ANALYSIS OF STYLES AND METHODS OF LEARNING OF STUDENTS - ESSENTIAL METHODOLOGICAL INSTRUMENT WHICH INCREASES TEACHING QUALITY AT MEDICAL UNIVERSITY?
The awareness of diversity of learning styles and methods of students as well as their limitations may influence the improvement of effectiveness and efficacy of a learning process. Learning about preferences of students in acquiring and solidifying knowledge may optimize the efficacy of teaching. However, the analysis of learning methods in the context of methodology of teaching used flexibly is rarely applied in university-level medical schools which implement standard curricula in numerous groups of students. One of the techniques of analysis of learning styles and methods is Kolb's Learning Style Inventory (LSI) developed by David Kolb.
The aim of the study was to analyse learning styles and methods specified according to David Kolb's taxonomy in a group of first year students of a university-level medical school.
Materials and Methods:
91 first year Bachelor degree students of the Division of Physiotherapy, 2nd Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Warsaw took part in the study. The sample constituted 98% of all first year students. Anonymous and voluntary questionnaire studies were conducted during teaching classes with the use of a standardized questionnaire of learning styles designed by Kolb (LSI). The analysis of the results was presented with the use of descriptive statistics.
A convergent style plays a fundamental role in the learning process of the largest group of students (48%). 37% of the participants prefer an assimilative style. An accommodative style is a dominating one in the 13% of the study group. The smallest percentage of students (7%) represent divergent style of learning. The vast majority of students (71%) prefer multimodal learning styles and 29% of the total prefer unimodal learning styles as defined by Kolb.
1. Often existing multimodality and unimodality of some students need to be flexibly taken into consideration in the methodological preparation of teaching classes as well as in the assessment of the results of acquiring knowledge.
2. The identification of modality and learning styles of students needs to be performed at the beginning of their education in order to design their education process so that it aids the interaction between a student and a teacher and meets the assumptions of the individualization of methodology of teaching within the same teaching content.
3. The prophylaxis of the incidence of professional burnout syndrome in the group of teachers may be an added value of the application of varied teaching methods depending on learning styles of students. This, however, needs further, more detailed studies.