Vol. 1, Issue 2 (2015)
Learning style preferences among physiotherapy students enrolled in a Malaysian University: A cross sectional study
Author(s): Majeedkutty NA, Qi Yang T, Suppiah V, Lun YW
Abstract: Current physiotherapy students face enormous challenges in paddling their canoes through learning process. This started off the students and the researchers mind to explore for various strategies to improve the student’s academic performance. One of the effective strategies is to identify the student’s learning style preferences. The objective of this study is to determine the association between gender, year of study and learning style preferences among physiotherapy students. Self-designed demographic questionnaire and VARK questionnaire were administered to all physiotherapy students of University Tunku Abdul Rahman. The response rate for the survey was 97.99%. Majority of the students (male, 80.4% and female, 64.8%) were multimodal learners and most of students from each year of study (Y1= 67.8%, Y2=62.5%, Y3=73.8% and Y4=69.2%) were multimodal learners; with predominant kinesthetic preferences in learning mode. Learning preference, learning mode and types of modality mix, show no statistical difference between gender and year of study. However, presence of auditory component in student’s modality combinations show significant difference (p = 0.031) when compared with females (59.0%) and males (78.0%). Interestingly, number of working hours per week was found statistically significant when compared with learning mode (p = 0.000) and learning preference (p = 0.001). Academicians should be attentive and aware from these differences in order to investigate more effective teaching methods and enhancing opportunity which able to correlate with the student’s learning style preferences. Students who have the idea of their own learning style preferences should also take the initiative to approach and obtain study materials which can fit with their own learning style preferences.