Does Learning Style Make a Difference on Student’s Academic Performance? Learning Style Preferences of Medical Students from University Tunku Abdul Rahman
Asian Journal of Medicine and Health,
Background: Learning preference is the effective and efficient modality or manner in which a learner has a natural preference to perceive process, store and recall new information. Learning style is the composite of cognitive, affective and physiological characteristics that indicate how a learner perceives, interacts and responds to the learning environment.
Objectives: The objectives of the study were to assess the teaching and learning style preferences of medical students at UTAR by using VARK (Visual/Auditory/Reading/Kinesthetics) inventory questionnaires and to identify the different learning style preferences between gender and the academic year of medical education (pre-clinical year versus clinical year).
Methodology: This was a university-based cross-sectional study involving 235 students from year 1 to year 5 in University Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia from December 2017 to December 2018. Students, selected via universal sampling, were given the VARK inventory questionnaires determine their preferences of learning style. Data were further analysed using SPSS (version 22.0, IBM).
Results: Of the 203 students (86.4%) who responded to the questionnaire, 62.1% of them were females while 80.3% of them were between 21-25 years of age. 86 students (42.4%) were from the preclinical phase while 117 (57.6%) were from the clinical phase. 70.4% of the students preferred studying alone to studying with a partner or group of friends (29.6%). Among them,157 medical students (77.3%) preferred multimodal learning style, with the most preferred mode trimodal which means combination of three sensory preference for example VAR or ARK, 35.67%, followed by quadrimodal which means combination of all four sensory preference for example VARK, 33.76% and bimodal which means combination of two sensory preference for example VA or AR, 30.57%. The remaining 46 students (22.7%) were unimodal learners (visual or auditory or reading or kinaesthetic) and 37% of them preferred kinesthetics which was learners prefer hands-on, practical experience. There was no significant difference in VARK modalities in terms of gender (p=0.39) and academic year (p=0.16).
Conclusion: In conclusion, majority of UTAR medical students preferred multiple modalities with trimodal being the most prevalent mode. Among unimodal learners, kinesthetics were the most preferred mode. There was no significant difference in VARK modalities in terms of gender and academic year.
- Learning style
- medical students
How to Cite
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