VAK Learning styles refer to the theory of individual learning. If you are looking for the answer to who created the VAK Learning styles model, it was initially designed by Walter Burke Barbe and later redefined and developed by Neil Fleming. It is considered one of the simpler models of learning styles and includes both memory and perception.
The sensory modalities in the VAK learning model are as follows-
- Visualizing Modality
- Auditory Modality
- Kinesthetic Modality
The visual modality includes paintings, sculpture, shape, and picture, whereas the auditory modality includes listening, chants, tone, and rhythms, and the Kinesthetic modality includes body movements, gestures, positioning, and object manipulation.
The renowned psychologist Barb and his colleagues believed that strengths in the learning modality can happen in combination or can occur by themselves. The change could also occur over time or with age.
As per the VAK learning styles theory, at least one of the styles mentioned above is dominant in every individual that defines his preferred style of learning. Once you are aware of it, it becomes easy to mould your learning methods to suit your style and achieve desired outcomes.
Identifying your Learning Styles
Consider the following scenarios to identify your learning styles
- If you are complaining about something specific, then it means that you are not comfortable with it and will generally revert to the style you are comfortable with. Human beings are programmed to seek what they desire. Are you interested in talking and listening to someone or reading a text, or you want to take some physical action to let go of your emotions? Choose the one you generally prefer, and you will get your dominant learning style
- If you are a student, think about the learning style you prefer in schools. Suppose the first teacher prefers visual charts whereas the second like physical activities, and the third puts the onus on reading and writing. Once you identify the teacher with whose style you are most comfortable with you will find your dominant learning style
Types of VAK Learning Styles
This type of learner learns with a visual medium or through seeing it mentally. Their preference includes
- Visual things like videos, illustrations in books, diagrams, charts, written information, facial expressions, body language, etc.
- The visual learners are imaginative by nature
- They like to take frequent notes
- The visual learners enjoy art and aesthetics
- They are good at spellings
- They struggle with verbal instructions
Visual Learners have two sub-types
- Visual-spatial – Learners who are visual-spatial prefer the learning style of visual materials like charts, videos, and demonstrations. They do not prefer the written language as much as the Visual, linguistic learners. These learners are good at visualizing faces and even places by using their imagination to their advantage. They do not get lost in new environments easily.
- Visual linguistic- Learners who are said to be visual linguistic prefer the learning style of written language like writing tasks or reading the information. They have a good memory and can memorize information that has been written down. They like to write down information and pay greater attention to lectures if they can watch them simultaneously
This type of learner learns with the help of audio or through listening or discussions. Their preference includes
- They use nuances, pitch, tone, etc. to boost their learning
- The auditory learner is sensitive to rhythm, pitch, and tone of the voice
- These learners face difficulty with writing and reading tasks
- The auditory learner is good at presentations in oral form
- They are good at talking with other people
- The auditory learner loves verbal instructions and can follow them easily
- This type of learner thrives beautifully in group discussions
- The auditory learner prefers recording lessons than taking notes
This type of learner learns by exploring the physical environment around them. Kinesthetic learners have two sub-types, tactile learner and Kinesthetic movement learners. Their preference includes
- Their preferred mode of learning is through imitation, as well as practising a new skill.
- The Kinesthetic learners are unable to sit still and are often distracted at the drop of a hat.
- They become less responsive when information is not presented to their liking.
- Kinesthetic learners are good at solving hands-on problems
- They have a good sense of direction
- Kinesthetic learners are good at sports because their physical movements are more coordinated than visual or auditory learners
- These type of learners are good at practical subjects like engineering and construction
- The Kinesthetic learners struggle with conceptual or abstract topics
Make your Learning Style Work for you
Tips for Students who are Visual Learners
- An important tip for students who are visual learners is to find a quiet place and study there so that the verbal disturbances do not disturb him
- The student who is a visual learner should include agendas, outlines, and concept maps for taking notes and reading materials
- A visual learner should use handouts in his learning process. He should love white spaces for note-taking and include lots of content to reread after the learning session is complete.
- For a visual learner, it is essential to have a clear view of his teacher or instructor in the classroom so that he can see his facial expressions and body language
- An important tip for students who are visual learners is to illustrate ideas with the help of pictures. He can take the help of mind maps and draw tables, graphs, illustration, and charts in his copies as part of his notes
- Textbooks have essential points, and the student who is a visual learner should mark them with the help of colorful highlighters
- The student who is a visual learner should take help of multi-media for his studies like videos and computers
- A visual learner can draw pictures in the margins to stay engaged
- For a visual learner, it is important to have a paper and pen handy so that he can take help of the writing materials at will and jot down the important things quickly
- The student who is a visual learner should write important notes or information so that he can memorize them easily
- A visual learner must invite questions to stay alert
- The student who is a visual learner should post flip charts to explain what is going to come next and what has been presented
Tips for Students who are Auditory Learners
- An important tip for students who are auditory learners is to find a place at the back of the classroom or near the side as visual stimulation is conspicuously less over there
- The student who is an auditory learner should think aloud, as listening to his voice will help him in his studies.
- Reading in a loud voice is recommended for students who are auditory learners, especially if they are tired or they are reading some important text or during a proofreading
- An important tip for students who are auditory learners is to talk to themselves while studying as listening to their voice will help them to memorize effectually
- For an auditory learner, it is essential to make speeches and present his ideas to other students
- The student who is an auditory learner should participate in debates and discussions as it is his cup of tea. Using verbal analogies and discussing ideas verbally will prove helpful for him
- Using a voice recorder for learning purposes can prove beneficial for a student with audio preferences
- An important tip for students who are auditory learners is to take the help of mnemonics and musical jingles to learn information quickly
- The student who is an auditory learner should recite the information that he wants to memorize as it will aid him in his purpose
- An important tip for students who are auditory learners is to include auditory activities to make connections. These include buzz groups, brainstorming, etc.
Tips for Students who are Kinesthetic Learners
- An important tip for students who are kinesthetic learners is to decorate his study space with colourful posters
- The student who is a kinesthetic learner should take the help of visualization technique for difficult or complex tasks to keep the bigger picture in their mind
- For a kinesthetic learner, it is important to use bright color highlighters to highlight their reading material
- The student who is a kinesthetic learner should vary his activities and take regular breaks as his attention span is less and he is easily distracted
- A vital tip for kinesthetic learners is to study a physical activity like working or writing at a standing desk, reading while walking, memorizing while pacing, etc. The learner should use activities that get to move around a lot
- For a kinesthetic learner, it is essential to use mind mapping for note-taking as it can help him in his studies
- The student who is a kinesthetic learner should record his important notes and listen to them when he is exercising because he can’t sit still for a long time and read the notes
- A kinesthetic learner should skim through the whole lot at first glance and get a feel of the text. Later he can read the chapter carefully to memorize it
- The student who is a kinesthetic learner should play music a lot as it motivates him to complete his tasks
- An important tip for students who are kinesthetic learners is to transfer valuable information from the text to any other medium like a tablet or a keyboard because books cannot hold his attention for long
Tips for Teachers
Just like a student, there are different types of learning styles theories for a teacher. He needs to figure it out as early as possible on the kind of his teaching style to fit in with those of his students. The VAK learning styles lesson plan is essential in almost all the activities, whether you are overseeing activities or presenting information to the students.
Find out the style of the students and stimulate their senses accordingly for the best results.
Auditory learners prefer oral instructions, recordings, verbal explanations, and lectures, and the teachers should mold themselves accordingly. The teacher should put his onus on listening-based instructions. He should include story building, quiz, recitation, clues, dictation, and repetition to engage the learners
Visual learner likes to read silently and loves illustration that is part of the text. These students prefer their teacher to teach with the help of written instructions, presenting scenarios, or a demonstration. Teachers should take help of activities like board games, video games, maps, and drawings to teach them effectively
Kinesthetic learners do not prefer worksheet-based or traditional lessons. The teacher should integrate experimental and physical elements to engage such learners. Activities that encourage moving or touching things around as part of the task find favor with these students.
The benefits of VAK learning techniques are as follows-
- The model caters to the learning style of every individual, whatever his preferred style is
- This learning model has helped tremendously with students who are suffering from learning disability
- It is considered beneficial because it encourages active participation amongst the individuals
- VAK learning styles model helps to make the lessons interesting for students in a classroom
Knowing about the different learning styles is very important as it helps create innumerable learning opportunities that can broaden the horizon of a learner. VAK learning styles is one of the most influential and essential learning styles and communication tools.