RECENT CHANGES TO OUR POLICY?
VARK is still free for individual learners to use. It is not free for groups of students/learners or any other groups. We are now declining permission for those who want to use our VARK copyright resources online or on paper with groups of participants. Here are our reasons. VARK was designed to help individual trainees and learners. Requiring large numbers of learners/trainees and/or research participants to go to our website adds to our storage and hosting costs without any benefit to us. Using large numbers of paper copies means that users only get their four VARK scores and there is no indication of which ones are significant for a single preference (mild, strong, very strong) or a multimodal description of their preferences (e.g VA, ARK, VARK Type One, VARK Type Two …). That has the potential to mislead people about their preferred learning strategies. Using the highest VARK score as a single preference is often incorrect and unhelpful. Learners with similar scores may have different preferences and those with quite different scores may have the same VARK preference set.
Breaching Our Copyright
Our copyright will be breached when VARK copyright materials are place ion any other platform whether internet or intranet, password-protected, or using SMS systems, survey instruments such as Qualtrics, Survey Monkey, or coding VARK into email or other applications. …)
The VARK Algorithms
Our copyright VARK algorithms are not available for obvious reasons. We do process VARK data using the research and the standard VARK algorithms for legitimate users.
What is Copyright?
Copyright is an internationally agreed set of rules that cover the creation and ownership of materials. It is most commonly applied to published books but also includes digital information, music, movies, videos and other works of art and industry. What is covered is the particular expression of an idea, rather than the idea itself. The rules protect the designer’s/creator’s rights to allow the copyright materials to be used in whatever way he/she decides. Copyright lasts the life of the author/designer/creator plus another 50 years.
VARK copyright is similar to the copyright for computer software, works of art or print materials.
Is VARK Copyrighted?
VARK is copyright and those who use it are included within the copyright laws of their country. The VARK copyright covers:
- VARK Questionnaires including translations of the questionnaires.
- VARK Helpsheets.
- VARK Software.
- VARK Training Resources.
- VARK PowerPoint presentations
- VARK Website content
- VARK Articles.
- VARK Algorithms – Research and Standard
The word VARK and its Trade Mark.
The word VARK was launched in 1987 by Neil Fleming and trade marked in 2012. The seminal publication appeared in 1992 in the following publication and should be cited as such:
Fleming, N.D. and Mills, C. (1992), Not Another Inventory, Rather a Catalyst for Reflection, To Improve the Academy, Vol. 11, 1992., page 137.
Prior to Fleming’s work, VAK was in common usage and probably dates back to the Greeks. Fleming split the Visual dimension (the V in VAK) into two parts – symbolic as Visual (V) and text as Read/write (R). This created a fourth mode, (Read/write) and brought about the word VARK as a new concept, a learning-preferences approach, a questionnaire and support materials. These are protected by copyright and the word VARK by trademark (2012).
How can I use VARK?
To use VARK legitimately you should seek permission from the copyright holder by filling in the Copyright Permission Request form. Explain how you plan to use VARK resources and include detail about the number of users. See the recent changes about the numbers of participants that we might accept or decline. If you are a business, you should expect to pay for the opportunity to enhance your business when using VARK.
Does it cost money to use the VARK copyright materials (the questionnaire, helpsheets etc)?
If VARK is being used to generate income for a business or person you will need to pay copyright fees. For example, where a private/public business organization wants to use VARK materials to enhance its business or reputation they should expect to pay fees. See the Examples below if you are unclear or you can send us an email and ask us to clarify your case. Professional trainers, business firms, professional sports organisations, publishers and book authors, government and state agencies, government departments and government ministries should apply and pay for the use of VARK online or on paper. The amount paid for copyright release can be easily covered by most budgets and, well-run organizations usually have a budget allocation for such use.
Does anybody use it for free?
Some VARK copyright that have been purchased may be used by teachers, professors, and tutors in their own colleges, universities or high schools. It is polite to request permission. For rather obvious reasons, the VARK questionnaire and other VARK copyright resources may not be placed on other websites, apps, research projects, internet, internet or survey instruments. If you are an organization or individual developing resources for students or teachers in high schools, universities or colleges it is not free. See the table below.
What about publicly funded projects and businesses?
These organizations and projects pay their staff so VARK is not free for them. If VARK is being used as part of your paid work, you should request permission and expect to pay. VARK is not free because you are working with the unemployed, the disadvantaged, the unwaged or the unfortunate. If it enhances your performance you should be willing to pay for that, and use a budget or set fees to cover that cost.
What about not-for-profit organizations?
Not-for-profit organizations usually pay their staff so VARK is not free for them. Answer this question. Is VARK being used as part of my paid work? If the answer is Yes! you should request permission and expect to pay. VARK is not free just because you are working with the unemployed, the disadvantaged, the unwaged or the unfortunate. If it enhances your performance you should be willing to pay for the value added.
Including VARK for delivery in other countries?
One of the requirements of the Berne Convention is that countries signed to the Convention exercise national treatment in their administration of copyright. This means that foreign copyright owners of other countries that are signatories to the Berne Convention are afforded the same level of protection as national copyright owners. If an educational institution prepares a course designed for delivery in another country then any copyright materials used within that usage must be authorized both in the country of origin and the country of destination. If the course is being developed for sale to the other institution then in the first instance the copyright material is being used for a commercial purpose. In the country of destination if it is likely to be for educational purposes, whatever the purpose, the copyright owner is entitled to expect payment for use.
What about including it in books and handouts?
It may not be published in either paper or electronic form without the consent of the authors. See our publisher’s page.
|I want to use VARK with large numbers of online participants.||This adds to our costs so your request will be declined unless you are willing to negotiate a fee or use our software packages. VARK was designed for individual teachers/trainers and learners not institutions.|
|I want to use paper copies of the VARK Questionnaire with 20 or more participants.||For numbers over 20 it is likely to be declined. Using paper copies means that the participants get only their four VARK scores without any explanation of whether those scores indicate a singe preference for learning (mild, strong or very strong) or a multimodal set of preferences (e.g. AR, VRK, VARK Type One, VARK Type Two…). That can mislead learners.|
|I want to use VARK for my research.||VARK was not designed for research and we decline any numbers greater than 90 that intend to use it in that way. Also, VARK scores are not “real” numbers as used for statistical measures such as correlation, variance and multivariate analysis. We have research documents that explain more about VARK and research. Why not ask?|
|I want to use VARK once with a small number of people. May I use it.||Is it using VARK on paper or online? We have a convenient way for you to pay and it is inexpensive because it is based on the number of users. Why not ask?|
|I want to alter the questions and just use the ideas in VARK.||DON’T. You are breaching copyright law. Use a non-copyright or public-domain questionnaire from somewhere else.|
|I want to put VARK stuff on our website or use our own servers to host VARK.||DON’T. You are breaching copyright laws in your country. Permission will not be granted.|
|I want to design an app using VARK materials.||DON’T. You are breaching copyright laws in your country. Permission will not be granted.|
|I want to gather VARK scores using my own online system.||DON’T. You are breaching copyright laws in your country. Permission will not be granted. VARK may not replaced on any other platform.|
|My business wants to use the VARK materials to help train staff, or to sample our clients or …?||You should apply. We have a convenient Business Membership where we host a website for you to collect the VARK data from your clients. An initial allocation of 100 users is included. There are a number of other VARK Membership privileges including access to a cache of VARK resources and a calculator for VARK scores. Enquire now.|
|My business wants our clients to get their VARK scores and we would get a record of those scores.||You should apply. We have a convenient Business Membership where we host a website for you to collect the VARK data from your clients. An initial allocation of 100 users is included. There are a number of other VARK Membership privileges including access to a cache of VARK resources and a calculator for VARK scores. Enquire now.|
|My business wants our clients to get a VARK Profile of their preferred learning.||We can host a site for your clients and after they complete the VARK questionnaire online they will immediately receive a download address to obtain their VARK Profile. You will also have a record of their raw data. The price is determined by your numbers and the design of the profile. Enquire now.|
|My business clients want to get VARK Profiles (as above) that also contain marketing/promotional information about our business.||We can work with you to design a set of Business Profiles that contain your information and the clients’ preferred learning strategies customized to their VARK scores. The price is determined by numbers and the design work for the profile. Enquire now.|
|I want to use VARK as a trainer/coach/mentor. May I use it?||You will need a Business Membership as above or a negotiated limited use with fees expected.|
|My organization designs and sells educational materials and we want to use VARK in those.||You should apply and we will negotiate an appropriate fee to match your budget. If you steal our work and ideas you are breaching copyright laws in your country. Permission will not be granted.|
|I am working on a coaching framework.||You should apply and provide information about the framework and its use. If it is for athletes and sports groups an appropriate fee will be required.|
|I am working with an inner city group of disadvantaged youth on a government-funded, not-for-profit project and we think VARK could be helpful.||You should apply and pay for copyright permission to use VARK. Government agencies, state and city projects should have budgets for copyright release.|
|I want to include the VARK questionnaire or helpsheets in a book I am writing.||You or your publisher should apply and pay for copyright permission. See our Publisher’s page.|
|I want to use the VARK questionnaire with a group that I am training. The course is free for them.||You should apply and pay a fee for permission to use this copyright resource. VARK is not free merely because your course is free.|
|I am a trainer in a military academy or a government or state agency.||You should apply and pay for copyright permission. Federal government and state agencies should have budgets for copyright release.|
|I am an unpaid volunteer training tutors to work in schools.||VARK is free for your use.|
|I am a professional coach and I want to use the VARK questionnaire just once with my players/athletes.||You should pay for copyright permission. See Example 1 above.|
|We want to use VARK for a curriculum package to be used in another country.||Permission is required. As it is likely to involve a commercial arrangement, a negotiated payment will be required.|
If I get permission to use VARK how should I acknowledge it?
Copyright Version 7.1 (2011) is held by Neil D. Fleming, Christchurch, New Zealand.
VARK – The Younger Version
This is a version of the main VARK questionnaire modified for those aged 12 to 18. It was updated and revised in September 2007. It may be used for faculty or student development in colleges and high schools if attribution is given. It may not be published in either paper or electronic form without the consent of the authors.
The acknowledgment should use these words:
Copyright is held by Neil D. Fleming, Christchurch, New Zealand.
VARK – Other Language Versions
You should acknowledge copyright to Neil D. Fleming and the name and title of the person(s) who did the translation. That information is clearly attached to each other-language version.
VARK – The Athlete’s Version
Copyright of this version is held by Julia L. Dunn, Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington, USA (509) 527-5911, firstname.lastname@example.org and Neil D. Fleming, Christchurch, New Zealand. Neil Fleming holds the copyright of the original version of VARK from which the Athlete’s version was developed.