VARK learning styles

The VAK learning styles model* suggests that my preferred style of learning is “VISUAL”.

“Someone with a visual learning style has a preference for seen or observed things, including pictures, diagrams, demonstrations, displays, handouts, films, flipcharts, etc. These people will use phrases such as ‘show me’, ‘let’s have a look at that’ and will be best able to perform a new task after reading the instructions or watching someone else do it first. These are people who will work from lists and written directions and instructions.”

My results from the self-assessment questionnaire were: Visual 19, Auditory 6 and Kinesthetic 5. So quite convincingly “Visual”. (*In the VARK version of this model, an additional learning style is given as Reading/Writing.)

How would this impact upon the future professional development opportunities that I may seek to undertake?

The recent rise of online instructional videos (eg. on Youtube, etc) would be an efficient and cost-effective (sometimes free) professional development activity well-suited to my learning style. To this end, I have already begun ‘liking’ channels and practitioners that I find appealing or highly commended.

Recent changes enforced upon physical learning venues, due to Covid-19 lockdowns, have seen a huge jump in the uptake of conference software, such as Zoom, and I imagine the next few years will continue an exploration in its possibilities. I can see online conference facilities being useful for learning new skills, enhancing existing ones, building mentor relationships (both as mentee and mentor).

The various professional associations may well be moving more to audiovisual conferencing to satisfy the increasingly strict requirements (eg. social distancing) for a Covid-safe future, certainly as travel to interstate and overseas conferences continues to be unpredictable.

In my Business Plan assignment last year, I had established some goals for the next five years of a remedial massage therapy career. The ones relevant to planning for future Professional Development needs include:

• becoming certified in a new massage technique each year and add them to the treatment menu.

• continuing to network with other local massage and allied health professionals at professional development events.

• tracking referrals each month on a spreadsheet (online update of skills?)

• becoming certified in mindfulness techniques to complement the remedial massage therapies (ie. helping others to deal with post-traumatic stress, overcome sleep disturbance, reduce chronic pain and depression and rediscover their essential wholeness and resiliency).