Identification of Predominant Learning Approaches in Medical Students using ASSIST in An Indian Medical School: A Cross-sectional Survey JC01-JC06
Dr. Jaikumar B Contractor,
B-7, Rushi Tenaments, Behind Munjal Park,
Near Saurabh Park, Samta, Vadodara, Gujarat, India.
Introduction: Approaches to study and learning may either improve or attenuate educational outcomes. Medical educators, therefore need to monitor the various approaches adopted by students in pursuit of their learning. This can be achieved using Approaches to Study and Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST).
Aim: To find predominant learning approach amongst medical students in a western Indian medical school.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey. A 52 item ASSIST inventory was provided to second Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) students for documenting details about their understanding about learning and its concepts, different learning approaches and preferences for different types of courses and teachings adopted by students in their daily academic routine. Descriptive analysis was carried out finding frequency (n) and percentages (%) and independent sample t-test was applied to compare the scores of quantitative data between the sub groups. Analysis was done using the software Statistics and Data Science (STATA) version 14.2.
Results: Out of 100 students, 75 participated (38 females and 37 males). Results displayed the frequency scores of ASSIST and its three sections. Under first section i.e., “what is learning” and “what are concept, there was no significant difference (p>0.05) in Mean (Standard Deviation) scores. While in second section on “Approaches of learning” maximum students used Strategic Approach (SA) (mean±SD: 79.82±8.97), followed by Deep Approach (DA) (mean±SD: 64.39±6.01) and then surface approach (mean±SD: 50.10±9.87). There was a positive correlation between deep and strategic learning approach (r=+0.44) whereas deep and surface approach showed negative relation (r= - 0.23). In addition, surface approach had negative relation with SA (r=-0.21). In regards to the preferences for different types of course and teaching, there was no significant difference (p>0.05) in mean (±SD) scores.
Conclusion: Knowledge of student’s ‘approaches to learning’, ‘conceptions of learning’ and ‘preference towards different types of teaching styles can help optimise the quality of student learning, as well can support teaching and assessment methods used by educators.