How learning styles and preferences of first-year nursing and midwifery students change

Journal article


Mitchell, Eleanor, James, Santhamma and D'Amore, Angelo. (2015) How learning styles and preferences of first-year nursing and midwifery students change. Australian Journal of Education. 59(2), pp. 158 - 168. https://doi.org/10.1177/0004944115587917
AuthorsMitchell, Eleanor, James, Santhamma and D'Amore, Angelo
Abstract

It is important that educators understand learning styles as an evolving individual characteristic. We investigate the changes in learning styles and preferences of first-year undergraduate nursing/midwifery students after six months of preliminary testing. Curry’s ‘onion ring model’ proposes a stable inner ‘Information processing’ style (assessed by instruments such as Kolb Learning Style Inventory) compared to the outer ‘Instructional preference’ style (assessed by the VARK (Visual/Aural/Read–Write/Kinaesthetic) questionnaire), which is more easily influenced by external factors. Therefore, re-examining students after one semester of teaching should result in an increase in multimodal VARK learning with lesser changes to the LSI results. A cross-sectional survey with pre-post design (n = 96) showed 45% of students remaining in the same VARK mode, 30% becoming more multimodal and 25% showing changes. Surprisingly, the LSI questionnaire showed similar results with 45% of students remaining in the same learning modality and 55% of students changing. This research highlights the dynamic changes within students’ information processing and instructional preferences.

Year2015
JournalAustralian Journal of Education
Journal citation59 (2), pp. 158 - 168
ISSN0004-9441
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/0004944115587917
Page range158 - 168
Research GroupSchool of Behavioural and Health Sciences
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