New VARK Profiles

Watch for some new style VARK Profiles.  We are planning to launch some new VARK Profiles that will be cheaper for trainers, teachers, students and others who want to learn about preferences for learning.  These will still provide you with your VARK Profile (describing your preferences and how they can be made to work for you.)

Workshops 2015

Neil Fleming, designer of the VARK resources plans to be in the New England/New York areas in August 2015.  Contact him now to check out his availability for working with your business, college or university?

New Design for the VARK website

On 21 November 2014 the newly designed VARK website went live.  The old site was launched in 2001 so this was a major task completed by The Software Workshop director and designer, Heather Lander, Lyttelton, Christchurch, New Zealand.  New initiatives for learning and communication will be added with the new design.

Workshops 2012

Neil Fleming, designer of VARK, facilitated his participatory workshops at several colleges and universities in, and near St Louis in early October 2012.

Neil Fleming, the VARK designer, accepts keynote invitations and has been facilitating workshops around the world for the past 15 years. There are a range of topics, and he can adapt to your needs.(see Workshops on the More Information page). There is still an increased interest in applying VARK and learning preferences in both academic environments and in high performance (elite) coaching and business environments. Those boring meetings may be the result of inappropriate learning preferences. If you are interested in a keynote presentations, or workshops on your site, please email Neil and indicate your interest. There is no commitment in asking. He can provide you with email addresses of previous clients to get independent feedback about the effectiveness of these highly participatory events. They are not PowerPoint driven lectures! That would be anathema for someone who designed VARK!!

Personalized Learning Profiles for Business

Did you ever want more detailed feedback about your VARK scores and a learning profile written for you; and about you with an emphasis on business use. That service is now available. You will be provided with a detailed description of your learning preferences using a PDF file returned immediately to your browser. The cost varies with currency changes but is approximately $US15 or £UK7 or an equivalent in other currencies.  Businesses wanting to use these for a large group would be offered a discounted price.

New Business Membership and Business Resources

We have redesigned and streamlined our business services. This new service begins with a Business Membership package that includes:

  • Your own VARK web address: We host a website dedicated to gathering VARK information about your customers, clients or staff. This has an initial free hosting of 100 respondents. You would use this to advise your respondents of the URL for that site and each user would be able to complete the VARK questionnaire online and see their VARK results..
  • Free Access to VARK Resources: We provide a membership cache with PowerPoint presentations, a calculator for analyzing VARK scores, alternative Helpsheets, workshop and training handouts, detailed recent statistics, research information, and much more.
  • Marketing and Promotions: Membership provides you with the rights to use the principles of VARK in training programmes both in-house and externally and to use VARK Membership in your marketing and promotions.

Optional Add-Ons:

  • Additional recipients: If you wish to have more than 100 respondents complete the questionnaire within your Business Membership you can top-up your client limit.
  • VARK Business Profiles: When each client, customer or staff member completes the VARK Questionnaire online within your membership area, they receive a VARK Business Profile as a PDF file direct to their browser. This is a Business-oriented profile that is different from the ones offered to members of the public who complete the questionnaire on the VARK website. It can be purchased en bloc by a business on a per-user basis. The price is based on numbers and negotiated within the indicative range: $US3-$US15.
  • Customized Profiles: These use the same format as the VARK Business Profile above, but offer the added opportunity for you to place information about your business into each profile that is pinged back to clients, staff or customers. We work with you in tailoring your content into the PDF document so that it effectively promotes your company and its products. Indicative fees for VARK Customized Profiles are in the range $US3-$15 per user.

***These are all fully hosted services. No software needs to be added to your servers or websites to enjoy the business benefits of using VARK in these ways.***

Choosing Your Research Design: Watch for Bias!

I have learned about some inappropriate and wasteful research efforts. Please don’t add to my list!
Researchers have tried to find differences between individuals’ preferences when they are learning some specific skills. That may be appropriate when the skill is carefully chosen. Teaching children to swim is unlikely to be effective when the teaching methods are predominantly Read/write or Visual. There has been VARK research done on swimming, knitting, tying knots and sign language. Often the researcher has failed to note that such tasks have a built-in bias and differences between individuals may be meaningless. Of course, people who have a relatively high score for the Kinesthetic mode will learn better (and faster) if the task is a Kinesthetic one! And lawyers may have a bigger proportion who have Read/write preferences than body-shop workers. But beware! Most of the VARK database (60%) is composed of those who have no particular single preference. They are multimodal and use two, three or four modes to help them learn. They will dominate the statistics and make conclusions invalid unless the researcher can use very sophisticated statistical measures to unravel their multiple characteristics.

Some have tried to categorize teaching methods as being more Kinesthetic or more Visual, but again, beware! We are multimodal beings and there may be variety even when somebody appears to be using only one mode to teach or train. An instructor using PowerPoint is probably using mainly Read/write methods with print on the screen and some Aural output. If that same instructor chose to add many examples, case studies and applications it would better suit those who prefer to learn using their Kinesthetic preferences. The addition of graphs, diagrams, charts, maps and an overview schematic would assist those who would have Visual preferences. Because it is on a screen does not make it a Visual!

Children’s Preferences

I receive emails from teachers and parents wanting to know the VARK preferences of their young children. Between birth and around 12 years of age children build their own set of preferences for learning. For example, after birth they develop preferences for touch (K), voices (A), pictures (V), reading(R) and writing (R) in that development order.
It is not helpful to categorize young children as being dependent on any set of preferences when they are in those stages. And, they are not suited to respond to questionnaires. We offer an Observation Sheet that asks questions of grandparents, parents, caregivers, babysitters, siblings, relatives and others who know the child well. It is, intentionally descriptive, not prescriptive. Contact us for a copy but respect the cautions above. Labelling is not helpful