Riti Kapoor

What is the VAK Model?

We interact with the world around us through the five senses of sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste. We absorb information through each of these senses. But when all five senses are active, our brain tends to absorb a lot more information and it does that more efficiently as compared to when just one or two of these are active.

So, what if we learn through multiple senses? For that, we need to first understand how different kinds of learners learn through their strongest sense. Walter Burke Barbe designed a learning method which helps activate maximum senses for efficient learning.

This method also categorises learners into categories for the learner to adapt one method which suits their adaptive style. The learning method was later developed by Neil Fleming and it is now known as the VAK Model of learning- Visual Auditory Kinaesthetic. This model divides learners into three categories- Visual learners, Auditory learners, and Kinaesthetic learners.

In this blog, I aim to shed some light on the qualities of each of these VAK Model (Visual-Auditory-Kinaesthetic).  

Visual: Learners who grasp information through seeing or through imagination/mental visualisation are visual learners.

They have the following qualities.

  1. They have a strong imagination. It is easy for them to paint a picture in their minds.
  2. Visual learners are excellent at spellings.
  3. They prefer maps, graphs, charts rather than written sentences.
  4. They often tend to get distracted via visuals.
  5. The distraction may also happen in the form of browsing the internet or aimlessly scrolling through social media applications. 

Auditory: Learners who learn better through hearing information are auditory learners. Their peculiar qualities are as follows.

  1. They are great at following verbal instructions. 
  2. They would rather audio record a lecture than taking down notes.
  3. Auditory learners are sensitive to voice and pitch.
  4. They are great speakers, orators, and presenters.
  5. Music acts as an aid for Auditory learners as they learn faster and better when they listen to soft music which is not distracting.

Kinaesthetic learners: These are learners who learn better through movement and practically doing things themselves. Their qualities include the following.

  1. They are physically well coordinated. Majority of the sportspeople are kinaesthetic learners.
  2. They are great with hands-on problem solving.
  3. They learn better by drawing, writing, or coding.
  4. It is impossible for a kinaesthetic learner to get lost. They have a great sense of direction.
  5. They excel at subjects where things are to be done practically, like engineering, construction, cooking, painting, etc.

Development of the model through the years

Over the years, the VAK model was modified with a new learning type. The representational system. When learning happens through the impact of social factors, it is termed Representational learning. 

Impact on education

The VAK model is most effective when utilised during a person’s formative years. This helps the learner to recognise their own learning style at a young age and develop it as they grow up. These methods also make the learning process enjoyable and hence inculcate curiosity and an urge to acquire knowledge.

Personally, I incorporate experiential learning methods in my training sessions, both for education and corporate. It helps my learners understand WHY it is important for them to learn the particular set of skills. It also makes it conveniently easy for them to pick up on these skills when they learn through experience.

There you have it,What is the VAK Model all in one article. Stay tuned for more blogs like these. My name is Riti Kapoor Chopra, and I’m a Mumbai-based corporate trainer, speaker, and educator. For enquiries, contact me on 9819648070 or write to me at riti@ritikapoorchopra.com

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