Understanding Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic Learning Styles

Three different learning styles
Getty Images | Tara Moore

One way to be truly successful in the classroom is to wrap your head around the three different learning styles according to Fleming's VAK (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) model. If you know how you learn best, you can use specific methods to retain what you learn in class. Different learning styles require varied methods to keep you motivated and successful in the classroom. Here is a bit more about each of the three learning styles. 


Fleming states that visual learners have a preference for seeing the material in order to learn it.

  1. Strengths of the visual learner: 
    1. Instinctively follows directions
    2. Can easily visualize objects
    3. Has a great sense of balance and alignment
    4. Is an excellent organizer
  2. Best ways to learn: 
    1. Studying notes on overhead slides, whiteboards, Smartboards, PowerPoint presentations, etc.
    2. Reading diagrams and handouts
    3. Following a distributed study guide
    4. Reading from a textbook
    5. Studying alone


With this learning style, students have to hear information to truly absorb it.

  1. Strengths of the auditory learner:
    1. Understanding subtle changes in tone in a person's voice
    2. Writing responses to lectures
    3. Oral exams
    4. Story-telling
    5. Solving difficult problems
    6. Working in groups
  2. Best ways to learn:
    1. Participating vocally in class
    2. Making recordings of class notes and listening to them
    3. Reading assignments out loud
    4. Studying with a partner or group


Kinesthetic learners tend to want to move while learning.

  1. Strengths of the kinesthetic learner:
    1. Great hand-eye coordination
    2. Quick reception
    3. Excellent experimenters
    4. Good at sports, art, and drama
    5. High levels of energy
  2. Best ways to learn:
    1. Conducting experiments 
    2. Acting out a play
    3. Studying while standing or moving
    4. Doodling during lectures
    5. Studying while performing an athletic activity like bouncing a ball or shooting hoops

Generally, students tend to favor one learning style more than another, but most people are a mix of two or maybe even three different styles. So, teachers, make sure you're creating a classroom that can engage any type of learner. And students, use your strengths so you can be the most successful student you can be. 

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Your Citation
Roell, Kelly. "Understanding Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic Learning Styles." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, thoughtco.com/three-different-learning-styles-3212040. Roell, Kelly. (2020, August 26). Understanding Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic Learning Styles. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/three-different-learning-styles-3212040 Roell, Kelly. "Understanding Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic Learning Styles." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/three-different-learning-styles-3212040 (accessed March 28, 2023).

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