RESEARCH ARTICLE: Learning styles preferences among graduate and undergraduate pharmacy students in Pakistan: Does it matter?
Keywords:Graduate pharmacy student, Pakistan, Undergraduate pharmacy student, VARK questionnaire
Introduction: The quality of student learning depends on the approaches that are used for learning. An association exists between different learning methodologies and learning outcomes.
Objective: The present study was designed to assess preferences for different learning styles among pharmacy students in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Method: A descriptive cross-sectional study design was used. A self-administered pre-validated questionnaire VARK version 8.0 was distributed to 387 undergraduate students from both public and private pharmacy schools located in Islamabad and 100 graduate students selected from public sector pharmacy schools using the convenience sampling technique. After data collection, it was cleaned, coded, and analysed using SPSS version 21.
Results: The results of the present study showed that the most common learning style among graduate students was Aural (Total Score = 492), followed by kinesthetic (Total Score = 467), read/write (Total Score = 351), and visual (Total Score = 290). On the other hand, the most common learning style among undergraduate students was Aural (Total score = 1926), followed by kinesthetic (Total score = 1859), read/write (Total score = 1241), and visual (Total score = 1166).
Conclusion: The result of the present study concluded aural as the most preferred learning style followed by kinesthetic among both undergraduate and graduate pharmacy students. Graduate female pharmacy students showed more preference towards kinesthetic learning style as compared to graduate male students who showed more preference towards aural learning modality. However, both undergraduate and graduate male and female students preferred aural learning style. Identifying the learning style at the start of pharmacy degree can help mentors to assess the appropriate field for them after graduation. Moreover, information regarding such styles would be helpful for stakeholders to devise effective strategies for teaching and introduce changes accordingly into the curriculum.
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