The Perceptual Preferences in Learning Among Dental Students in Clinical Subjects 1683-1685
Dr. Nandita Shenoy,
Reader, Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Mangalore-575 001, Karnataka, India.
Phone: +91- 9901730507, E-mail: email@example.com
Introduction: VARK is a questionnaire which was developed by Neil Fleming (www.vark.learn.com), who was a teacher and an educator in New Zealand, with respect to the perceptual preferences in learning. V stands for Visual- the students learn best from pictures, graphs and diagrams. A stand for Aural – the students learn best from spoken words, lectures and discussions. R stands for Reading – the students learn best from reading and writing texts. K stands for Kinesthetic – the students learn best when they move their bodies and manipulate things with their own hands.
Aim: The aim of the recent study was to investigate the learning styles among the dental students in our clinical set up.
Method: The VARK-questionnaire contains 13 multiple-choice- questions with four possibilities to select an answer. Each possibility represents one of the four modes of perception. But, one can select more than one answer for each question, which is necessary for the identification of the poly modal modes of perception and learning. This is also a psychometric problem when an attempt is being made to state a measure of the reliability of the questionnaire. The VARK-questionnaire was distributed among 100 students and we received filled forms from only 70 students. This sample size represented a 70% response rate from the students in the class and it was markedly above the level which was required to make conclusions about the student preferences for receiving and processing information. The students spent about 10 minutes in an ordinary lesson to fill in the questionnaire. The students’ register numbers and names were used in the study and no blinding was practised. We analyzed their learning styles with their performances in the university exams.
Study Design: This was a questionnaire based clinical study.
Results: The responses from the students in our University where classified into the multi-modal (VARK), tri-modal (VRK, VAK, VAR, ARK), bi-modal (VR, VA, VK, RK) and the uni-modal (V, A, R.K) categories. The results showed that the subjects had a higher preference for multimodal learning.
Conclusion: With our preliminary data, we conclude that the students in our clinical set up preferred a multimodal and a more of kinesthetic method of learning. To meet their needs, variations in the teaching, learning and the examination must be implemented. If not, the students with a high kinesthetic preference for perception and learning may be at the losing end.