By using VARK in our teaching our students start to reflect on their own and others’ learning – in that way we improve!
My company (AK Nextant LLC) was engaged in a strategic visioning project with Microsoft’s global customer support division (CSS). We incorporated 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 behaviors of Microsoft customers and allow for improved communication back to those customers through customizable modes of presentation. 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 the bedrock of 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 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.
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.
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.
Many thanks to you and the people behind making this service (VARK 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 so much for providing such a great tool for educators to use. I greatly appreciate it.
My new nursing students have completed VARK and have submitted an assignment based on VARK results. Their feedback was positive, and I am enjoying reading all the analysis papers. Thank you so very much.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
We use the VARK materials to help our students to identify their learning styles. Our teachers enjoyed using the online as well as the paper copy of VARK and used the information to better meet the needs of their students. The students also utilized the information to assist them to study and learn. Thank you so much.
The VARK questionnaire has enlightened me on 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 into 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.
My first-semester nursing students analyzed 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. Many instructors believe in and thank you for the work you have done in the field of education.
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.
Our “Routes For All” team conducted a 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 and 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).
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, 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 workload 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 the VARK questionnaire, 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 I’d like all of our tutees to take the VARK questionnaire 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.
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 website 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 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.