The Learning Styles and the Preferred Teaching–Learning Strategies of First Year Medical Students 1089-1092
Dr. Poonam Kharb,
Professor Department of Anatomy,
School of Medical Sciences & Research,
Sharda University, Plot No. 32-34,
Knowledge Park III, Greater Noida,
UP, 201306, India.
Introduction: The purpose of teaching is to facilitate learning and to encourage the learners to learn more effectively. The learning style is an individual’s consistent way of perceiving, processing and retaining new information. Educational researchers have shown an increasing interest in the learning styles, the related instructional methods and the andrgogical teaching techniques. This interest is spurred by a desire to help the students to become capable and successful learners. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the preferred learning styles of medical students as well as their preferences of specific teaching-learning methods. Method: A cross sectional study was conducted on 100 first semester medical students who were enrolled at SMS & R, Sharda University, India. The VARK questionnaire, version 7.1 was used to categorize the learning preferences/modes as visual (V), auditory (A), read and write (R) and kinaesthetic (K). The students were also asked to rank the various teaching methodologies viz. lectures, tutorials, demonstrations and practicals/dissections from the most preferred choice to the least preferred one. Results: The majority (61%) of the students had multimodal VARK preferences. Among them, 41%, 14% and 6% preferred the bimodal, trimodal and the quadrimodal ways of information presentation. 39% of the respondents had one strong (unimodal) learning preference. The most common unimodal preference was kinaesthetic, followed by visual, auditory and read and write. The most preferred teaching methodology was practical/dissection (39%) and tutorial was the least preferred one (12%). Conclusion: One single approach to teaching does not work for every student or even for most of the students. The educators’ awareness of the various learning styles of the students and their efforts towards matching the teaching and learning styles may help in creating an effective learning environment for all the students.