The relationship between learning style preferences from VARK model and academic performances among the students of Dentistry in 2016-2017

Document Type: Original Article(s)

Authors

1 Assistant Professor, Oral and Dental Diseases Research Center AND Kerman Social Determinants on Oral Health Research Center AND Department of Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Oral and Dental Diseases Research Center AND Kerman Social Determinants on Oral Health Research Center AND Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dentistry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

3 Dentist, Oral and Dental Diseases Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Oral and Dental Diseases Research Center AND Kerman Social Determinants on Oral Health Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

5 PhD Candidate, Oral and Dental Diseases Research Center AND Kerman Social Determinants on Oral Health Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Individual’s learning style determines the mechanism of processing, internalization, and retention of new information. The higher education centers and professors need information and conformity to various learning styles to help students learn effectively. In addition, researchers believe that learning styles are one of the factors responsible for differences in students’ academic performance.
METHODS: The sample of present study consisted of all the first-year to sixth-year dental students and the postgraduate students of School of Dentistry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran, in the second semester of 2016–2017. The subjects were included in the study using the census method (343 undergraduate and 59 postgraduate students). Data were collected using VARK questionnaire. The students’ overall mean grades were used to evaluate their academic performance. The data were analyzed with SPSS software; also descriptive statistics (frequencies, central indices, and distribution) and analytical statistics were used. The correlation between learning style and the average of the students was evaluated with analysis of variance (ANOVA) test and chi-square test was used to evaluate the relationship of learning styles with age, gender, and grades of education.
RESULTS: 88.3% of the learners were unimodal and 11.7% used multi-modal learning style. No statistical correlation between the students’ learning style and their academic performance was found (P = 0.066).
CONCLUSION: The professors should be aware of the different preferences of students in learning styles and take the necessary steps to develop effective educational techniques that fit the students’ learning styles.

Keywords


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