VARK: learning styles

VARK is one of the most common tests used in schools around the world to discover students’ learning styles. It is a 3 question test designed to find out what style of teaching is best for a student to be most productive, and is therefore important to consider when designing a game that has a core goal of educating. You need to now how people learn in order to best support their learning.

140. Visual (V) learners prefer to use graphic and symbolic ways of representing information

Aural (A) learners prefer ‘heard’ information and learn best from lectures, tutorials, discussions, etc.

Read/Write (R) learners prefer printed words as a way to divulge information.

Kinesthetic (K) learners tend to prefer learning in a hands-on way, often through experience, example, practice            or simulation. They like information that is grounded in reality.

Of course, students are seldom just one type of learner, but they often lean towards one more than the others. In terms of game design kinesthetic learners are predisposed to be attracted to it, as players are given a context in which to move about and then discover things on their own through trial and error.

Portal 2 is a great game which uses multiple VARK styles in which to teach its play system. Kinesthetic is a given, as players are placed within the world and need to figure out their own way, but Visual and Aural tips are also included. The narrator is an integral part of the game who often gives you hints (grudgingly) on how a puzzle could be solved, and graphical representations of the challenges you will face in each level are provided as soon as you enter each one.



REF: Fleming, N. D., Mills, C. (1992) Not another inventory, rather a catalyst for reflection. To Improve the Academy, 11. 137-155. Retrieved from


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