Visual Auditory Kinesthetic (VAK) Learning Style

Learning and the cognitive process that underlay it constitute an important area of study in the discipline of psychology. We tend not to give usually give thought to how content or resources are converted into knowledge. The obvious answer is that we research, observe, analyse and interpret and through this process we learn and imbibe knowledge. Nevertheless, the learning technique differs from person to person and it depends on the people how they want to grasp from the available resources provided to them. The traditional method of learning includes reading and writing as the fundamental technique but the modern system of education calls for another type of learning which has physical activities and exercises at its focal point. Some children prefer to make notes, watch videos, work on project designs or make things, discuss about a topic in the class, read facts and figures etc. This article primarily focusses on three learning categories and these are: visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning. We’ll look at how learners of this type work and what kind of activities are involved.

Facets of Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic Learning

Visual Learning: Visual learners are considered to be great observers. Usually, they look around and monitor the situation relatively more closely. They recall the words that are presented visually but are comparatively unaware of sounds. Visual learners prefer to write down their thoughts, feelings and like to read narrative descriptions.

Some of the characteristics of visual learners are:

  1. Very well organized

  2. Most of the readers give attention to minute details.

  3. Good at reminding things by seeing charts, diagrams etc

  4. Concentration level is high

  5. Excellent planners

Some of the tools used by visual learners are:

  1. Use notebooks to take down important points

  2. Use hints/clues to remember things

  3. Use highlighters to colour code texts or notes

  4. Use of mnemonics, or study cards

There are certain methods to engage visual learners which is to be initiated by the teacher. If they physically demonstrate certain tasks, the students can easily pick up the concepts. Teachers should let students take down lecture notes. It is also important for teachers to provide students with sample papers and the written summary of lesson at the end of the lecture. For students, it is highly important to think about what they have learnt, make a pair and share with each other to get cleared with the concept.

Auditory Learning: Auditory leaners grasp things from the sounds and voices. Auditory learners possess the quality of listening rather than visualizing subjects. They tend to remember names better than faces. The students in this category are the ones who have the advantage of getting cleared with the concept only by listening to lectures in the class.

Some of the characteristics of auditory learners are:

  1. They prefer lecture and discussion

  2. They go for spoken directions over written directions

  3. Read aloud from the text which seems to be beneficial for them.

  4. Good at remembering names and dates.

Some of the tools used by auditory learners are:

  1. Learners record lectures for repeated learning.

  2. Good listeners

  3. Prefer to listen to the recorded materials while preparing for exams instead of making notes.

  4. Conduct group studies more often

The teachers record lectures and play it in the class for students. Discussions, debates are considered as an important part with seminars, group presentations taking its lead. Teachers can also use mnemonic devices to engage auditory learners

Kinesthetic Learning: Some children does not have a habit of sitting in one place patiently. They are restless and always on the go. Kinesthetic learning is by far the best learning experience for these children as it includes physical activities as a means to strengthen knowledge and gain a unique experience from the learning process. They learn best when they are moving around and engage in conversations with small groups. Learners would be good at athletics but would be weak at reading and writing skills.

Some of the characteristics of kinesthetic learners:

  1. Like to experiment new things.

  2. Hyperactive

  3. Engage in as many physical activities as possible

  4. Sort out problems by physically working through them

  5. Face difficulty sitting for extended period in the class.

Some of the tools used by kinesthetic learners are:

  1. Abacus learning, it is used to learn math with horizontal rods and moveable beads.

  2. Use of blocks and cubes, puzzles, drawing materials,

  3. Clay modelling

  4. Globes and maps

To promote this type of learning, teachers are supposed to provide children with hands-on learning activities like field trips, role-playing, projects, and games which would definitely show an increase in the qualitative learning of students. For example, instead of teaching children greater than and less than by writing on the board, use crocodile puppet to describe that. In this manner, children would get rid of boredom in the class.

VAK Learning, is a strategized plan to make learning an effective pedagogical device. This seems to be a great way to carry out education using your senses more consciously.

Vinod Kakumanu

Vinod Kakumanu

Founder & Consultant - School Serv

Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.

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