VARK - Myers Briggs - Learning

Section A

1.0 Who I am as a learner?

1.1 Introduction

Human is different in personality. Kolb (1984) suggest it is best for each individual prefer learning in a certain way as they not only learn in that way, but that prefers to do so or be in that way. Human has interesting varied. Different people have different level of preference for learning in a way than the others as some might be categories in a stronger preference but some may be not striving in a strong preference but can learn in various ways (Kolb, 1984).

There are different ways of style human can use to learn, or gather and use the information. As time goes by, human will keep on changing and modulate the ways their learning strategies according to personal development and different learning circumstance in which they find themselves. According to Honey & Mumford (1992), learning is something happened when someone is unable to do something they could in previous or demonstrate that they know something they did not know before. By understanding themselves, they can be aware of the differences and understand their weakness to become more flexible and capable in their lifelong learning process.

This project is focus at analyzing where I stand as a learner, how I enhance my learning and relevant skills set. In addition, the implication of the results will present how this could weaken my learning and define the directions where I want myself to be in future. The analysis presents various result of me from well knows questionnaires. All the results are enclosed in Appendix A.

The analysis of outcome and justification are based on my personal experiences and interviews from my friends and family to determine the creditability of the questionnaire’s outcome. Furthermore, I have discussed about my lifelong learning, transferable skills set and career choice.

1.2 Application of VARK Test

Table 1: The outcome of my VARK test

Visual

5

Aural

11

Read/Write

8

Kinesthetic

10

It inclines that I have multiple preference with high score on three strong preferences - ARK. People with this preferences are context specific who choose a single mode to suit the situation or occasion and are not satisfy till they have had input or output in their preferred mode (Fleming, 2010). I am agreeing with the result. As a multimodal learner, I have different interest for my learning process. This modal provides me two or three modes to use for my interaction with others. Accordingly, I can do things simultaneously, for instances listening and writing.

Review of my past life of the learning and outcome. I have been learning best in auraI and read/write method. I do enjoy learning by listening to someone which will bring a tremendous impact on me. Usually I get all the information by attend the lecture and seminars. Through discuss a topic with my lecturer or friends, I would get a clear mind regard to some specific knowledge. It assists me to get things done in a better way. I prefer learning with an interesting manner like jokes which make me impress with the information.

I have a habit of taking class notes for important point that spoken by lecturer. It makes me easier to understand a topic. I would think about how each word sound and look for the meaning from a dictionary if I found a word or terms that I do not understand. When my lecturer made used of textbooks or notes on power point, my focus was always on listening to the lecturer and reading the material rather than attraction by visual aids. My aural skill always helps me in absorbing new knowledge fast and efficiencies.

In addition, I can get things done and understand the information by doing the things. A real life example of this is that during my secondary school, I used to have many experiments in physics and chemistry subjects. Indeed I have a clearer understanding of the studied after gone through the experiment. It also assists me in enhancing my memory.

Apart from that, I am weak in using visual learning preference. If a lecturer prefers the mode of visual such as make used of gestures and picturesque language, flow charts or symbol which will not bring much effect on me. Meanwhile, I will pay attention on what the lecturer said by using these materials of work, but the probability for me to understand is low. I have been scoring quite low in physics and chemistry subjects during secondary school, I found difficult to understand charts, diagrams and formulae.

This influence was also witnessed during my undergraduate study, for instance, a module named Contemporary Corporate Reporting used for teaching is via power point presentations which include visual aids, graphs and anything that relies on symbolism. Thus, I am trying to enhance my visual weakness and planning to develop ways for improvement. VARK suggest to turning visual into words to overcome the visual weakness (Fleming, 2009). However, I found it difficult for me to fulfil. I need time to practice.

1.3 Application of Myers Briggs Test

The test indicates I have two similar personality types. The highest was ESFP (Extraverted Sensing with Feeling), follow by ESTP (Extraverted Sensing with Thinking). The percentage scores reflect how close my responses are to the pattern for each type (http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/mmdi/report/). The result endowed with a great capacity for matter-of-fact, enjoying life, adaptable and realistic. There is a ‘dominant function’ on two letters in the type code are much more important than the others (http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/mmdi/dynamics/).

The important letters between ESFP and ESTP are E and S. My dominant function is Sensing which oriented towards outer world. I am able to handle the tasks that current situations presents with action oriented. For instances, during my seminar of Strategic Management and Leadership, one of my group member was sick the day before our presentation, I managed to restructure and place right arrangement to run our presentation successfully. I had motivated my group members into action. Eventually, we got good feedback from the tutor and students.

Nevertheless, anxiety and difficulty in working on study and person are my weakness. Thus, I am under pressure. I tend to have rational thinking rather than irrational thinking especially when it comes to sentiments. Moreover, I like to make use of my personal experience and the process that I already know. I need to think carefully before making decision and aim to achieve my goals. Apparently, these two personality preferences share the same characteristic.

Both personality types are differences in Feeling and Thinking respectively. My highest results show that I tend to have Feeling rather than Thinking preference. I agree with the statement, due to I prefer to make decision using my own values, principles and personal beliefs. These two personality types is human’s ‘natural inclination’ (http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/mmdi/report/). I can make decision on the basis of logic or using analytical approach, depends on the situation.

For instances, if I need to do an assignment, I would prefer to gather various resources and decide according to the logical and analytical approach rather than my own beliefs and principles. Nevertheless, if I need to make a decision of who is to be blame or praise, I would probably incline to use my personal beliefs and values.

1.4 Application of Belbin Inventory Test

This test is a tendency to behave, contribute and interrelate with others in particular manner (http://www.belbin.com/rte.asp?id=8). It target to concentrate on strengths and positive contribution. Moreover, it helps to capitalize on a person’s strength and manage weaknesses. The skills developed by Belbin enable a person or a team to benefit from self-knowledge and modulate depend on the demand of different circumstances. The strengths and weaknesses can also been produced within the team (http://www.ecam.nu/belbin.htm).

The self-perception team roles result of mine in rank order.

Implementer (IMP)

Plant (PL)

Teamworker (TW)

Completer Finisher (CF)

Specialist (SP)

Monitor Evaluator (ME)

Resource Investigator (RI)

Shaper (SH)

Co-ordinator (CO)

It highlights my best preferred role is implementer and least preferred role is co-ordinator. Roughly I am agreeing with my profile. As compare with my personal history, I found to be an extrovert, disciplined and optimistic person. It allows me to develop new contact easily, helping me in problem resolution. For example, I could always seek help from my friends when I have difficulty for my study. However, sometimes, my personalities tend to be introversive in the way that I learn and study. I like to be an observer in my learning process. I am quiet and incline to be reflective in the way that I am process information.

I, as a learner, am not conservative in habits. I like to challenge myself to try something new. I am quite flexible to different circumstances. For instance, I had a module named Principle Investment when I was a college student. At the time, I was not understood the procedure of stock market. Accordingly, I decided to make my investment by purchasing a certain share from different companies on Malaysia Stock Exchange.

I had tracked and gather various sources from the company’s website and up to date news from newspaper. I had also evaluated the potential risk of each company and apply the practical theory that I learn from text book before making my investment portfolio. Eventually, I had sold out my entire share when the market price was low. Accordingly, I had generated some profit from the investment. Indeed it is a great experience to me.

This report also indicates I am a person who can generate ideas, with ability to apply them in a practical and efficient way. However, my ingenuity is on the base of my capacity for making continuous progress which may take time to see the result. The report also implies my weakness is not good in manage people. Thus I need to enhance and improve my interpersonal skill and the ability of inspire others.

For instance, when there is a conflict among my group, generally I would not know how to solve the problems and motivate them. Alongside, I need to maintain and enhance my confidence. Sometimes, I am lack of confidence to do and undertake task and responsibilities. For instance, I had been asked by my lecturer to perform a 20 minute speech when I was a college student. I had rejected the request at first, due to lack of confidence to myself and afraid to speak in front of thousand people.

1.5 Application of Learning Styles Test

This test is designed to identify individual’s own preferred learning styles which have been developed as a learning custom and habits over the years. It assist individual to understand the efficient manner and benefit more from their personal experiences and avoid repeating the mistakes.

Table 2: My result of learning styles test and the level of preference.

Learning Styles

Level of Preference

Activist (Do)

Strong Preferences

Reflector (Review)

Strong Preferences

Theorist (Conclude)

Low Preferences

Pragmatist (Plan)

Very Low Preferences

The terms had been defined as Activist for accommodators (active experimentation), Reflector for divergers (reflective observation), Theorist for assimilators (abstract conceptualization) and Pragmatist for convergers (concrete experience) (http://www.nwlink.com/~Donclark/hrd/styles/honey_mumford.html). The test indicates that I have strong preferences in both Activist and Reflector, and very low preferences in Pragmatist. As I review my past life and study, I agree that I am not suitable to Pragmatists learning style because I am not keen to put ideas, theories and techniques into practice.

As per the result and based on my personal history, I found that I am more suit to Activist and Reflector. I immerse myself fully in new experiences in which my favorite quotation is ‘’never try, never know’’. I would like to try everything at least once; the world is full of wonderful and brilliant things to me. I enjoy every moment and am happy towards immediate experience. I am open-minded, enthusiastic and flexible to adapt in new things. When something new is attract me, the phrase “just do it” will automatically appear on my mind.

I tend to act first and take into account the consequence afterwards. I enjoy the challenge of new experience but easily get bored. According to the test, I am gregarious people, am seek to centre activity around me. An example, when I was travel around Taiwan in 2008. I was attracted by bungee jumping. I decided to do it without consider the consequence of how danger it could be. The pleasure was all mines. It was truly a wonderful experience.

The test also defines another learning style of mine - Reflectors. Indeed apart from my extravert characteristic, I like to stand back to observe and ponder my experiences from different perspectives and view. I prefer to collect and analyze the data before reaching any conclusions. It takes time for me to ponder from different angles and implications to draw the conclusion, therefore the process may be slow.

I am caution in study and learning, I prefer to take a back seat and listen to others during the discussions rather than express my idea and opinion at all times. I would make used of information from present, past and immediate observations to keep a wide picture perspective. For instance, during the seminar of Strategy Management and Leadership, I always stand back to ponder, observe and listen to my group members before making my own points. I need information to work on.

1.6 Summary

In the overall four tests, I find out that I am a multimodal learner. In my personality, I understand that I am an extrovert learner; thus I like to explore and try new things rather than doing the same things. In the decision making aspect, I can make decision based on rationally rather than emotions. In a problem resolution, I tend to be analytical rather than improvisatory. In a group setting, I like to stand back to ponder and observe people and collect data. Moreover, I like to maintain the good relationship and communication within my group members to create a positive environment. From the tests, I understand that my weakness is inability to manage and motivate people well and efficiency, Therefore, I need to enhance my interpersonal skills.

1.7 Friend & Family Comment

In order to ascertain the trustworthy of the findings, I had interviewed some of my friends and family. Their comments were similar with the outcome of these tests. Nevertheless, they were disagreeing with the statement that I am weak and inability in interpersonal skill and managerial human relationship. I was little surprised with their comment.

I grew up with a traditional eastern country background and culture. Accordingly, many people would incline to be quiet and constricted with the thinking of traditional themes and rights. Over the years, I have learnt to remain quiet and do not know how to express myself well. Although having many interesting ideas, yet I do not know how to share with others. Therefore, years after years, I do not have a good communication and interpersonal skill. For instance, if I have a brilliant idea on how to organise a big event, lack of confidence and communication skill within myself to talk will put me silent. Another example is that, when people are talking to me, sometimes, I do not know what I should tell, therefore I would remain silence.

I recall when I was young, I was very quiet. However, I was an outgoing and extrovert person. During my primary school days, I was a chess player, badminton and basketball team player; represent my school to involve in many competitions. Meanwhile, I was also a librarian. When I went to a secondary school, I was a librarian and inspector. After graduated from the secondary school, I went to a college and involved in many clubs and society.

I had been elected by the students to be the president of a community service and leadership development organization called Kiwanis Circle K. Many charity events and activities had been ran and organised by me. Therefore, I was a well know person. Many people though that I was a sociable person with good interpersonal, communication and managerial skills. This leads to mis-comprehensive and misunderstanding about my personalities.

2.0 Implication for Career Choice

2.1 Lifelong Learning

Learning is a lifelong process. According to Knapper & Cropley (1991, p.20) define lifelong learning as a set of organisational and procedural guidelines for educational practice aimed at fostering learning throughout life. Oliver (1999, p.1) claim that it is a concept which is found increasingly in current debate on education, particularly within the framework of discussion on widening participation and adapting to changes in patterns of employment.

Similarly, Holford, Jarvis & Griffin (1998, p.45) define lifelong learning as a guiding principle for global development and tend to be used interchangeably. It is fundamentally important and essentially applicable to everyone in the dynamic and radical changes job markets and environment today. A description by Cropley in 1997 (Knapper & Cropley 1991, p.21) define lifelong learning arise from the phenomenon of change that is a major element in contemporary life.

Drew and Bingham (2001, p.249) state that identify strengths and improve skill is part of the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) seen as vital by many professional bodies. It is important to identify strengths in applying for placements or jobs, due to employer would like to know our capability and how well we are. Therefore, it is essential to develop and update our knowledge, expertise and transferable skills to become more efficient and successful in workplace. Furthermore, learning can help in building up a positive attitude; hence individual can gain new knowledge and the ability to deal with the difficulties of life.

In addition, lifelong learning can define as the actual experience of individual. It based on what psychological characteristics, social setting, classroom practices, curriculum formulations etc, come to bear in shaping actual learning experience (Holford, Jarvis & Griffin, 1998). Therefore, learning process and experience are fundamentally important in building up a better life.

2.1.1 Application to Lifelong Learning

I, as a lifelong learner, am an extrovert with motivation to learn from others, explore opportunities, and willing to attempt new things and challenge. I have high goal in life, as after complete my bachelor degree in Northumbria University, I plan to further my postgraduate study. I would like to do proceed in financial service industry in the future, particularly in stock exchange.

Because financial index, listed company information, global economy, laws and regulations are continually updated within the financial service industry. Therefore it increases the requirement for the knowledge, problem-solving skills and the ability of dealing with figure and calculation. Furthermore, it needs good communication skills to explain complex financial ideas and figure by using simple words.

However, communication skills is my weaker point, therefore, I need to further enhance. With the combination of my lifelong learning characteristic and multimodal learning style, my career development can be further facilitating.

There is a Chinese proverb that failure is the mother of success, so knowing our failure is the approach on our journey towards success. An example, I found out that I can recover after a setback, each failure taught me some lessons and I learned to pick myself up and move on. I would face the problems head on rather than runaway from the problems. Indeed experience is the most sustained interest for me throughout life.

2.2 Transferable skills

Each individual’s own specific skill sets will help when navigating life choices range from academic major selection to job application (http://findyourmajor.illinoisstate.edu/explore/transferable.shtml). As I plan to move my career towards financial service industry as a financial analyst, there are some transferable skills that fundamentally important prior to the position.

In general, financial service industry requires financial analyst to have high level of analysis, numerical and communication skills to lead to a more effective job management. It is fundamentally important for a financial analyst; the jobs require dealing with complex financial data and explaining those complex financial ideas and data to clients by simple words. Consequently, there are some specialize arise, for instance, computer skills, foreign languages, report writing skills and problem-solving skills.

Accordingly, I believe I need to improve my transferable skills of oral and written communication skills, and interpersonal skills. As employers today are keener to find people who are able to come up with possible solutions to overcome threats (http://www.totaljobs.com/Content/Applications/Ts.html). Over the years, I had build up strong foundation on numerical, computer, written and oral languages skills such as English, Mandarin and Malay in school, but my oral skill of English still needs to improve.

Self-discipline and ability to meet deadlines are concerned for organisational skills (http://www.totaljobs.com/Content/Applications/Ts.html). The ability to work on myself also needs to be improving. According to the outcome of tests, I believe with my rationally and analytical thinking, I can suit to the position well. However, it needs to be developed throughout my life and employment for me to suitably perform the role and progress further within this field.

2.3 Justify Chosen Career Choice

Due to I do not have any practical experience and knowledge in financial service industry, accordingly after graduate with a bachelor degree in business with finance, I plan to study postgraduate to enhance my qualification to be a financial markets professional. Two advertisement of my career choice is enclosed in appendix B.

2.3.1 Person-oriented Job Analysis – Financial Analyst

Knowledge:

The analysts should hold a Chartered Financial Analyst, Chartered Planner Analyst or any Masters degree in financial services industry. Moreover, they require high level of analysis skill and relevant working experience. The job is strong exposure to the capital market; therefore they should understand the situation of current financial markets.

Ability:

The analysts require having the ability that can evolve into trading duties and support of capital market transactions. Thus, the ability to work independently, excellent time management skill, research skill, forecasting skill, estimating skill, manage multiple tasks and meet tight deadline become an unsaid requirement. Moreover, the analysts have to spend many times staying at the office to do the analysis, writing a report and continue update the information, for example, listed company and the global financial news. Hence, flexibility and work under pressure become the need of abilities. Good communication also needed to explain the complex financial data and idea.

Skill:

The main skill set need for the analysts are high level of analysis and numerical skill; due to the analysts require engaging in capital market transaction with the exciting role to analyze the debt offerings, fixed income analytics etc. Moreover, the analyst needs to have good communication skill in both oral and writing such as English and Mandarin. It is important that analyst is enabling to express an opinion on the financial statements of the company. In addition, they need to have good business report written skill; therefore the skill of MS Office is necessary.

Other personality characteristic:

The main objective of analyst is primarily towards having the personality in honesty, independence and giving opinions. It may take some times to analyze the data and distribute a report. Self-motivated, detail-minded, rationally and analytical thinking are unsaid skills that needed for the job.

2.3.2 Match My Personalities To The Job

Based on the result of MBTI test, my personality had been identify as extrovert, action-oriented, get things done now, make use of own experience and utilize the tools or processes that I already know, and target to achieve clear goal. It also identify that I can make decision by thinking rather than feeling. Secondly, the Belbin depict I am an Implementer and Plant who is disciplined and reliable, am able to solve difficult problems, adjust to other people and dependable in any work undertaken.

Thirdly, the learning style questionnaire identifies my personality as Activists and Reflectors who immerse fully in new experience, caution, take a back seat, stand back and observe, collect and analyze data, and reach conclusion slowly. Therefore, I can fulfill most of the requirement as stated in the job advertisement. However, I need to hold a relevant Masters degree in finance sector and relevant experience to suit the jobs.

Table 3: Match my personality and ability to the position.

Require on Financial Analyst

Extroverted

Work Independently

Analysis Skills

CFA. CPA or Masters Degree

My personality and ability

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

3.0 Conclusion

After complete the four tests, I understand my personality traits such as strengths and weaknesses. The tests also assist me in knowing how to improve my skills and personality. As I wish to pursue my development career in financial service industry, I would need to improve and adjust my personality traits to suitable perform to the job. Moreover, I need to maintain my attitude of lifelong learning. If I can fully utilise my multimodal learning style, I believe it would be facilitate for me to pursue my career.

7.0 References

Section A

Books

Drew, S. & Bingham, R. (2001) The Student Skills Guide. 2nd edn. Hampshire: Gower Publishing Limited.

Holford, J., Jarvis, P. & Griffin, C. (1998) International Perspectives on Lifelong Learning. London: Kogan Page Limited.

Honey, P. & Mumford, A. (1992) The manual of learning styles. 3rd edn. United Kingdom: Maidenhead.

Knapper, C. K. & Cropley, A. J. (1991) Lifelong Learning and Higher Education. 2nd edn. London: Kogan Page Limited.

Oliver, P. (1999) Lifelong and Continuing Education. England: Ashgate Publishing Limited.

Internet Site

Belbin Team Role Theory. Belbin Associates. [Online] Available at: http://www.belbin.com/rte.asp?id=8 (Accessed 01/12/2009)

Belbin tests, questionnaires and team roles. Executive Coaching and Mentoring Ltd. [Online] Available at: http://www.ecam.nu/belbin.htm (Assessed 19/03/10)

Fleming, N. (2010) ‘The VARK Categories’, VARK: A guide to learning styles. [Online] Available at: http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=categories (Assessed 19/03/10)

Fleming, N. (2009) ‘Visual Study Strategies’. VARK – A Guide to Learning Styles. [Online] Available at: http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=visual (Accessed 12/12/09)

Honey and Mumford's Learning Styles Questionnaire. Big Dog & Little Dog’s Performance Juxtaposition. [Online] Available at: http://www.nwlink.com/~Donclark/hrd/styles/honey_mumford.html (Accessed 2/12/09)

Kolb, D. A. (1984) ‘Experiential Learning’. Prentice Hall. [Online] Available at: http://www.liv.ac.uk/~cll/lskills/IL/Imprvlearnstyle.html (Assessed 19/03/10)

MMDI™ Type Dynamics Report. Team Technology. [Online] Available at: http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/mmdi/dynamics/ (Accessed 29/11/09)

Transferable Skills. Lllinois State University. [Online] Available at: http://findyourmajor.illinoisstate.edu/explore/transferable.shtml (Accessed 06/03/10)

Transferable skills: You may have more to offer than you think. Totaljobs Group Limited. [Online] Available at: http://www.totaljobs.com/Content/Applications/Ts.html (Assessed on 19/03/10)

Your Personality Type Report. Team Technology. [Online] Available at: http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/mmdi/report/ (Accessed: 29/11/2009)

Section B

8.0 Bibliography

Section A

Books

Drew, S. & Bingham, R. (2001) The Student Skills Guide. 2nd edn. Hampshire: Gower Publishing Limited.

Holford, J., Jarvis, P. & Griffin, C. (1998) International Perspectives on Lifelong Learning. London: Kogan Page Limited.

Honey, P. & Mumford, A. (1992) The manual of learning styles. 3rd edn. United Kingdom: Maidenhead.

Knapper, C. K. & Cropley, A. J. (1991) Lifelong Learning and Higher Education. 2nd edn. London: Kogan Page Limited.

Oliver, P. (1999) Lifelong and Continuing Education. England: Ashgate Publishing Limited.

Internet Site

Belbin Team Role Theory. Belbin Associates. [Online] Available at: http://www.belbin.com/rte.asp?id=8 (Accessed 01/12/2009)

Belbin tests, questionnaires and team roles. Executive Coaching and Mentoring Ltd. [Online] Available at: http://www.ecam.nu/belbin.htm (Assessed 19/03/10)

Fleming, N. (2010) ‘The VARK Categories’, VARK: A guide to learning styles. [Online] Available at: http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=categories (Assessed 19/03/10)

Fleming, N. (2009) ‘Visual Study Strategies’. VARK – A Guide to Learning Styles. [Online] Available at: http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=visual (Accessed 12/12/09)

Fleming, N. (2009) ‘Aural Study Strategies’. VARK – A Guide to Learning Styles. [Online] Available at: http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=aural (Assessed on 12/12/09)

Fleming, N. (2009) ‘Read/Write Study Strategies’. VARK – A Guide to Learning Styles. [Online] Available at: http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=readwrite (Assessed on 12/12/09)

Fleming, N. (2009) ‘Kinesthetic’. VARK – A Guide to Learning Styles. [Online] Available at: http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=kinesthetic (Assessed on 12/12/09)

Honey and Mumford's Learning Styles Questionnaire. Big Dog & Little Dog’s Performance Juxtaposition. [Online] Available at: http://www.nwlink.com/~Donclark/hrd/styles/honey_mumford.html (Accessed 2/12/09)

Kolb, D. A. (1984) ‘Experiential Learning’. Prentice Hall. [Online] Available at: http://www.liv.ac.uk/~cll/lskills/IL/Imprvlearnstyle.html (Assessed 19/03/10)

MMDI™ Type Dynamics Report. Team Technology. [Online] Available at: http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/mmdi/dynamics/ (Accessed 29/11/09)

Myers Briggs Personality Types. Team Technology. [Online] Available at: http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/myers-briggs/myers-briggs.htm (Assessed 10/02/09)

Transferable Skills. Lllinois State University. [Online] Available at: http://findyourmajor.illinoisstate.edu/explore/transferable.shtml (Accessed 06/03/10)

Transferable skills: You may have more to offer than you think. Totaljobs Group Limited. [Online] Available at: http://www.totaljobs.com/Content/Applications/Ts.html (Assessed on 19/03/10)

Your Personality Type Report. Team Technology. [Online] Available at: http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/mmdi/report/ (Accessed: 29/11/2009)

Section B

9.0 Appendices

Section A

Appendix 1

VARK Test

Myers Briggs Test

Learning Style Test

You score one point for each item you ticked. There are no points for items you crossed.

Simply indicate on the lists below which items were ticked.

2

7

1

5

4

13

3

9

6

15

8

11

10

16

12

19

17

25

14

21

23

28

18

27

24

29

20

35

32

31

22

37

34

33

26

44

38

36

30

49

40

39

42

50

43

41

47

53

45

46

51

54

48

52

57

56

58

55

61

59

64

60

63

65

71

62

68

69

72

66

75

70

74

67

77

73

79

76

78

80

Totals

Activist

Reflector

Theorist

Pragmatist

Ring your scores on this chart and join up.

Activist

Reflector

Theorist

Pragmatist

20

20

20

20

19

18

19

19

17

19

18

16

Very Strong Preference

18

15

17

14

13

18

16

17

12

17

15

16

16

Strong Preference

11

15

14

15

10

14

13

14

9

13

12

13

Moderate Preference

8

7

12

11

12

6

11

10

11

5

10

9

10

Low Preference

4

9

8

9

3

8

7

8

7

6

7

6

5

6

2

5

5

4

4

4

Very Low Preference

3

3

3

1

2

2

2

1

1

1

Learning styles - general descriptions

Activists

Activists involve themselves fully and without bias in new experiences. They enjoy the here and now and are happy to be dominated by immediate experiences. They are open-minded, not sceptical, and this tends to make them enthusiastic about anything new. Their philosophy is: ‘I’ll try anything once’. They tend to act first and consider the consequences afterwards. Their days are filled with activity. They tackle problems by brainstorming. As soon as the excitement from one activity has died down they are busy looking for the next. They tend to thrive on the challenge of new experiences but are bored with implementation and longer term consolidation. They are gregarious people constantly involving themselves with others but, in doing so, they seek to centre all activities around themselves.

Reflectors

Reflectors like to stand back to ponder experiences and observe them from many different perspectives. They collect data, both first hand and from others, and prefer to think about it thoroughly before coming to any conclusion. The thorough collection and analysis of data about experiences and events is what counts so they tend to postpone reaching definitive conclusions for as long as possible. Their philosophy is to be cautious. They are thoughtful people who like to consider all possible angles and implications before making a move. They prefer to take a back seat in meetings and discussions. They enjoy observing other people in action. They listen to others and get the drift of the discussion before making their own points. They tend to adopt a low profile and have a slightly distant, tolerant unruffled air about them. When they act it is part of a wide picture which includes the past as well as the present and others’ observations as well as their own.

Theorists

Theorists adapt and integrate observations into complex but logically sound theories. They think problems through in a vertical, step by step logical way. They assimilate disparate facts into coherent theories. They tend to be perfectionists who won’t rest easy until things are tidy and fit into a rational scheme. They like to analyse and synthesise. They are keen on basic assumptions, principles, theories, models and systems thinking. Their philosophy prizes rationality and logic. ‘If it’s logical it’s good’. Questions they frequently ask are: ‘Does it make sense?’ ‘How does this fit with that?’ ‘What are the basic assumptions?’ They tend to be detached, analytical and dedicated to rational objectivity rather than anything subjective or ambiguous. Their approach to problems is consistently logical. This is their ‘mental set’ and they rigidly reject anything that doesn’t fit with it. They prefer to maximise certainty and feel uncomfortable with subjective judgements, lateral thinking and anything flippant.

Pragmatists

Pragmatists are keen on trying out ideas, theories and techniques to see if they work in practice. They positively search out new ideas and take the first opportunity to experiment with applications. They are the sort of people who return from management courses brimming with new ideas that they want to try out in practice. They like to get on with things and act quickly and confidently on ideas that attract them. They tend to be impatient with ruminating and open-ended discussions. They are essentially practical, down to earth people who like making practical decisions and solving problems. They respond to problems and opportunities ‘as a challenge’. Their philosophy is: ‘There is always a better way’ and ‘If it works it’s good’.

Ó Honey and Mumford, 1986, 1992

Guidelines for selecting learning experiences which are appropriate to your learner's preferred learning style

1. Learners who have a preference for the activist style will learn best from activities where:-

- there are new experiences/problems/opportunities from which to learn

- they can engross themselves in short 'here and now' activities such as business games, competitive teamwork tasks, role-playing exercises

- there is excitement/drama/crisis and things chop and change with a range of diverse activities to tackle

- they have a lot of the limelight/high visibility, i.e. they can 'chair' meetings, lead discussions, give presentations

- they are allowed to generate ideas without constraints of policy or structure or feasibility

- they are thrown in at the deep end with a task they think is difficult, i.e when set a challenge with inadequate resources and adverse conditions

- they are involved with other people, i.e. bouncing ideas off them, solving problems as part of a team

- it is appropriate to 'have a go'

2. Learners who have a preference for the reflector style will learn best from activities where:

- they are allowed or encouraged to watch/think/chew over activities

- they are able to stand back from events and listen/observe, i.e. observing a group at work, taking a back seat in a meeting, watching a film or video

- they are allowed to think before acting, to assimilate before commenting, i.e. time to prepare, a chance to read in advance a brief giving background data

- they can carry out some painstaking research, i.e. investigate, assemble information, probe to get to the bottom of things

- they have the opportunity to review what has happened, what they have learned

- they are asked to produce carefully considered analyses and reports

- they are helped to exchange views with other people without danger, i.e. by prior agreement, within a structured learning experience

- they can reach a decision in their own time without pressure and tight deadlines

3. Learners who have a preference for the theorist style will learn best from activities where:

- what is being offered is part of a system, model, concept, theory

- they have time to methodically explore the associations and interrelationships between ideas, events and situations

- they have the chance to question and probe the basic methodology, assumptions or logic behind something, i.e. by taking part in a question and answer session, by checking a paper for inconsistencies

- they are intellectually stretched, i.e. by analysing a complex situation, being tested in a tutorial session, by teaching high calibre people who ask searching questions

- they are in structured situations with a clear purpose

- they can listen to or read about ideas and concepts that emphasise rationality or logic and are well argued/elegant/watertight

- they can analyse and then generalise the reasons for success or failure

- they are offered interesting ideas and concepts even though they are not immediately relevant

- they are required to understand and participate in complex situations

4. Learners who have a preference for the pragmatist style will learn best from activities where:

- there is an obvious link between the subject matter and a problem or opportunity on the job

- they are shown techniques for doing things with obvious practical advantages, i.e. how to save time, how to make a good first impression, how to deal with awkward people

- they have the chance to try out and practice techniques with coaching/feedback from a credible expert, i.e. someone who is successful and can do the techniques themselves

- they are exposed to a model you can emulate, i.e. a respected boss, a demonstration from someone with a proven track record, lots of examples/anecdotes, a film showing how its done

- they are given techniques currently applicable to their own jobs

- they are given immediate opportunities to implement what they have learned

- there is a high face validity in the learning activity, i.e. good stimulation, 'real' problems

- they can concentrate on practical issues, i.e. drawing up action plans with an obvious end product, suggesting short cuts, giving tips

(Reference : Honey and Mumford "The Manual of Learning Styles" 1986)


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