What type of Learner are you? The Vark method.
Learning is a lifelong journey and education is an integral part of our experiences. So it comes as no surprise that knowing enough about yourself to be aware of what your learning style is could be the difference between being an average student or an excellent one.
One of the more prominent methods was developed by Neil Fleming in 1987 called the VARK model. Fleming worked under the theory that we all utilize one of the four main pathways to learning: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinaesthetic.
Among the variety of applications for this information is to make learning easier by working with your strengths, but also saves us time as we can assimilate and process information more efficiently.
In our everyday lives applying this knowledge can help us understand people around us better and lead to us making better interpersonal decisions.
The acronym “VARK” stands for Visual, Aural, Read, and Kinaesthetic which represent the different learning styles humans have for processing new information according to the research carried out by Neil Fleming.
This group of individuals will typically find themselves drawing out information they are studying or working out as they go. They also pay more attention to videos and demonstrations because this is more engaging to their natural abilities. This group learns best by seeing so they find visually represented information more appealing. They may also pay more attention to body language.
Some examples of items they may find helpful are:
- Color-coded notes and other visually engaging media.
These learners learn best by hearing the information and may prefer other people to present the information than to take notes.
This could take the form of conversations, or reading out loud to themselves, but also could include recording the lectures and playing it back to themselves.
Due to their requirement for listening, they require quiet environments for information processing. Isolating themselves from distractions and external stimulus is essential to their learning experience.
Some of the best methods for this group to gather and process new information includes:
- Transcribing written notes into recordings.
- Audio books.
- Recorded lectures.
Reading and Writing Learners
If you can think back to those people in your class that had the beautifully crafted notebooks with the well-organized headings and color-coded topics you can understand that reading and writing was their preferred learning mechanism.
This group engage perfectly with words and text and will typically be list makers, as well as producing great summaries of new information.
They thrive on a few of the following outlets of information:
- Reading text and making summaries.
- Writing notes and highlighting important information.
- Creating presentations.
The final group in this model are also known as the tactile learners so they learn best by practically touching and doing things. Hands-on experience, trial and error and staying physical are the hallmarks of these individuals and sitting at a desk for prolonged periods of time will prove detrimental to their learning.
With that in mind it is easy to see why they tend to excel in areas such as sports, design, technology and art. Incorporating movement into the learning experience might be of benefit for them even in more traditional experiences like reading.
A few situations that could be of benefit to these learners are:
- Experiments and construction assignments.
- Adding a physical activity to the learning experience.
- Moving around in intervals during studying.
Which style is yours?
To help you determine which style is best suited to your natural inclinations here is a link to a test you can take for self assessment.
Below is a small example to provide some insight on how this works.
If you needed to assemble a piece of furniture, which of the four below would be easiest to apply:
- Following diagrams showing each step. (Visual)
- Listen to advice from someone who has done it. (Auditory)
- Read the written instructions that come with it. (Reading)
- Watch a video of someone assembling it and following along. (Kinaesthetic)
Given the structural limitations of institutional education it may not always be feasible to learn in the ideal scenario for you, but at the very least a lot of these can be implemented when its time to review lecture information, study for tests and overall be a more efficient student and learner.
Something that is important to consider is that potentially more than one learning method applies to you so combining methods could be useful. With the technology available in smartphones and tablets recording lectures is much easier and a more feasible tool with a host of storage options at your disposal.
Hope you are satisfied with the results from your self assessment, maybe they confirm what you already suspected about yourself, maybe they provide answers to things you’ve yet been able to understand. Either way it is useful to have an idea and hopefully you can apply it to greater efficiency on your educational journey.
All the best in your studies and onwards!
This post was written by Abdulhakeem Yusuf. Abdulhakeem is the content writer at SOC Online Academy. He has over 6 years of professional writing experience.
If you are interested in using your learning style to excel at SOC Online Academy, go here to learn how to apply.