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Different Types of Learners and the VARK Model

LearningKristin RumianComment

People love learning new things, that's a fact, but did you know that there are a few different types of learners?  Everyone learns and absorbs information differently and the way that you learn describes the type of learner that you are.  There is a model called the VARK model that was created by Neil Fleming in 1987 and this model describes the four main types of learners.  Visual, Auditory, Reading and Kinesthetic.  


Visual Learners

Visual learners respond best to material that is presented in:

  • Maps
  • Charts
  • Diagrams
  • Images

Visual learners can easily visualize concepts, plans and can easily be creative to solve different types of problems.  They can also look at situations and problems in different and creative ways that other people may not be able to see.  This will help them to easily problem solve and problem solve in different ways.  

Visual learners can easily use maps to navigate and have a great sense of direction.  They usually use landmarks in order to navigate and/or give directions.


Auditory Learners

Auditory learners respond best to material that is presented in:

  • Lectures/Speeches
  • Music/Recordings
  • Spoken Information

Auditory learners may prefer audio books over traditional books and may read traditional books aloud in order to absorb the information.  They also follow spoken directions very well and are able to remember a particular conversation with crystal clarity.

These learners absolutely love to be in the classroom and absorb information given in lectures very well.  Do you remember the one kid in class that could listen to a lecture, never study and ace a test?  They were probably auditory learners.


Reading/Writing Learners

Reading/Writing learners respond best to material that is presented in:

  • Books
  • Documents
  • Websites
  • Notes

Reading/Writing learners learn best by having information spelled out in black and white right in front of them.  They can also learn best by writing notes from a lecture or writing notes from a book.  They may repetitively write notes in order to study and absorb the information.  

These learners most likely love to read and may be book worms. 


Kinesthetic Learners

Kinesthetic learners respond best to material that is presented by:

  • Experiments
  • Physically doing something
  • Hands-On learning

Kinesthetic learners (or physical learners) learn best by actually doing.  They will absorb information by doing an experiment or actually doing work in the field that they are studying. They need to be hands-on and need to be actively doing something while learning.  Kinesthetic learners are brilliant individuals and are mostly: Doctors, Surgeons, Dancers, etc...  


There is no right and wrong ways to learn since everyone learns in their own way and at their own pace.  Better yet -- you can actually be a combination of one, two or three of these learning styles, depending on how you learn best.  I, for one, am a combination between a visual and reading/writing learner.  I learn best by seeing material presented in front of me in diagrams or images but I also learn best by reading and writing something down.  I've always been the one to take tons of notes either in class or while I'm learning new material online...I have many notebooks with many notes on different topics and that's the way that I absorb information best.  

There are many different online quizzes that can tell you what type of learner you are, but this one will give you the percentage score for each of the learning styles.  Check it out if you would like to learn what type of learner you actually are!  The results may surprise you!