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.
Decreased failure rate
I started using the VARK Learning Style Inventory 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 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.
Great tool for educators
Thank you so much for providing such a great tool for educators to use. I greatly appreciate it.
Excellence in Education Award
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. We were awarded an Excellence in Education Award from the Australian College of Educators. We try to encourage our students to understand how they learn and so go on to choose and plan their own learning.
VARK is serving as our jumping off point!
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 education building. VARK is serving as our jumping-off point!
They learn differently
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.
VARK for improved teaching and learning at high school
I use VARK to help my students understand how they learn best. All of them seem to study for tests the same way — but with different results. If I can help them understand how they learn best, they can develop study skills that will help them for the rest of their lives. 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 with Apprentices
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.
Using VARK with my classes
VARK will be used to assist students in identifying the best way to study as well as prepare for tests. I 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.
VARK with Dyslexic Students
I have used VARK with my dyslexic students. 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 “. In our school, about 20% of the students are dyslexic as we are a dyslexic-friendly school. The dyslexic students, not surprisingly, are often AK, or K, or VAK, and also A.
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.