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International Journal of Medical Research & Health Sciences (IJMRHS)
ISSN: 2319-5886 Indexed in: ESCI (Thomson Reuters)

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Abstract

LEARNING STYLES OF FIRST YEAR MEDICAL STUDENTS STUDYING PHYSIOLOGY IN TAMIL NADU

Author(s):Suzanne Maria D’cruz, Navin Rajaratnam, Chandrasekhar M

Background: Understanding the diversity of learning style preferences of first year medical students will help teachers of Physiology design teaching-learning activities that while catering to their preferences also challenge them to grow in categories that are against their preferences. Most research using the VARK (Visual, Aural, Read-write, Kinesthetic) questionnaire that assesses sensory modality preference alone showed that medical students studying Physiology were multimodal. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the learning styles of first year medical students studying Physiology in India using the Index of Learning Styles (ILS) and to compare the learning styles of males and females. Methods and Material: The Index of Learning Styles (ILS) questionnaire was administered to 150 first year medical students studying Physiology in a private medical college in India as it assesses learning style preferences on four dimensions - active/reflective, sensing/intuitive, visual/verbal and sequential/global. Results: The majority of first year medical students were fairly well balanced in the sequential/global dimension (80.66%), active/reflective dimension (68%) and sensory/intuitive dimension (62%) of the ILS. However, in the visual/verbal dimension, the majority of students were visual learners (72.66%). There were no significant differences in the learning style preferences of males and females. Conclusion: The majority of our students were visual learners and were well balanced in the other dimensions, with there being no significant gender wise difference in learning styles. With this knowledge and findings about different dimensions of learning styles, other than sensory modality preference alone, effective teaching-learning activities can be developed.


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