Does a learning style preference for processing information through reflection impact on the academic performance of a cohort of undergraduate pharmacy students?


  • Cherie Tsingos The University of Sydney
  • Sinthia Bosnic-Anticevich The University of Sydney
  • Lorraine Smith The University of Sydney


Academic Performance, Higher Education, Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory, Pharmacy Education, Reflection, Reflective Learning


Background: Reflective processes have shown to improve clinical decision making skills. Furthermore, students tend to develop certain learning styles, some utilising reflective processes while others do not.

Aims: To investigate the relationships between reflective and non-reflective learning styles, and academic performance of pharmacy students.

Methods: Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory (Kolb, 2007) and a demographic questionnaire were administered to first year undergraduates. Analysis was conducted using the statistical procedure, ANCOVA.

Results: 209 completed questionnaires (response rate 91%) indicated pharmacy students have a stronger preference for the assimilator (44%) learning style. Students who preferred to process information through reflection achieved greater academic success compared to those students who did not (p<0.05). Gender was also a significant factor (p<0.05).

Conclusion: This study presents evidence that suggests aspects of effective learning may involve reflection. Further research into the methods by which pharmacy students prefer to learn and their relationship with academic outcomes are recommended. 

Author Biographies

Cherie Tsingos, The University of Sydney

Registered Clinical Pharmacist, Clinical Educator & Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Pharmacy

Sinthia Bosnic-Anticevich, The University of Sydney

Professor - Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Sydney Medical School

Lorraine Smith, The University of Sydney

Associate Professor and Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching), Faculty of Pharmacy


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How to Cite

Tsingos, C., Bosnic-Anticevich, S., & Smith, L. (2015). Does a learning style preference for processing information through reflection impact on the academic performance of a cohort of undergraduate pharmacy students?. Pharmacy Education, 15. Retrieved from



Research Article