Learning is a life long activity. Learning is something that happens both consciously and unconsciously. One can maximize learning by discovering their ‘learner type’.
Learning is a process that starts from the time you are born. Our senses of vision, hearing and touch/feel are the pathways for information to enter the brain. The brain processes the information to determine its value and then retains it or discards portions of it.
While bonding between children and the parents, the relationship between the kids and their teachers and the style of teaching of teachers, do play a role, scientifically proven methods like the one I am going to talk about play an undisputed role in maximizing learning.
Where is the need to maximize learning felt?
- Teachers scout for ways on how to maximize student learning in the classroom.
- Tutors are on the lookout for strategies to maximize student learning
- Kids too feel the need to learn at a faster pace and retain almost everything that they learn as they move to higher grades.
- Parents feel the need to support kids struggling to learn.
Instructional strategies, classroom teaching strategies, time management strategies can all be utilized to maximize learning.
One such instructional strategy that is backed by research is the VAK Model to ensure you maximize learning.
QUIZ – What’s your Learning Style?
I personally urge you to take this quick quiz to reveal your personal learning style before we discuss individual learner characteristics.
As a casual reader, what kind of a book would you typically pick at the library?
You have a toothache. You hope the dentist after examination...
You are seeking directions to the airport from a stranger. How do you prefer to receive the instructions?
You wish to take an online class. You prefer the instructor
You have been requested by the principal to speak on the occasion of Teachers' Day. You will prepare by
You are waiting in the queue for a cinema ticket. You prefer to
You are passing a billboard ad with the word "ROBOT" written on it in bold. What goes on in your brain that very moment?
Share your Results:
What is the VAK model?
VAK is short for Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic – A model proposed by Neil D Fleming, a teacher from New Zealand. His model was the outcome of observing 3000 class teachings by different teachers. Fleming observed that while some teachers were effective with certain students, others weren’t.
An in-depth study led him to formulate the VAK model that is used by academicians and educators to hire the right teachers and teach subjects the right way.
The VAK model can be utilized by students to maximize learning. It can also be used by teachers and tutors to fine tune their instructional and classroom strategies to maximize the learning of their students.
Let’s dive deep into the VAK model.
Key Principles of the VAK model
- Learning by the human mind happens as a combination of inputs from multiple senses namely vision, hearing and touch/feel.
- Usually one of the senses dominates during the learning process. The mind prefers absorbing information via one of the three senses relative to the other two.
- Identifying and supporting this preference of the mind for one of the senses maximizes your learning process.
Visual Learner Characteristics
- Tend to create a mental image of the world
- Learn by keen observation of the teacher
- Pick up info by focussing on the action of the speaker
- Love infographics, comics, books with rich illustrations
- A left or a right actually prompts them to take a mental left or right in the mind.
- Tend to remember people by their faces even if the names are forgotten.
- They love teachers who put down everything they teach as an info titbit on the board.
- Learn greatly via models, charts, demo experiments which have a visual aspect to them.
- Revision in the form of writing, redoing, applying pencil to paper works best while learning
How to maximize learning as a Visual Learner?
- Make note-taking a part of your learning toolkit
- Watch lessons on YouTube
- Make mindmaps, flashcards and other visually appealing ways of documenting and reflecting back on stuff learnt.
- Strengthen your photographic memory.
Auditory Learner Characteristics
- Learn by associating with sounds.
- Vividly recall a lecture they have heard.
- Pick up vocal variations, sound distortions, a speaker’s voice intonations naturally.
- Learn quickly when the teacher is a master sound modulator, a storyteller, or uses their voice for maximum effect.
- Quickly pick up information that is relayed by a sound like somebody introducing themselves by name, somebody giving directions over the phone and so on.
- Revision happens by repeating loud enough for their own voice to be heard.
- Love audiobooks over book reading
- Easily get distracted by noise.
- Adding a tune to anything they learn is commonly observed.
How to maximize learning as an Auditory Learner?
- Listening to classical music helps enhance learning.
- Lectures work best for information absorption.
- Training with friends by engaging them in verbal sessions works
- Listening to recorded lectures while walking or relaxing
helpsin reinforcing the concepts learnt.
Kinesthetic (Tactile) Learner
- Action Oriented style of learning.
- Tend to move about while learning.
- Find it difficult to focus while confined to a place.
- Learn best by doing – love the hands-on approach.
- Keep scribbling or fidgeting with an object while learning.
- Love teachers who allow the learners to try out new stuff first hand.
- They are natural multi-taskers.
- Love innovative ways of revising like creating flash cards, quiz questions, crosswords and so on.
- Love to take breaks often and engage in some physical activity.
- Gesticulate and use body movement naturally to express opinions and feelings.
How to maximize learning as a Kinesthetic (Tactile) Learner?
- Try to connect concepts via a sequence of actions that is easy to remember.
- Gamify learning.
- Change your spot of learning. Learn in the garden, the terrace and so on.
- Revision or reinforcing stuff that has been learnt can be via activities, chart making, model making, etc.
- Mneumonics, association, pairing are all concepts that go well with tactile learners.