Learning styles in vertically integrated teaching.
Sweet, Linda Phyllis
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Background: With vertical integration, registrars and medical students attend the same educational workshops. It is not known whether these learners have similar or different learning styles related to their level of education within the medical training schema. This study aims to collect information about learning styles with a view to changing teaching strategies. If a significant difference is demonstrated this will impact on required approaches to teaching. Methods: The VARK learning inventory questionnaire was administered to 36 general practice registrars and 20 medical students. The learning styles were compared as individuals and then related to their level of education within the medical training schema. Results: Students had a greater preference for multimodal learning compared with registrars (62.5 per cent versus 33.3 per cent, respectively). More than half of the registrars preferred uni or bimodal learning modalities, compared with one-third of the medical students. Discussion: The present work- shop format based on visual and aural material will not match the learning needs of most learners. This small study has shown that the majority of medical students and registrars could have their learning preferences better met by the addition of written material to the workshop series. Surprisingly, a significantly larger number of medical students than registrars appeared to be broadly multi- modal in their learning style, and this warrants further research.
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