surveies. Deriving a better criterion of administration has helped me see that there were other countries of my personality that needed to better in order to profit more successfully from a university class.
Once the significance of ‘study accomplishments ‘ had been adjusted and applied objectively, I was able to expeditiously utilize the programs developed with the initial assignment to develop those accomplishments which were missing. An inability to be flexible when reading – to merely pick out the salient points – was identified as a failing. In trying to heighten this accomplishment the program to keep fluidness and flexibleness was the more effectual of the two programs created. As Dominic Wyse ( 2006 ) , among others, has said “ The individual most of import thing you can make to better the opportunities of success on your class is to read widely ” . This cognition made it even more important to be able to utilize any clip exhausted reading more efficaciously. I followed the practical advice written by Herne, Jessel and Griffiths ( 2000 ) to enable me to read with purpose. They advise that text should be scanned foremost, paying peculiar attending to any headers every bit good as looking for familiar constructs. This plays on the theory that “ understanding can be helped if relevant constructions are ‘activated ‘ by anterior cognition ” ( Herne, Jessel, Griffiths, 2000:4 ) . I have besides increased the sum of H2O I drink during a twenty-four hours as Cottrell ( 1990 ) suggested that this may assist my organic structure relax ; when relaxed I will hold better reading comprehension.
Reading widely is besides a subskill that helps to heighten other survey accomplishments, such as the ability to take part in argument ; a accomplishment I said was of most importance to me to be able to get the hang in the initial assignment. When reading both widely and on a regular basis a larger vocabulary is established, as written text uses a different signifier of the linguistic communication to talk text. To be able to expeditiously utilize a deeply larger cognition base when connection in treatments besides requires the ability to follow different values and individualities ( californium. Baynham and Maybin, 1996 ) . As is a common characteristic when working hand in glove, the sharing of such values and cognition is increased as each individual contributes a alone position to a treatment ( after Cottrell, 1999 ) . In bend, this development enhances the survey accomplishment of critical thought, something Edward Glaser defined as “ aˆ¦a relentless attempt to analyze any belief or supposed signifier of cognition in the visible radiation of the grounds that supports it and the farther decisions to which it tends ” ( Cottrell, 1999:221 ) .
Whilst it has already explained why this assignment will non concentrate intently on the survey accomplishment of administration, it is necessary to explicate whether the program created last semester to assist prioritize how I spend my clip was of any usage. Rather than follow the representation of my most efficient twenty-four hours ( Appendix Two ) as if it were a regulation, I was able to understand the political orientation behind it. This meant I invariably assessed my twenty-four hours and the undertakings I had to finish to see if I could do better usage of the clip available. It is as a consequence of these appraisals that I now feel confident to non hold to pay excessively much attending to how I spend my clip.
Associating all these subskills and freshly enhanced survey accomplishments together is the metacognitive attack of changeless self-reflection and rating, for which “ aˆ¦you need some apprehension of the procedures of survey ” ( Northedge, 1990:17 ) . This is an attack which I have taken chiefly from this faculty, hence a natural patterned advance from self-evaluation and contemplation would be to see the ‘habitual ‘ . Can I acquire to the phase, where at the terminal of my 2nd twelvemonth, I do non hold to measure myself so consciously, but instead that it becomes a wont?
To be able to develop any survey accomplishment to the degree of ‘habit ‘ will necessitate a enormous sum of difficult work and dedication, it will besides demand a natural boundary ; my personal acquisition manner. Once I have an thought about how I learn, and in what conditions I learn best I will hold, in consequence, produced a model in which to concentrate the farther development of my survey accomplishments.
Since the innovation of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging ( MRI ) machine in the 1980s the Fieldss of neuroscience and psychological science have progressively overlapped. In the last 20 old ages many scientists and psychologists have combined the consequences of MRI scans with psychological development theories to bring forth learning manners. In one study over 71 such typologies were identified ( Revell, 2005 ) . However controversial the outward visual aspect of a learning manner may be, there seems to be a common consensus that a individual develops best when their acquisition is structured and everyday. The dissensions begin over merely what the best modus operandi is, and how to learn within its model.
Earlier in this assignment three typologies were focused on ; the Gregorc Style Delineator ( GSD ) ; the Dunn ‘s Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic theoretical account ( VAK ) ; and the Honey and Mumford Scale. Each of these theoretical accounts returned rather different consequences about my personal learning strengths and failings. Upon reading legion independent studies on these larning typologies it has been highlighted that they still require a monolithic sum of independent rating, and that without more conclusive grounds, they should non be entirely embraced and utilized. In one such study, my ain ideas about the GSD theoretical account were supported by statements like: “ aˆ¦the GSD is flawed in its constructionaˆ¦ [ and ] does non hold equal psychometric belongingss for usage in single assessmentaˆ¦ ” or in mention to the VAK theoretical account an even more damnatory statement: “ aˆ¦this instrument is a psychometric disasteraˆ¦ ” ( Learning Skills and Development Agency, 2004 ) .
However, despite the discouraging studies on both of these theoretical accounts, the Honey and Mumford Scale seems to follow with traditionally accepted and trusted educational teaching methods. The theory of constructivist larning developed from knowledge theory, and it describes larning as a construct which can be continuously built upon and developed ( Herne, Jessel and Griffiths, 2000 ) . There besides seems to be a close nexus between larning in this manner and utilizing both left and right hemispheres of the encephalon, the logical and Gestalt facets ( californium. Cottrell, 2000 ) , in unison to supply the scholar with the best opportunity at their topic. It has been suggested that if anterior cognition of a capable exists, so the scholar will make better in understanding it. Likewise, the more adept the leaner at utilizing both sides of the encephalon, the more memory pathways they have available to them when accessing a subject ( after Herne, Jessel and Griffiths, 2000 ) . Therefore, a much more effectual usage of the current acquisition typologies would be to utilize their political orientation as a usher, to detect which accomplishments and subskills I can develop and heighten to assist me go capable of both wide and balanced acquisition. This is something I will take to hold achieved by the terminal of my grade.
To reason so, this assignment has shown the patterned advance I have made throughout the first academic twelvemonth. It opened with an analysis of the accomplishments present at the start of the class discoursing how, six months subsequently on, they had helped to develop more advanced survey accomplishments. This assignment so offered a brief account of how learning typologies can impact the development of survey accomplishments ; they define how a individual understands a subject and besides define the position the scholar has of himself, a position which is non ever good when trying to better survey accomplishments. By mixing the findings of all the typologies available I have been able to nail farther failings that can be worked on throughout my future old ages at University.
I have greatly enjoyed the chance to return to reflect on my personal acquisition manner within the parametric quantity of a pronounced faculty. It has become clear to me, through the reading I have undertaken as portion of this class and the unfavorable judgment I have had returned through this faculty, that I have now become more cognizant of myself and how I express what I have learned to others. It has besides given me the opportunity to reflect upon a acquisition and development scheme which was imposed instead hurriedly in the first few months of a class ; when I was still comparatively diffident as to what was expected of me.
Mike Metcalfe ( 2006 ) summarises this whole procedure neatly when he explains how:
Philosophers, research workers and experient direction theoreticians seem to hold noticed that worlds, when faced with a job, leap to a probationary solution and so take to move to rationalize that speculation utilizing more critical thought such as observation, concluding and experimentation. ( Pg123 )
If this construct is applied to the attack I used to turn to this faculty it would explicate how the initial program proposed in November was adopted over the two semesters. The initial assignment was designed to enable me to develop and heighten failings in survey accomplishments. However, without giving much idea to my existent apprehension of how such failings related to my acquisition, it has non been until this contemplation, some six months subsequently, that I have been able to to the full understand the importance of how I learn and integrate a stronger nucleus of advantageous survey accomplishments. I am now confident that any future development of survey accomplishments will organize a lasting foundation for acquisition.
Appendix One
Appendix Two

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