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English 101 – FRESHMAN ENGLISH – Gamberg – Spring 2016

Julie Gamberg's English 101 Course Website

Learning Styles: VARK

People have different learning styles to aquire new information.

In this video, The Jellyvision Lab illustrates the four-part VARK model of learning styles developed by psychologist Neil Fleming: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic.

Learning Styles and Strategies

It is important to note that most everyone learns in multiple ways, and therefore creating learning environments that present informations in various ways to reach all learner types is essential. 

Active Learning should not be thought of as a replacement for other modes of presentation, but instead, it is a way to compliment what is already being done in our classrooms to help the various learner types retain, analyze, and apply information, ultimately becoming creators of knowledge. 

The following information is a brief overview from North Carolina State University’s Richard M. Felder and Barbara A. Soloman’s Learning Styles and Strategies.



  • Active learners retain information best by doing something active with it—discussing, applying, or explaining it to others. Reflective learners prefer to think about it quietly first.
  • Active learners tend to like group work more than reflective learners, who prefer working alone.
  • Sitting through passive learning lectures is hard for both learning types, but particularly hard for active learners.



  • Sensing learners enjoy learning facts; intuitive learners prefer discovering possibilities and relationships.
  • Sensors like solving problems by well-established methods and dislike complications and surprises; intuitors prefer innovation over repetition.
  • Sensors are usually good at memorizing facts and doing hands-on (laboratory) work; intuitors grasp new concepts and are comfortable with abstractions and mathematical formulations.
  • Sensors tend to be more practical; intuitors are more innovative.
  • Sensors dislike courses that have no apparent connection to the real world; intuitors dislike "plug-and-chug" courses that involve a lot of memorization and routine calculations.



  • Visual learners remember best what they see: pictures, diagrams, flow charts, time lines, films, and demonstrations.  Verbal learners get more out of words – written and spoken explanations.
  • Both types learn more than information is presents visually and verbally.
  • In most college/university classes, however, students mainly listen to lectures and read material and therefore very little visual information is presented
  • Unfortunately, most people are visual learners, but when information is presented both verbally and visually, everyone learns better.



  • Sequential learners gain understanding in linear steps, with each step following logically from the previous one. Global learners tend to learn in large jumps, absorbing material almost randomly without seeing connections, and then suddenly "getting it."
  • Sequential learners follow logical stepwise paths in finding solutions; global learners may be able to solve complex problems quickly or put things together in novel ways once they have grasped the big picture, but they may have difficulty explaining how they did it.

Click here for more information about the learning styles model and implications of learning styles for instructors and students.

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