What is VARK and how does Draw It Books use it?

Whether people are aware of it or not lots of different things are constantly happening when we are participating in an activity. A difference between making progress and not making progress is being consciously aware of some of these things. If you are able to identify some of the different parts of an activity then you can identify what you can do differently, or even better. VARK is one way of helping identify these parts of an activity.

VARK is a learning model that was developed by Neil Fleming in 1987. VARK stands for visual, aural, read/write, and kinesthetic. The model, supported by a questionnaire, helps identify a learner’s preferred learning style. The results help create educational materials to support the learner’s style.

Draw It Books provides and encourages a learning experience that means all aspects of the VARK model can be stimulated. But rather than being a formal ‘un-fun’ learning experience Draw It Books provides a fun ‘learn through play’ experience that learner’s can engage in at their own pace. It has the potential to be so much fun in fact that learner’s don’t feel like they are studying at all; because they are playing.

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What is VARK?

VARK is a learning style model. There are many learning style models that exist. They can be used in the education and training environment to help facilitate learning and progress. VARK is a commonly known and utilised model trough out the world. VARK is an acronym that refers to the four sensory modalities that it identifies. These are:

Visual learning
Aural learning
Reading and writing learning
Kinesthetic learning

Who created VARK?

VARK was developed by educator Neil Fleming in 1987.

To learn more about Neil Fleming and the VARK learning styles model click here.

How does Draw It Books use VARK?

Draw It Books use VARK by allowing all the VARK modalities to be stimulated when a user is engaging in a book. Not all books offer this. But Draw It Books do. This experience of learning and engagement can be referred to as multi-modality. This is because more than one learning style can be accessed when using Draw It Books.

Below is a breakdown of how Draw It Books stimulates the different learning styles when someone uses one of the Draw It Books product range.

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Visual learning is when people prefer to take in information through things like videos, pictures, or graphs. Visual learners also like to use things such as diagrams and maps. The use of flowcharts and symbols is valuable to a visual learner as well.

Draw It Books prides itself on encouraging learners to create the visual aspect of books. Drawing is another thing that visual leaners like to do. When combined with the other aspects of learning and the VARK model Draw It Books offers learners a unique learning experience where learners are in creative control. If we account for the fact that developing memory is a huge element of learning, when using Draw It Books a learner is able to really develop their visual memory as well as their skills and knowledge at the same time.

Rather than having the visual material provided to them, learners are able to flip between the role of spectator and participator easily which helps aid in the learning experience. This is arguably a much more power learning experience because rather than just absorbing information a learner is consolidating what they know by interpreting and creating their own information through creation.

After all, isn’t that the goal of education and training? To provide learners with an experience that ultimately providers them with autonomy?

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Aural learning is when learners prefer to take in information by listening. This could be listening to a person, they could be talking themselves, they could be listening to the radio or a podcast. Ultimately, aural learners like to listen and respond well to noise.

Given that some Draw It Books are stories, these in particular offer a fantastic aural learning experience. Whether it is someone reading a book on their own or a parent/guardian reading a bedtime story, Draw It Books offer the opportunity for aural based learning to occur.

Again, when combined with the other aspects of learning, the experience of using Draw It Books is a special one because learners contribute creatively to the learning process. It simply makes the impact of learning much greater and significant to a learner because of what they have invested in it. Just like many generations before now reading bedtime stories to children, the act of reading out loud brings the story to life.

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Read and write

Read and write learners enjoy learning through the exercises of reading and writing. They like lists and interesting words. They like making notes and writing texts out again and again.

Draw It Books are books, after all. So, naturally they encourage reading. But there is also an encouragement of writing that occurs in a Draw It Book. Draw It Books actively encourage users to draw and write in them. The books really do offer a multi learning approach where a learner can easily switch between preferred learning styles fluidly in a playful manner that makes the learning experience fun and exciting.

This is one of the reasons Draw It Books are so powerful. Because they are an active, not passive, learning experience where the user processes the information provided to them and generates their own thoughts and ideas that help contribute creatively to the book.

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It is believed that the word kinesthetic comes from the Greek words kinein meaning “to move” and aisthēsis meaning “sensation” (From Proto-Indo-European root *au- meaning “to perceive”). In short, kinesthetic learners learn by doing. They are practical learners that enjoy taking part in activities as a way to learn things.

Draw It Books are activity books. Users are encouraged to be active and practically contribute to the content of the book. Draw It Books are simply great for kinesthetic leaners that like to ‘do’. Because Draw It Books encourage learners to learn through play. Once a book is complete a learner can take on a more passive and reflective role where they can absorb and admire what they have created and solidify or challenge the learning and creating they have done.

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Scaling Transferable Skills

After using a Draw It Book the next steps would be to look to transfer the skills and knowledge that has been developed. That is why the books are so great. Because they help support literacy and numeracy; two essential parts of learning. But they also help support problem solving, motor function, courage, and creativity.

This means that afterwards a reader can move on to another book if they want to, or simply take what they have learnt, worked on, and developed into another area of their life. All the skills learnt are transferable. So, afterwards its simply about choosing a direction of interest and pursuing it, or if desired, scaling up the learning and development that has been achieve.

What Draw It Books does better than other books

Draw It Books provides readers with an opportunity. An opportunity where they can create without judgement in the comfort of their own home or favourite spot. One of the biggest challenges of education is getting learners to attempt. Just to try and express themselves is a struggle for some learners. With the right support and environment, Draw It Books offers readers a safe and judgement free environment where they can get their ideas out of their head and then develop them. After all, a lot of the Draw It Books philosophy is based around art, and in art there isn’t always a ‘good’ or ‘bad’. To begin with there is just expression. The assigning of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ comes later.

Draw It Books comes from a creative and expressive place that holds fun at the core. Whilst it is recognised that there are such concepts as ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ the focus is not on correcting; like ‘cancel culture’. The focus is on helping nurture understanding, innovation, and evolution. The focus is on identify what works and going with it until it does. At that point the focus shifts to, ‘Well that doesn’t work, what can I do differently next time?’.

Overtime there is a development of foresight and consideration that occurs. Where users will establish clarity about what they want to create and why. This is where true learning and development can occur. Learners will overcome the fear of failure and judgement start to focus on doing things with purpose and for a reason. This purpose and reason helps to outweigh the fear they might experience.

It doesn’t matter how old a user of a Draw It Book is. What matters is that they are able to harness their creativity and use it as a vessel to achieve what they hope to.

View the Draw It Books range

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