People generally follow a particular way of acquiring and processing information through which they are able to retain and learn more. This particular style is known as their preferred style of learning. A person may have a mix of different learning styles or even the same person may prefer different learning styles under different situations. Though most people use a combination of the different learning styles, they mostly have a preferred learning style. Neil Fleming, a teacher gave a model named Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic (VAK) Learning Styles Model. According to him people can have any of these three different types of individualized learning styles. There are other models discussing learning styles. However, the VAK model is the most used one. In this article we will discuss each type of learning style as well as a few tips for each style.
The people with preference for Visual Learning Style as the name suggests absorb information when they read that information i.e. they see the information in front of them. They prefer to see the information in front of them in any format, from graphs and pictures to catchy slogans. Generally people with this style are good at reading body language and remember people’s faces more easily than their names. They prefer instructions to be given in written rather than retaining instructions if told verbally to them. They are often detail oriented and have good handwriting. In order to absorb and retain more, people with preference for this learning style should write down instructions and focus more on visual aids instead of other mediums.
The second style of the learning styles model is the Auditory Learning Style. People with this type of learning style prefer listening to information in order to retain it rather than reading. Verbal language is the most effective way for absorbing information. People with this style are able to recollect the names of the people they meet more than their faces. They often like talking more and thus, are more social. Unlike the previous style, people with this style are able to follow verbal instructions instead of written ones. They tend to repeat things in order to learn them. A few tips for these people is to repeat information (from books etc) out loud in order to retain it.
In the third learning style that is Kinesthetic Learning style, people learn by doing instead of by reading, writing or listening. People with preference for this style get bored easily when reading or listening to a lecture and prefer doing things practically. They like to work in groups. They believe more in practice than theory. They might excel in athletics than classroom studying. A few tips for them is to take frequent breaks while studying and indulge in interactive learning.
An understanding of these different styles is helpful in many scenarios. Whether it is for identifying your own style or improving effectiveness of training programs. No one learning style is better than the other. They are just ways of learning. People generally learn with a blend of all styles but have a preference for one style more than the others.