VARK Learning Styles; A Model For Understanding Preferences
What is the VARK Learning Model?
VARK is a popular learning model developed and designed by Neil Fleming in 1987. It aims to help individuals understand their preferred way of learning. The acronym VARK stands for Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, and Kinaesthetic, representing the four primary learning modalities. One of the most important foundational elements for educational excellence is understanding the psychology of our brains and how we process knowledge most effectively. It simplifies daily learning, and you'll also discover that the time you spend revising is significantly more fruitful and satisfying.
With our Train the Trainer courses, you can learn how to implement different techniques to cater to all your learners’ learning styles. Our level 3 AET and our level 4 CET courses explain the concept in detail.
What are the 4 VARK learning styles
The Visual learner prefers to view the information in maps, diagrams, charts, graphs, flow charts, and all the symbolic arrows, circles, hierarchies, and other devices that are used to represent what could have been displayed in print. It includes designs, white space, patterns, shapes, and the different formats that are used to highlight and convey information.
Aural / Auditory (A):
The Aural mode describes a preference for information that is “heard or spoken.” Learners with auditory strengths learn best from lectures, group discussions, radio, email, using mobile phones, speaking and talking things through. The Aural preference includes talking out loud as well as talking to oneself. Often people with auditory strength want to sort things out by speaking first rather than sorting out their ideas and then speaking. They may say again what has already been said or ask an obvious and previously answered question. They have a need to say it themselves, and they learn by saying it – their way.
The Read/write preference is for information displayed as words. Not surprisingly, many teachers and students have a strong preference for this mode. Being able to write well and read widely are attributes sought by employers of graduates. This preference emphasises text-based input and output – reading and writing in all its forms, especially manuals, reports, essays, and assignments. People who prefer this modality are often addicted to PowerPoint, the Internet, lists, diaries, dictionaries, thesauri, quotations and words.
The Kinaesthetic learning style refers to the preference of individuals to learn through physical activity and hands-on experiences. It includes demonstrations, simulations, videos of “real” things, case studies, practice, and applications. For a Kinaesthetic learner, the target is the reality or concrete nature of a given situation. If it can be grasped, touched, tasted, or held, it will be acceptable. Writing or speaking Kinaesthetically is possible if the topic is strongly based on reality. An assignment that requires the details of who will do what and when is suited to those with this preference, as is a case study or a working example of what is intended or proposed.
Managing Learners with Different Learning Styles CPD teaches you in detail how to educate learners in their unique ways of learning.
How do you use VARK in the classroom?
Students and teachers alike use various methods to study and learn. Making notes, reading books, using the internet and attending lectures are some of the many ways of learning. We all have a way that we prefer to learn; we may not realise which that is or even why we prefer a method.
It is crucial for teachers and trainers to specifically familiarise themselves with their dominant learning style. Trainers need to be able to identify the learning preference of all their students. Since normal classes consist of a varied group of students, it is best to use different teaching methods to engage the whole classroom and effectively conduct the sessions. Where possible, it is better to also interact with each student individually and recognise which way of learning is most suitable for them. This way, teachers would be able to guide better and help the students learn new things effectively.
To get insight into your learner type, take our VARK Learner Type Quiz and find out more about your learning preferences.
Why is it important to learn the VARK Learning Model?
As a professional, you have a responsibility to develop your own skills to be better able to perform your role. This model is vital in terms of how to understand the needs of individual learners. Focusing on the VARK modalities has the essential advantage of allowing both students and teachers to adapt their behaviour in order to personalise learning and teaching more effectively.
You can learn more about VARK and other learning theories in our Level 3 Award in Education and Training. Enrol in our Level 4 CET course if you want to teach upto Level 4 courses. Contact Us for assistance from our support team.