Difference between Learning Style Preferences among Second Year MBBS and Second Year Engineering Students from Metropolitan City
Background: The manner in which a student learns is considered his or her learning style. Mismatches between teaching styles and students’ learning styles can cause students to become inattentive and unproductive. Teaching methods also vary with some tutors lecturing. Since students have significantly different learning styles, their motivation and performance improves when instruction is adapted to suit their preferences. This study aims to analyze the learning preferences among MBBS and Engineering students of Mumbai.
Method: The study was conducted among 2nd year medical students (group 1, n=50) and 2nd year Engineering students (group 2, n=50), from various colleges in Mumbai. After obtaining informed consent, the students were instructed to fill the “Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire” by Felder and Solomon. The questionnaire assesses preferences on four dimensions: Processing (active/reflective), Perception (sensing/ intuitive), Input (visual/verbal) and Comprehension (sequential/global). The data obtained was analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Results: In group 1, there were 23 (46%) males and 27 (30%) females. In group 2, there were 35 (70%) males and 15 (30%) females. In Group 1 (MBBS), there were more Reflective learners (52%) in Procession dimension, Sensory learners (64%) in the Perception dimension, Visual learners (90%) in Input dimension, Sequential learners (54%) in Comprehension dimension. In group 2 (Engineering), there were more Active learners (58%) in Procession dimension, Sensory learners (62%) in the Perception dimension, Visual learners (88%) in Input dimension, Sequential learners (60%) in Comprehension dimension.
Conclusion: It was concluded that the learning style preferences among MBBS and Engineering students is same. Students must analyze the skills required for understanding particular subject and change the learning style consciously. Similarly, teachers can be advised to be more self-reflective and understanding about the role of learning styles and this can help in making teaching more rewarding.
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