Index of Learning Styles in a U.S. School of Pharmacy
Objective: The goal of this study was to assess for a predominance of learning styles among pharmacy students at an accredited U.S. school of pharmacy.
Methods: Following approval by the Institutional Review Board, the Index of Learning Styles© was administered to 210 pharmacy students. The survey provides results within 4 domains: perception, input, processing, and understanding. Analyses were conducted to determine trends in student learning styles.
Results: Within the four domains, 84% of students showed a preference toward sensory perception, 66% toward visual input, and 74% toward sequential understanding. Students showed no significant preference for active or reflective processing. Preferences were of moderate strength for the sensing, visual, and sequential learning styles.
Conclusions: Students showed preferences for sensing, visual, and sequential learning styles with gender playing a role in learning style preferences. Faculty should be aware, despite some preferences, a mix of learning styles exists. To focus on the preferences found, instructors should focus teaching in a logical progression while adding visual aids. To account for other types of learning styles found, the instructors can offer other approaches and provide supplemental activities for those who would benefit from them. Further research is necessary to compare these learning styles to the teaching styles of pharmacy preceptors and faculty at schools of pharmacy.
Keywords: Education, Pharmacy, Graduate. Problem-Based Learning. United States.
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