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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.