Melissa Shenk

 

April 2005

 

The VARK

 

            Have you ever wanted to know whether you were a visual, aural, read and write, or kinesthetic learner? If so, the VARK can answer that question for you. The VARK is a questionnaire that shows how someone can process information. What exactly does VARK stand for? By logging onto the website, you can understand what each word in the VARK means. I was able to discover what my learning style is and how I can improve my study skills by taking the questionnaire on the website.

            The word VARK stands for visual, aural, read and write, and kinesthetic. These words are learning modes.  A visual person learns better by looking at pictures, watching videos, graphs, using highlighters, and symbols. An aural person learns better by attending discussions with others, using tape recorders, and enjoys telling his or her ideas to other people. A read and write person learns better by listing things, reading out of textbooks, handouts, and taking a large amount of notes. And finally, a kinesthetic person learns better with hands on activities, such as projects. The VARK was developed by Neil D. Fleming. He was a full-time Secondary and college teacher for forty years.  He currently teaches at Lincoln University in New Zealand. Mr. Fleming travels to several places throughout North America and Europe putting on VARK workshops. He is a very successful man. Not only did he invent the VARK, he is a well educated Doctor.

            I have always been curious to know what learning style fits me the best. After taking the VARK questionnaire, the results concluded that I am a kinesthetic learner. In my own experiences, I have noticed that I learn best by taking a lot of notes and listening carefully in discussions, which all fit under kinesthetic learning. I also learn better with a lot of examples given to me and pictures. Pictures and examples could be considered a kinesthetic learner but is more likely to be a visual learner. It is possible that the VARK questionnaire could show that someone is both visual and kinesthetic or aural and read and write. If that happens, you are considered to be multimodal. Multimodal means that you are more then one of the learning modes. This learning style is very common.

            The VARK has a website that can help with my study strategies. Now that I took the questionnaire and know what my learning style is, I can log onto the website to see what can help me study better. On the website, each learning style has its own sections describing ways to learn better. By following what my specific learning style says to do in order to process information better, it will help me. For an example, if you are a read and write person, the VARK website will encourage you to study by making lists, using dictionaries, handouts, textbooks, and other sources that require you to read or write. In my situation, I am a kinesthetic learner. Therefore, the VARK websites study strategies for a kinesthetic learner is to take field trips, use hands on activities, examples, samples, and other strategies in which I would be active.

            In conclusion, the VARK is a website designed to show people how to process information in a helpful and positive way. The developer, Neil D. Fleming, created it in order to help peoples study strategies. The word VARK stands for visual, aural, read and write, and kinesthetic learning modes. Each consists of their own ways to learn successfully. By using the website, I as able to discover what my learning style was. Plus, I was able to get great tips of how to better my study skills. The VARK is a wonderful website to use if you want to improve your study skills or if you are curious to know what learning style fits you the best.