Every person absorbs and comprehends information differently. For example, when assembling a shoe cabinet from Ikea, some people breeze through the task by following the diagrams or asking people to give detailed instructions. Meanwhile, others need to watch a step-by-step instructional video to see how each part fits. It is only after they finished manipulating the different components when they can say they understood the process.
These different approaches to achieve the same goal are called learning styles — a theory that is popular in the fields of education and classroom management. Individuals have their preferred learning method that is dependent on how their brain is wired and the environment. Through understanding a person’s style, teachers, trainers, and managers can better reach the learning objectives they’ve set out.
While there are different ways to identify the different kinds of learners, New Zealand educator Neil Fleming’s VARK model is the most widely used. According to the model, people may fall under four categories: Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, and Kinesthetic. Fleming, though, explains that overlaps throughout the categories are normal. The purpose of the VARK model is to illustrate the effectivity of integrating different learning methods in one’s program, instead of sticking to one approach.
Visual Learners: Videos and Flash Cards
Individuals who prefer seeing information through graphic displays are visual learners. They learn best when they can observe and visualize the topic, whether it’s the different benefits of CBD oil or the complexities of web development, because it helps them envision ideas and connections. Using videos, flow charts, and graphs in presentations can reinforce key takeaways better than just talking about them. A visual learner is also picky about art, aesthetics, and body language since it can boost or distract their learning experience. They will appreciate educators who are aware of color and design theory in preparing their materials.
Auditory Learners: Podcasts and Discussions
Anything to do with conversations and sounds is the perfect tool for auditory learners. They prefer hearing information instead of seeing or reading about it, which is why podcasts, group discussions, and lectures work best in retaining topics. Asking them to discuss course work vocally also falls in their line of expertise.
Educators should avoid misunderstanding auditory learners, especially when they don’t take notes. It only means they want to concentrate on what they’re hearing, instead of becoming distracted with writing down information.
Reading/Writing Learners: Essays and Book Clubs
When you look inside the bags of the reading and writing learners, you’ll most likely find their go-to book and journal notebooks. They are also obsessed with stationery and receiving handouts in classes. That is because they learn best when they can read and write about the topics they’re interested in. Educators should include essay writing, journaling, and joining book clubs in their curriculum to create an environment where these learners can thrive.
Kinesthetic Learners: Demonstrations and Role-Plays
Kinesthetic learners embody the saying, ‘action is better than words.’ They are the do-ers — people who excel in physical and hands-on experience. Activities like science experiments, demonstrations, and role-plays work best in explaining a concept or skill. They prefer the practical and concrete nature of the learning process, rather than spending time in abstract thinking.
The VARK model provides a helpful guide for those looking to improve their curriculum and education, whether they’re on the side of teaching or studying materials. People curious about their learning preferences can take this VARK questionnaire.
Meta title: Effectively Engaging Various Kinds of Learners
Meta description: Everyone has a way of processing and understanding complicated topics and subjects. Find out which learning style works for the different kinds of learners.