Testimonials

My VARK Preference

During my undergraduate work I was able to just sit in a class and listen to the lecture and do pretty well. I was a terrible note taker and even when I did take notes I rarely went back over them. I did enjoy using highlighting if the lecturer was using material directly from a text. That was very helpful. But discussion was the best! I have typically had pretty good writing skills, but sitting down and reading has not been easy.

I have wondered why I learn slowly and seem to demand reassurances more than others. I am almost equally R and K. Unfortunately, it was after I got out of college, I discovered the way for me to remember EVERYTHING in a lecture. It required a lot of effort.

 

  • I write down EVERYTHING the lecturer says, including illustrative anecdotes (excluding procedural comments).
  • I type up my notes, including in brackets my comments and thoughts on the material.
  • I re-read the typed lecture with my comments.
  • The anecdotes provide the Kinesthetic, real-life application or derivation of the point the lecturer is making.

 

My interests are split evenly between Kinesthetic activities (cooking, gardening, fitness) and intellectual activities (reading, writing, thinking). I need both of them in my life, and if I don't get one at work I get the other in my spare time. The multimodal learning model explained why both are so important to me.

Yes. My score does place me in Multimodal, Group One, and I can recognise in myself those attributes you describe. For different activities I switch modes. Although Multimodal Group Two is very me as well. I am keen to learn with several modes switched on to assist my learning, and I do require a long time to collect all of the information that I require to learn a new task or take on new skills. My mother would tell you of her frustration at my slow and yet encompassing learning approach as a child. As you say the profile is not set in concrete, for which I am grateful, as I feel I can now look back and recognise different learning styles at different times in my life.

I have just completed the questionnaire... with the result of a Mild Kinesthetic learning style. I responded that I was not sure that this is me. But I have suddenly realised that it is. I have previously explored this site and identified having almost equal VISUAL, KINESTHETIC & AURAL with a low read/write. This time KINESTHETIC was significantly higher (9), with Visual (6), Aural (5) & Read/Write (4). This is surprising as my Masters is in Professional Writing. I have always had an aptitude or personal strength in written and oral communication. Naturally I would have assumed that read/write is my learning style. However, on reflection I realise I have had a life history of 'trying new things' and having 'experiences'. This has been with employment, as well as in life. I have skied, rowed, played hockey, tried playing guitar, painted, drew, roller bladed, learning to sing - I have worked in business, been involved in film-making, retail, hospitality, worked in offices and engaged in physical labour. I only realise now that it is because I need to experience or 'do' in order to learn. And I take what I have learnt from each experience and apply it to other scenarios, whether this is in the workplace or in my leisure and social life. This is quite a revelation for me. Thanks for exploring this interesting aspect of human behavior and development. Additionally, I suspect the difference in the result is that I am no longer in a tertiary learning environment, which resources students through the Read/write, Visual and Aural to a greater degree than Kinesthetic methods. Evidence of the learning method I am most comfortable with is perhaps more apparent. (Although it was still strongly represented the first time I took the test.)

I wish somebody had introduced this to me before I had gone through fourteen years of frustrated learning. (I figured out how to learn my Junior Year of College) Thanks for this wonderful site and its wonderful tools!

San Antonio

I teach students who are Deaf and hard of hearing employing American Sign Language. Throughout my undergraduate work, I not only made my own study guides, wrote my exam answers out before the test, and had to have an understanding of the "big picture" before I could digest the details, I also quite successfully used American Sign Language as a tool in my studying. When I was doing straight memorization, I would sign what I was trying to remember. Then, during the test, all I had to do was close my eyes and "see" myself signing and I would remember the answer. In my masters degree work, I had several classes with another teacher who taught deaf students. We did the same things in studying together. I try to teach my deaf students this same technique. It works amazingly well. I am currently working on a project in tutoring deaf and hard of hearing secondary and post secondary students for Tulsa Community College.

VARK Presentations & Workshops

Thanks for the wonderful webinar, Neil.
I learned a lot and hope to share with my colleagues soon.

VARK in Teaching

I am writing in the first instance to say thank you for allowing me to use your VARK materials last year. They proved very useful and I have had numerous positive comments from students regarding the use of the questionnaire. In addition through the identification of their preferred learning style most students who completed the survey showed improved academic performance. Based on these positive results, if at all possible I would like to extend my use of your VARK materials, hence I am writing to seek further permission. I am interested in using your materials to conduct a paper based student survey to identify the preferred learning styles of students in two first year university chemistry cohorts (~300 students). At present there is a large difference in student performance between these two chemistry cohorts which I believe may be due to differences in learning styles and possibly a mismatch between teaching methods and learning preference.

Thanks so much Neil, I earned the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science last year, in the United States of America and really appreciate the opportunity to share your excellent web-site with my colleagues. It is way too easy to teach in the style we learn and using VARK is a gentle reminder of diversity.

Thank you for the email and for allowing me to use the VARK with my students. I must also thank you for allowing us to use the VARK for free. As you are probably aware, we don't have a lot of money in education. But, I believe finding one's learning style is imperative to academic success.
I have used other learning style assessment tools, including more complex and costly assessments like the LSI. But, I prefer the VARK for an intake assessment because it takes students only a few minutes to complete, it's extremely straightforward, scoring is simple and doesn't require a professional to interpret it, and the student can begin applying the learning style outcomes by him/herself immediately. For many students, the VARK is all they need to begin reassessing how they study.
Case in point, last semester I worked with a pre-med freshman named Sarah. Sarah was referred to me by a faculty member. The professor knew she was bright, but couldn't figure out why she kept failing exams. After talking to her about her study methods, I discovered that Sarah had learned to study only by using rote memorization. When she got to college, she became overwhelmed and found she couldn't keep up with the work load using this technique. She became depressed and considered changing her major. At midterms, she was getting Ds in chemistry and biology - subjects she truly loved. After giving her a VARK, we discovered that she was a very strong aural learner. So, we completely changed her approach to studying and set her up with study groups and peer tutors, so she could orally review course content. By the end of the semester, she'd pulled her Ds up to a B+ in chemistry and an A- in biology. This semester she is off to an excellent start and has even begun tutoring other students.
Sarah and many other students like her, are the reason why I contacted you to ask about using the VARK at our center. I'd like all of our tutees to take a VARK before they receive tutoring assistance. I think it will help the tutors to know what a tutee's learning style is before meeting with him/her. This way we can better structure our tutoring sessions to a tutee's needs. Since VARK is the only learning style assessment that I have found which is truly user friendly, our tutors and tutees can use it without a lot of professional oversight. This will allow our students to help one another more easily and effectively.
So, thanks again for creating such a useful tool! I am confident that our students will only benefit from using it.

Thanks for allowing me to use VARK in a workshop for faculty. It was a very successful workshop with 12 doctors - lots of interesting discussion. Since coming to your workshop in the UK, my second daughter (very Aural) is now doing much better (she had been copying techniques of her highly successful Read/write older sister with disastrous results).

In academic session 2008-2009 our "Routes For All" team conducted the Learning Styles session, incorporating the VARK questionnaire, with 606 pupils (16-18 year olds) across 29 West of Scotland schools. The pupils we work with are targeted because they are what we would class as the 'middle-cohort' in the school. They are not the academic high flyers, (who are expected to gain good results and go directly to university), or the group of pupils who are academically poor who will leave school as soon as they can. As such the group we work with have been neglected somewhat by the system. At the end of the overall programme we evaluated all our sessions to see the impact these sessions had had on the pupils. We asked the pupils to score each session 1-5, with 5 being the most positive score. 88% of pupils gave the Learning Styles session a score of between 3-5. 56% of pupils gave the session a score of 4-5. 19% of pupils gave the session a score of 5.

I heard about your website and research from some nurse educators who had found it extremely helpful. As I reviewed the findings from my questionnaire, it was an "aha" moment that a deeper dive into your findings would greatly enhance my work as both an instructional designer and facilitator for leadership development.

I wrote to you several years back when I wanted my first-semester nursing students to analyze their learning styles as part of an assignment for class. It was a popular assignment (some students said it was "fun") and provided useful information for me and my colleagues about our students. I would like to resurrect this "fun" assignment for students, utilizing the VARK as the learning style assessment tool. Continued success with your endeavors, Mr. Fleming. Many instructors believe in and thank you for the work you have done in the field of education.

VARK stresses that the learning is about an individual's preferences and not about strengths. By understanding and developing strategies for the learning preferences, the learning potential increases because learning becomes a natural process. Understanding that people have different learning preferences enhances communication skills for all persons. The VARK questionnaire has enlightened me of the many ways to retrieve and give out information. Knowing my learning preference, I can now capitalize on my style to benefit my learning and teaching experience. I will continue to have dozens of sticky notes on my walls and I will never leave home without my thesaurus. I love words; Yes, VARK has given me great insight to the other learning preferences and ideas to develop strategies incorporating all preferences. I plan to be a better learner and teacher. It is an ancient Chinese proverb that gets to the heart of learning: "Involve me, and I understand." I feel I am now "involved".
Thank you Neil Fleming for creating VARK.

I am the Instructional Lead Teacher for a US Middle School. We use the VARK materials to help our students to identify their learning styles. I want to tell you how much our teachers enjoyed using the online as well as the paper copy of your test. I appreciated your permission to use the materials last year. Our teachers used the information to better meet the needs of their students. The students also utilized the information to assist them study and learn.Thank you so much

I have used VARK with my dyslexic students. I translated it into Icelandic myself but never sent it to you because I wasn't completely satisfied with the translation. The questionnaire has been very, very useful to get my students to find out about themselves and think about how they learn and how they can use their own ways to get better results. They are often surprised and say, "That's how I am. Strange to find out only by answering some questions. This is me - I'm a K ". The dyslexic students, not surprisingly, are often AK, or K or VAK and also A. In our school there are 183 dyslexic students. That is about 20% of the students in the school. We are a dyslexic friendly school (a kind of college that prepares students for university-level and there is also a vocational school in the health sector).
Every year we have in our school a group of students from the University of Iceland that are training to be teachers. I meet the group and tell them about dyslexia and the problems that dyslexic students encounter in school. They answer the VARK questionnaire to find out how they prefer to work with information and we discuss how that will affect their teaching. This is a great success and it gets them to think about themselves and their teaching.

Iceland

VARK will be used to assist students in identifying the best way to study as well as prepare for tests. I love the student form of VARK and enjoy hearing the students' comments as they discover techniques that may be helpful as they prepare for their various classes. I do try to use VARK every year with my classes.

I hope to use VARK with some of our less able apprentices, to help identify their preferred learning styles so I can work with them to produce individual self-study programmes. My aim is to help bring them back up to a level with their brighter colleagues, rather than leave them behind and disheartened. I have only just discovered your questionnaires recently through my own teacher training course and after trying it on myself, I find it spookily accurate. It hasn't cured my bad habits yet, but now I know about them! Thank you.

I use VARK to help my students understand how they learn best. All of them seem to study for tests the same way -- but yielding different results. If I can help them understand how they learn best, they can develop study skills that will help them the rest of their lives. Also, if I understand how they learn best, I can tailor my teaching sessions to the needs of the individual student. I know this may sound idealistic, but no one ever taught me how to study when I was in school. Through trial and error, I learned my strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. Once I applied what I had learned about myself, I became a much better student. I want the same for my high school students. I want to do whatever I can to help them achieve success.

My LD students are learning what their preferences are for learning. They are pretty excited when what the survey says fits. It's nice to have a document that shows that they learn differently and not that they are incapable of learning.

We will be having a faculty retreat in March to discuss our new curriculum as well as how to best take advantage of our new (2009) education building. I thought you'd be interested in the first slide of my presentation... showing that VARK is serving as our jumping off point!

Hi Neil, A couple of years ago we purchased your books on VARK and we also used your website to assess our students learning preferences. We made this a mandatory part of our course to teach our students independent learning skills. Thought you may like to know that we were awarded an Excellence in Education Award from the Australian College of Educators in 2006. We try to encourage our students to understand how they learn and so go on to choose and plan their own learning .

Thank you so much for providing such a great tool for educators to use. I greatly appreciate it.

I started using the VARK Learning Style Inventory (using the old Spanish questionnaire) about a year ago, for the specific purpose of increasing math proficiency in first year engineering students in a nonprofit environment. I managed to combine VARK test results with teaching strategies related to it. The results have been amazing: Student failure decreased by about 30%, teachers are happier and we've just been commissioned to design a project to support high schools in our community... For all of the above, many thanks.

Ten weeks into this semester, 58 students have sought tutoring assistance. Only three students came for assistance on specific course content. The others wanted help learning how to study efficiently using their learning style. The majority of the students that came to see me were those that preferred learning in all four modes (VARK). They represented 48% of the total. Normally, approximately 30% of the population is VARK learners. The Kinesthetic (K) learners represented 13% and the trimodal learners who were missing the Read/Write preference (VAK) came in significant numbers, 14 %.
Fleming explains that those with all four preferences, (VARK), very often need all four preferences to learn. He states that they may feel anxious if they do not use all their learning styles. Many of these students came in with high frustration levels complaining that they were having difficulties learning from just the written and spoken word. Some were in classes that were primarily lecture oriented (A & R). There were few opportunities to use their V and K preferences- to see, touch, feel, act out, and do what they needed to learn. There is no retention data in this study to date because the semester is not over. But at this point there are multiple success stories. Students have verbalized how much better they are doing. The EMS program reported an improvement in the median score of one exam over last year after the class was instructed in how to condense information from the textbook and lecture notes.
One multimodal VARK student who had been placed on academic probation came into my office to thank me. She had received a 92% on her midterm and was no longer on probation, She said that she had done everything that I had suggested she do and she was now able to use her study and lecture time more efficiently. She was no longer anxious and therefore was more able to focus well.
A struggling student, barely getting by with a 71% average last semester, came to me saying that he had learning disabilities and ADD and that is was impossible for him to learn all this medical information. I rapidly discovered that this VK student had almost a photographic memory for diagrams. I taught him how to turn all pertinent information from text and lecture into pictures, symbols and stories. I received an email from this student the following week saying that he would have been happy to get a solid C on the test he just took, but that he received 100%. He told me to " Keep up the good work."
The stories go on and on, and if predictions hold, the data will show that this program is increasing the retention of our students in these demanding health technology programs.

From: Retaining students though individualized study skill training. A Perkins Funded Pilot Project at the Medical Education Center by Abby Hassler, Adjunct Physical Therapist Assistant Instructor and MEC Tutor, Medical Education Center, Northern Virginia Community College, Springfield, Virginia,USA.

The main advantage of focusing on the VARK modal preferences is that both students and teachers can adjust their behaviours to use modal preferences positively in learning and teaching.

Modal Preferences in Teaching and Learning Economics; Associate Professor in Economics, Faculty of Business, University of Southern Queensland, Australia.

Students have different learning styles and these can affect how they learn. PA programs can potentially improve student learning by administering an intervention such as learning style inventories. The VARK inventory is one such tool that is easy to use and can give students information on how to maximize their learning. First-year Emory University Physician Assistant students were asked to take the VARK inventory and then submit their results. This was followed with a presentation and discussion. In addition, these students were asked to respond to a questionnaire. The students had a positive response to the intervention, and found it to be helpful.

Adult Learning Styles: How the VARK learning style inventory can be used to improve student learning.

Working in New Zealand, observing the great variety of learning styles exhibited by students, Fleming came to the same conclusion many faculty have reached: namely, that it seems unrealistic to hope to provide programs that can meet the needs of all these learning styles, to ask the teacher to forgo his strengths and become a presentational pretzel. Instead, Fleming thought, why not empower students by helping them identify their learning preferences, and offer them advice on how to utilize those in response to the different teaching styles they might encounter? If the responsibility for learning has really always lain with the student, the awareness derived from VARK merely highlights for students the tools they already like to use and how to use them better. An important feature of the VARK instrument (which Fleming likes to call a "catalyst" in contrast with an "inventory") is the "study strategies" that accompany it.

National Teaching and Learning Forum.

I teach students who are Deaf and hard of hearing employing American Sign Language. Throughout my undergraduate work, I not only made my own study guides, wrote my exam answers out before the test, and had to have an understanding of the "big picture" before I could digest the details, I also quite successfully used American Sign Language as a tool in my studying. When I was doing straight memorization, I would sign what I was trying to remember. Then, during the test, all I had to do was close my eyes and "see" myself signing and I would remember the answer. In my masters degree work, I had several classes with another teacher who taught deaf students. We did the same things in studying together. I try to teach my deaf students this same technique. It works amazingly well. I am currently working on a project in tutoring deaf and hard of hearing secondary and post secondary students for Tulsa Community College.

Personal Profiles

Hi Neil, its all good. Thanks very much. A fascinating and most helpful report.

Much thanks to you and the people behind making this service (Personal Profiles) available to those like me who want to learn more about themselves in an effort to learn how to better teach the students in our lives. This information is just fascinating to me - thank you for making this service available.

VARK in Schools

I am the Instructional Lead Teacher for a US Middle School. We use the VARK materials to help our students to identify their learning styles. I want to tell you how much our teachers enjoyed using the online as well as the paper copy of your test. I appreciated your permission to use the materials last year. Our teachers used the information to better meet the needs of their students. The students also utilized the information to assist them study and learn.Thank you so much

I use VARK to help my students understand how they learn best. All of them seem to study for tests the same way -- but yielding different results. If I can help them understand how they learn best, they can develop study skills that will help them the rest of their lives. Also, if I understand how they learn best, I can tailor my teaching sessions to the needs of the individual student. I know this may sound idealistic, but no one ever taught me how to study when I was in school. Through trial and error, I learned my strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. Once I applied what I had learned about myself, I became a much better student. I want the same for my high school students. I want to do whatever I can to help them achieve success.

VARK Workshops

The VARK workshop session we had with you was such an eye-opener to me in many ways. I am using it for a garden group I belong to. I have put it to use with amazing results, especially in the boardroom! Also it is a handy tool to defend one's shortcomings. I am really interested in learning more about VARK and its applications but, having a strong AK preference, I would prefer to chat with you! Many thanks for your wonderful session.

(0,14,1,14)

Hello Neil, I wanted to thank you for your interesting presentation to our group. I'm sure you hear it all of the time, but it was great to hear more about VARK and you have encouraged me to experiment with other ideas in my classes.

VARK in Healthcare

I wrote to you several years back when I wanted my first-semester nursing students to analyze their learning styles as part of an assignment for class. It was a popular assignment (some students said it was "fun") and provided useful information for me and my colleagues about our students. I would like to resurrect this "fun" assignment for students, utilizing the VARK as the learning style assessment tool. Continued success with your endeavors, Mr. Fleming. Many instructors believe in and thank you for the work you have done in the field of education.

Our learning-style, based program using VARK is alive and well. We have expanded to all 650 nursing employees and they love it.

My new nursing students have completed the VARK and have submitted the "styling" assignment based on VARK results. Their feedback was positive, and I am enjoying reading all the analysis papers. Thank you so very much..

VARK in Research

Thank you so much for your immediate response to my inquiry. I really appreciate everything! I am so looking forward to working on my dissertation using your questionnaire. Thank you for the copyright permission. I can't wait to read the book. I love the VARK!

First and certainly most importantly, I was positively impressed with the range and thoughtful arrangement of your questions. I had to sit back and think for a few moments about the ways the short survey was thought provoking to me. In essence, the theory in VARK revolves around a supremely intuitive four-fold division of learning styles: Visual, Aural, Read/Write, and Kinesthetic (VARK). According to this theory, every individual has a particular set of preferences with regards to the absorption, integration, and retention of information and concepts. The impact of student learning styles using VARK was difficult to gauge due to the number of missing cases in the analysis. Although the results of this relatively small study are inconclusive, there appears to be a potentially interesting interaction between the visual and aural learning modes. This may be attributed to the presentation modes of the treatments.

VARK in Business

At my division of Time Inc. in Tampa, we continue to suggest that leaders have their new employees visit your public website to take the VARK questionnaire.  Some leaders are more keen on it than others, naturally.   My overall impression is that our focused time with you did a fine job of heightening awareness and helped our leaders realize they shouldn’t treat everyone the same with regard to sharing/gathering information.   The overall concepts have stuck because it’s not uncommon to hear the term ‘VARK’ mentioned in meetings/discussions.

VARK assists our new students to identify their learning styles. This helps them understand which study methods can contribute to the effectiveness of their learning. This has enabled many of our students to make a success of their studies.

BARBRI is a company in the United States that offers a widely-used bar exam preparation course. American recipients of a Juris Doctor degree can attend a six-week BARBRI course which features lectures by law professors on the six major areas covered on the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) –torts, contracts, real property, evidence, criminal law, and constitutional law – along with additional lectures on the specific law of the state. Most of the lectures are presented in person, remotely on DVD, or online through the BARBRI website. BARBRI also supplies participants with outlines of the topic areas tested on each state’s bar exam, practice essay questions, and multiple-choice questions.BARBRI has a very significant presence in the world of legal learning and education. It serves the overwhelming majority of US law graduates, as they prepare for their professional examinations and into qualification within the various states.

BARBRI has a considerable interest in educational achievement through the timely provision of a wide range of resources  VARK-Learn’s involvement with BARBRI  meant that each law graduate in a number of US states, who was facing professional examinations, had access to a customized VARK Profile detailing the strategies that should be used for their learning.  That service was delivered over three summer and three winter graduate programmes. Its continuation through that time indicated its merit.  It ended in 2013 when BARBRI chose to reconsider its law programmes and that continues to the present.  There is a possibility that VARK may be part of that reconsideration in the future.

In late 2010 and 2011 my company (AK Nextant LLC) was engaged in a strategic visioning project with Microsoft’s global customer support division (CSS). We worked with Neil to incorporate VARK into a significant survey of Microsoft customers that was attempting to explore actionable market segmentation criteria among Microsoft’s customers.  The intention was that VARK might provide some insights into the characteristic behaviours of Microsoft customers and allow for improved communication back to those customers through customisable modes of presentation.  The cut-down VARK questionnaire was part of a much larger survey to 2,000 customers and the results provided some very informative feedback and gave us deeper insights as to how Microsoft’s Customer Support division could improve customer engagement through more directly tailoring customer interactions.   That project became bedrock to a new long term Vision for Microsoft’s Customer Support division and has also contributed to how CSS now looks at developing new web-based support services.

VARK was used in a survey of a state-wide police force to ascertain the learning preferences. Some demographic and work-specific IT choices were included as well.  Over 2700 individuals completed the survey and the data was analyzed by VARK staff into the requested tables and charts.  These results formed part of a report that has been used to inform the human resource development function generally.

By using VARK in our teaching our students starts to reflect of their own and others learning – in that way we improve!