Learning Styles of Fresh Clinical Students in Ophthalmology at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria: A Pilot Study
Background: The College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, is using a new curriculum for its learners. Therefore, knowing the
learning styles of the learners will help the teachers formulate appropriate teaching strategies. The aim of the pilot study was to determine the
learning styles of the 1st‑year clinical students rotating through ophthalmology with a view to recommending appropriate teaching strategies to
the teachers for the smooth running of the new curriculum.
Methodology: The first fifty set of students sent to the department of ophthalmology for ophthalmology rotation was used as a pilot. A total of 47 students completed the study. Three students voluntarily did not participate in the study.
Design: VARK questionnaire‑assisted testing of learning styles was used for the study. It consists of 16 questions with four options testing each domain of visual (V), auditory (A), write or reading (R), and kinesthetic (K) ways of learning. Multiple responses were allowed. The total responses were computed at the end to give an idea of the learning styles of the students.
Results: A total of 1192 responses were received from 47 students (25 males and 22 females), with a male‑to‑female ratio of 1.1:1. The Auditory and kinesthetic ways of learning were responsible for 669 (56%) responses. There was no statistically significant difference among the sexes.
Conclusion: The most preferred learning styles were the auditory and kinesthetic ways of learning. Teachers should consider direct instructions and more hands‑on teaching of their students while formulating a teaching plan.
Keywords: Auditory, kinesthetic, learning styles, medical students, teaching, VARK questionnaire