Thursday, August 20, 2015

Life is all about learning!

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

We all learn something new every day. Consciously or subconsciously, this is a gradual and a never ending process.

We as learners, use our individual methodologies, capacities and interests to learn new things in life. And our learning approach is affected by many factors like age, intelligence, attitude, aptitude, and sensory preferences.

Knowing the learning styles is important for us. No matter which walk of life we are from, directly or indirectly, we are involved in some kind of learning process.

In this article, I will be discussing the VAK learning model by Neil Fleming, which is used by professionals worldwide.

Let’s start by understanding what a learning style actually means.

Ellis (1985) described a learning style as "the more or less consistent way in which a person perceives, conceptualizes, organizes and recalls information.”

Everyone has a preferred or a predominant style of learning. Knowing, understanding and nurturing that preferred style of learning makes your learning process easier and much more exciting. However, this doesn’t mean that a person only learns by using one style. We can use multiple styles at a time or different styles at different point in time.

Talking about the VAK Model, each and every alphabet in VAK has its own meaning. In VAK Model…

V stands for Visual: It means learning by seeing.

Here an individual:

  • Absorbs the information by seeing the images, faces, diagrams, charts, pictures and maps
  • Learns by observing the body language and expressions
  • Tends to pen down the information
  • Creates list of information and make notes in an organized manner
If you are a Visual learner, use color coding to highlight important information and carry a note pad with you wherever you go. Cover your room walls with pictures that motivate you   and try seeing more of learning videos.

A stands for Auditory: It means learning by hearing. 

Here an individual:

  • Absorbs the information by discussions, speaking and arguing
  • Learns by auditory activities
  • Tends to have the internal dialogue
  • Repeats & paraphrase for the confirmation of the information
If you are an auditory learner, use audio, recording and recite to memorize information. Listening to experiences and discussions has a great impact on you. When you read or learn new thing, try explaining it to yourself aloud. You would learn better and quicker with quizzes and discussions and reading. 

K stands for Kinesthetic: It means learning by movement. 

Here an individual:

  • Absorbs the information by involvement, performing activities and movement from one place to the other
  • Learns by expressing, acting and moving
  • Tends to get distracted if have to just sit for longer without a task in hand
  • Excellent motor skills, which means hand eye coordination
If you are a kinesthetic learner, you learn and memorize while in motion and express yourself better through dance, theatre and sports. You learn faster through the sense of touch like using a keypad. You should try to use models and experiments as your typical way of studying.

Lastly, whatever style or model you follow, the one prime factor that is required for effective learning is passion. Passion is like the fuel to the knowledge car. You may take different paths to reach your destination but without the fuel, your car won’t be able to move an inch.

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Happy Learning!

-Priya Bali
 Faculty, INLEAD

Images Courtesy- Google Images 

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