Learning Styles of Undergraduate Medical Students: Using the Kolb Learning Style Inventory (Published 2015)
Apr 06, 2016
Tha M and Khin N
Through a cross-sectional descriptive study this paper aims to identify the predominant learning styles of undergraduate medical students.
Purpose: To identify the predominant learning styles of undergraduate medical students.
Method: A cross-sectional descriptive study using Kolb Learning Style Inventory Version 3.1.
Study population: Year 3 medical students at Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UCSI University, Terengganu Campus, Malaysia.
Results: The response rate was 93.3% and responses from 65 students were analyzed in the study. The mean scores of learning orientations – Active Experimentation (AE), Reflective Observation (RO), Abstract Conceptualization (AC) and Concrete Experience (CE) – of all participants were 32.9, 29.6, 33.6 and 24.0, respectively and the mean score of CE was significantly lowest among all four learning orientations. When identified by four basic learning styles, those with predominant Diverging (30.8%) and Assimilating (30.8%) groups account for the largest population, followed by Accommodating (20%) and Converging (18.4%).
Conclusion: Year 3 medical students at UCSI University have diverse learning orientations and learning styles. As a group, the distribution of their learning styles is similar to findings in some studies among medical students but different from medical residents and specialists in total normative group and other studies. It is hoped that the findings in this study can be used in designing learning environments and teaching/learning activities as well as in providing support to facilitate students’ learning.
An interesting paper that is probably of relevance to just the local environment. I was a little saddened that this paper was not written after the author reading much of the more recent work on the relevance or importance of learning styles, given the view that the majority of medical educationalist now doubt the value of these styles and their relevance to learning.