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Med Teach. 2008;30(9-10):863-9. doi: 10.1080/01421590802141167.

The potential of the inventory of learning styles to study students' learning patterns in three types of medical curricula.

Author information

  • 1Centre for Educational Development, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium. jos.vanderveken@ugent.be

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Introducing innovative curricular designs can be evaluating by scrutinizing the learning patterns students use.

AIM:

Studying the potential of Vermunt's Inventory of Learning Styles (ILS) in detecting differences in student learning patterns in different medical curricula.

METHODS:

Cross-sectional between-subjects comparison of ILS-scores in third-year medical students in a conventional, an integrated contextual and a PBL-curriculum using one-way post hoc ANOVA.

RESULTS:

Response rate was 85%: 197 conventional, 130 integrated contextual and 301 PBL students. The results show a differential impact from the three curricula. In relation to processing strategies, the students in the problem-based curriculum showed less rote learning and rehearsing, greater variety in sources of knowledge used and less ability to express study content in a personal manner than did the students in the conventional curriculum. The students of the integrated contextual curriculum showed more structuring of subject matter by integrating different aspects into a whole. In relation to regulation strategies, the students in the problem-based curriculum showed significantly more self-regulation of learning content and the students in the integrated contextual curriculum showed lower levels of regulation. As to learning orientations, the students in the problem-based curriculum showed less ambivalence and the students of the conventional curriculum were less vocationally oriented.

CONCLUSION:

The study provides empirical support for expected effects of traditional and innovative curricula which thus far were not well supported by empirical studies.

PMID:
18821163
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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