If you look at recent academic trends, people are continuously moving towards innovative education models. Moving away from traditional teacher-centred methods, where instructors had a lot of control over what someone would learn or gain, we have identified personalized methods of education. The core need gap that encouraged such transformation was the need to accommodate different learning styles.
Everyone has a unique learning style, whether they are in academic institutions or in the workplace. Various learning styles also inform various working styles of employees. Managers and team leaders shoulder the responsibility of not only leading their team but also providing direction and guidance. This is why it’s important to understand individual learning and working styles. The VARK Model is one of the most popular instruments for gauging someone’s learning style. Let’s explore the VARK Model in detail.
Understanding The VARK Model Of Learning
To understand the VARK learning style, we need to learn about the context in which it developed. It was Neil D. Fleming, a teacher from New Zealand, who developed the VARK test in a 1992 study. After several hours of classroom observation, he developed a questionnaire that helped determine the personal learning preferences of an individual. The preference represents how an individual likes to learn and gain new information. Understanding the preferences can help individuals choose the most suitable medium through which they want to acquire new information.
- VARK stands for Visual (V), Aural (A), Read/Write (R) and Kinesthetic (K), which classified the four types of learning preferences. Identifying one’s VARK learning style has been instrumental in overcoming several challenges such as
- It helps in effective learning as individuals have a personalized experience of gaining new knowledge or information
- It explores the science behind how people learn; therefore, different (and unconventional) learning tools can be used for studying, teaching or learning
- Different learning tools stimulate learners, making the experience more engaging; learners are likely to become more attentive and involved
- In short, the VARK Model provides learners with much-needed flexibility to fit in with their learning environments
Why Managers Need The VARK Model
Managers across any functional level need to communicate and collaborate with multiple team members at any given moment. While they have the primary task of delegating responsibilities, they are instrumental in guiding and supporting employees. Now, every team member will have a unique approach to work as everyone has a unique learning and working style. If managers and team leaders want to effectively provide guidance, they need to navigate different learning styles. This is where the VARK learning style makes a difference. You can support and manage your employees with greater efficiency with the VARK Model of learning:
1. Visual Learners
In this type of VARK learning style, individuals learn best through visual or graphical representation. They rely on graphics, videos and written information to gain new knowledge. For example, PowerPoint presentations are useful in communicating to visual learners. Even graphs, charts and other visual information are helpful.
2. Aural Learners
Also known as auditory learners, such individuals learn best by listening to the information being conveyed to them. They pay attention to what someone has to say and gather new inputs simply by listening. They benefit from group discussions and brainstorming sessions because ideas are shared out loud. Some other learning tools include voice-over videos and audio recordings.
3. Reading/Writing Learners
These learners prefer to learn new information when presented in text format. Whether it’s a PowerPoint presentation or handing out a report, they find it easier to process information after reading it. Even during discussions or meetings, they prefer taking notes and reading them to understand the information being conveyed.
4. Kinesthetic Learners
Such individuals retain information through their senses. Simply put, they learn through hands-on experiences. Their strengths lie in tasks that involve engaging with materials or objects. For example, an employee understands a project better when they have on-site experience, communicate with stakeholders involved and play a pivotal role in documentation and organization of all the activities involved.
Applying The VARK Learning Style Model
If you want to make the most of your team’s goals and expectations, then understanding individual learning styles won’t suffice. To go above and beyond, you need to foster team spirit and collaborate effectively. Harappa’s Managing Teamwork course will teach you how to navigate and harness different skills of team members and successfully collaborate with them through open dialogue and discussion. The Social Styles Model framework will help you understand four common work styles and lead them to success. Manage effectively to lead successfully. Start your free trial today!
Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics such as Detailed Guide To Blended Learning, Meaning Of Visual Learning Style, Meaning Of Microlearning and Multimodal Learning to upgrade your knowledge and skills.
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