Discover your Learning Style – Hark it’s VARK!

Published on 7th January 2016 under Blog Topic - Professionals/Career Movers, Students, Training,

Let me give you some early clues to your learning style!

Have you ever said any of the following:

“I see what you mean”, or “That doesn’t sound right” or “Can you draw it out for me?” or “Where’s the instruction manual?” (particularly common for me after an Ikea shopping trip!)

These statements demonstrate how you learn best. Knowing your style can really make a difference to your learning experience. It can explain why you love a particular subject. For instance, cooking in Home Economics is really ‘hands-on’.  It can also explain why you like a teacher; their style of explaining matches your style of learning. I’m sure, like me, you’ve had experiences where the same subject taught by a different teacher has made a dramatic difference: the subject came alive, you suddenly understood and were motivated to know more.

Understanding learning styles is required throughout your life, not just in school or college.  In the world of work, there is always a need to present, influence, persuade or instruct people.  Crucial to these tasks is knowing how we learn, so that we can adapt the message accordingly. Think for a second,  if you need something explained at work, who is your ‘go to’ person. It could be a piece of equipment, a new procedure, a new software package. Chances are this person has the same learning style as you, or they’ve learnt to adapt their style to suit you.

The good news?  If you want to be a better learner and teacher, you can start by learning about the VARK Model and take a questionnaire to learn how you learn!

Your learning style

Neil Fleming (1987) developed the VARK model to explain the main differences in how we take in information.  VARK is the acronym for Visual, Auditory, Reading & Writing and Kinesthetic learning.

A VISUAL learner prefers explanation through pictures, movies and diagrams.

An AUDITORY learner prefers music, discussion, lectures.

A READING & WRITING learner prefers making lists, reading textbooks and taking notes.

A KINESTHETIC learner prefers movement, experiments and experiential learning.

So whether you’re a mature student heading back to college, a leaving cert student grappling with a tough subject, a professional who has to roll out a new company policy, a parent helping your child with their homework or a University lecturer explaining Carbon Footprint – remember, understand your own learning style and adapt!

To discover your style check out the link below, you’ll also find different categories of questionnaires available: