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VAK exercises


I am running a TTT in a couple of weeks and whilst I have a questionnaire for the delegates to complete to determine their learning style, I was wondering if anyone had any more practical exercises.
Allison Preece

8 Responses

  1. Do you really mean learning styles?
    Hi Allyson

    To raise awareness of the perception preferences I would briefly explain what they are then get them to talk in pairs or small groups about what they did last weekend or what they want to do next month. The others listen for key words that give away the preferences. Debrief and emphasise that everyone uses all three at different times – eg David Blunkett used a lot of “V” language.


  2. I have a questionnaire you can use
    I have a short questionnaire you can have if you like – it’s 12 multiple choice questions to determine a person’s thinking pattern, i,e, visual, auditory or kinesthetic. It’s quick to complete (5 mins) so can be done as part of the session. If you want a copy just send me an email: [email protected] and I’ll send it on to you.

  3. How about some group work …
    Couple of ideas for you :-

    Ask the participants to think about a piece of training they do / have done and ask them to come up with ways they could adapt that session to meet the needs of each of the learning styles. Could be done in groups or individually.

    Alternatively split into small groups and give each a different topic:- eg. selling, H&S. Ask the groups to come up with as many different ideas for each of the learning styles as they can. I’d probably manage it by allocating 2/3 minutes to each style and possibly move the topics around the groups to keep people fresh.

    Potential to be a really lively, fun and engaging session for all concerned.

  4. VAK Exercises
    Hi Allison, how about giving the participants the information on each of the preferences and asking them to design exercises based on which would stimulate each of the senses most?

    We do something similar on our Brain Friendly Learning for Trainers Workshop to introduce Multiple Intelligences.



  5. Demonstrate it and it really gets people thinking

    If you are doing the questionnaire on Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic, whilst they are completing it write the delegate’s names on a flipchart and next to them write what they are V, A or K. This really gets them thinking and looking to see how you did it. I have done this on a number of courses and it never ceases to amaze the delegates and they really get into it. They then start to look for it in their colleagues and can explain why some sessions work and why others do not.

  6. Another suggestion
    Give your participants the following scenario to discuss.

    Four friends are travelling home together after having attended the same training course which lasted for a week. During the week a diverse range of training methods were used, from traditional presentations and follow-up seminar discussion groups, to demonstrations, practical workshops, simulations and role-play. They are reflecting on their initial impressions of the week.

    Mary liked the PowerPoint presentations and demonstrations, and was particularly impressed by the handouts; she thought that the practical workshops, simulations and role-play were a waste of time.

    Tom preferred the discussion groups, and enjoyed listening to others’ views and expressing his own; he doesn’t like ‘lectures’ and thought that there were too many handouts.

    Barbara said that she liked the practical workshops, simulations and role-play; she thought that too much use was made of PowerPoint and has never liked participating in discussion groups.

    Keith said he didn’t have any preferences or dislikes; he had enjoyed everything.

    Then ask your participants to identify the preferred/dominant VAK learning style(s) for Mary, Tom, Barbara and Keith.

  7. Physical experiment
    I introduce VAK to my students by taking them on a short walk, split into V, A & K. I ask them to concentrate on each sense in isolation as much as they can. Eg ; I would like you to ignore your other senses & and tune into just what you see’ then stop on the walk and go through the others. At the end ask them to score how strong each sense was to them.This can then be used as a springboard into the topic.
    You’ll do fine.
    Gavin Weir-Jones

  8. Why not VARK?

    I am not really answering your question, but I recently came across the VARK model which adds “Read/Write” to the other learning preferences. I think this adds an often missing dimension. There is a tendancy with belnded approaches to introduce some kind of pre or post workshop reading and this is loathed by some but cherished by other learners.

    We all recognise the dangers of using powerpoint as a reading exercise (text on screen or overkill by bullets.) My view is that if a powerpoint slide can be understood without aural explaination it is not a good powerpoint and does not address the needs of the Visualists, but is directed to Readers. If Powerpoint slides are to be used as presentation handouts (with the exception of providing a useful vehicle for note taking) then it makes sense to prepare a written text handout as that is what the Readers want (not a collection of non annotated slides).

    I once tried out an experiment. I showed a powerpoint slide with a long quote, paused a few seconds, then turned off the slide. When I asked the audience how many had started reading it, only about 10% had. They were waiting for me to read it out loud for them. I assume the Visualists were rejected by the text, the Auditors were waiting for my words and the Readers were waiting for the handout.

    The VARK theories can certainly provide good guidance for the design of Powerpoint. It is aimed at the Visualists and not the Readers. It is valuable to remember that.

    For more on VARK see


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