Author(s): Shankar PR, Dubey AK, Binu VS, Subish P, Deshpande VY, Shankar PR, Dubey AK, Binu VS, Subish P, Deshpande VY
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: Information on the learning styles of medical students are lacking in medical colleges in Nepal. Learning styles may be associated with student understanding and may predict success in examination. The present study was carried out to obtain information on learning styles and preferences for teaching of fourth semester medical students and note the association, if any, between respondents' personal characteristics and preferences for learning styles and types of teaching. The correlation between preferences for learning styles and types of teaching and performance in the second year university examination was also explored. METHODS: The study was carried out during October 2003 at the Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara, Nepal using the Approaches and Study Skills Inventory (ASSIST) instrument. Information on the respondents' personal characteristics was collected. Respondents had to indicate their degree of agreement with a set of statements using a modified Likert-type scale. The statements were grouped into three main learning styles and two types of teaching. The median scores among different subgroups of respondents were compared using appropriate non-parametric tests (p<0.05). RESULTS: Ninety-two students (92\%) participated; fifty-six were male. Thirty-one respondents were Nepalese, 48 were Indians. Majority were educated in English medium schools. The median scores for deep and surface learning styles were 64 and 49 respectively (maximum score=80). The scores for strategic learning was 75.5 (maximum score=100). There was no clear preference for any particular type of teaching. Indian students used more surface apathetic learning strategies compared to others. There was a negative correlation between surface learning and marks obtained in the final examination. CONCLUSIONS: The students mainly used deep and strategic learning styles. Differences in preference for learning styles and types of teaching were noted according the respondents' personal characteristics. This was a preliminary study and further studies are required.
This article was published in Kathmandu Univ Med J (KUMJ)
and referenced in Insights in Gynecologic Oncology