LEARNING STYLES OF UNDERGRADUATE MEDICAL AND DENTAL STUDENTS FROM A PRIVATE ROMANIAN UNIVERSITY
Objective: The purposes of this study were 1) to compare the learning styles of first year medical and dental students at a private medical institution and 2) to determine if their learning styles are different when compared with last year medical students.
Methodology: The 18-item Approaches to Studying Inventory (ASI) was administered to first year dental and medical students and to sixth year medical students at the “Titu Maiorescu” University, Bucharest, Romania. Means and standard deviations were calculated for three ASI orientations to studying: “Strategic approach”, “Surface approach”, and “Deep approach”, and their subscales.
Results: First year dental students scored statistically significantly higher than first year medical students on Strategic approach (25.38 vs. 22.71, P<0.05), Organised Studying (8.96 vs. 7.85, P<0.05) and on the Deep Approach subscale, Use of Evidence (4.54 vs. 3.79, P=0.001). No differences were noted between first and sixth year medical students. Female students scored higher than males on Fear of Failure subscale (Surface approach)(6.29 vs. 5.33, P<0.05). A statistical significant correlation was found between age and the Deep approach subscale, Comprehension Learning/Relating Ideas subscale (rho = 0.20, P<0.05).
Conclusion: Diversity of learning styles at undergraduate medical and dental students calls for multiplicity of teaching and assessment modalities to match them.