Do you know what your learning style is? Should you? Most people generally have a pretty good idea about the ways in which they learn, and retain information. Neil Fleming designed VARK which helps people to determine their learning style, which can help aid study and change the way in which people learn and teach, depending on their particular strengths and weaknesses. I hated anything to do with ‘Mind Maps’ as I felt they were disorganised and messy. I also hated group discussions, but I believe that’s more to do with my introverted nature rather than disliking people. It was no surprise to me that my learning style is primarily through reading/writing. Personally, I prefer to see information displayed as words and I tend to have post it notes and lists everywhere, which is also useful for my sieve-like memory. Now, back to that VARK.
VARK stands for Visual, Aural, Read/Write and Kinesthetic and it is a questionnaire that determines what an individual’s preferred learning style is. Everyone is different, and there will be some overlaps in the different learning styles. Here we will take you through the VARK learning styles.
The Visual mode is basically seeing and reading. Visual learners prefer to learn by reading maps, instructions and following recipes. They handle written information very well, and find it easier to process information in images and diagrams such as graphs and charts. They often enjoy going to museums as form of leisure.
This learning style concerns itself with information that it heard or spoken. Aural learners tend to learn best from group discussions, lectures and talking the information through. These types of learnings often ask obvious or previously answered question, but they learn by saying it again in their own way. As opposed to the visual learner’s preference for written instructions, the aural learner will prefer to be told what to do. They are likely to engage in musical endeavours as a form of leisure.
This is a preference for information written as words, such as essays, instructions and assignments. This method is widely used by teachers and lecturers as it can detect comprehension and understanding of the materials covered. Individuals who have this preferred learning style enjoy reading and have an aptitude for writing.
Finally, the last learning style is kinesthetic and individuals with this preferred learning style learn by seeing and doing. This involves abandoning all instructions and learning by having a go at something and learning as they go along. These individuals enjoy practical exercises and learning by experience and by trial and error.
You can take the VARK questionnaire to find out your preferred learning style here