The VAK learning styles model, used as part of the enrolment process, suggests that most people can be divided into one of three preferred styles of learning. These three styles are as follows and it is important to note that there is no right or wrong learning style:
- Someone with a visual learning style has a preference for seen or observed things, including pictures, diagrams, demonstrations, displays, handouts, films, flip-chart, etc. These people will use phrases such as ‘show me’, ‘let’s have a look at that’ and will be best able to perform a new task after reading the instructions or watching someone else do it first. These are the people who will work from lists and written directions and instructions.
- Someone with an auditory learning style has a preference for the transfer of information through listening: to the spoken word, of self or others, of sounds and noises. These people will use phrases such as ‘tell me’, ‘let’s talk it over’ and will be best able to perform a new task after listening to instructions from an expert. These are the people who are happy being given spoken instructions over the telephone, and can remember all the words to songs that they hear!
- Someone with a kinaesthetic learning style has a preference for physical experience - touching, feeling, holding, doing, practical hands-on experiences. These people will use phrases such as ‘let me try’, ‘how do you feel?’ and will be best able to perform a new task by going ahead and trying it out, learning as they go. These are the people who like to experiment, hands-on, and never look at the instructions first!
People commonly have a main preferred learning style, but this will be part of a blend of all three. Some people have a very strong preference; other people have a more even mixture of two or less commonly, three styles.
When you know your preferred learning style(s) you understand the type of learning that best suits you. This enables you to choose the types of learning that work best for you. There is no right or wrong learning style. The point is that there are types of learning that are right for your own preferred learning style.
Please note that this is not a scientifically validated testing instrument – it is a free assessment tool designed to give a broad indication of preferred learning style(s). More information about learning styles, personality, and personal development is at www.businessballs.com.
VAK learning styles self-test Victoria Chislett MSc and Alan Chapman 2005; contextual material, code and design Alan Chapman 2004-2006; Businessballs 1995-2006