Document Type : Original Article


Department of Public Health, College of Public Health, Imam Abdul Rehman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, KSA


PURPOSE: There are different learning styles adopted by medical education participants. The aim
of this study is to investigate which learning styles and approaches are preferred to be learnt by
medical students.
METHODOLOGY: It is a cross‑sectional study; 320 students were selected through stratified random
sampling. Visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic questionnaire was used which measures
dimension of learning styles and approaches.
RESULTS: Majority of medical students have preferred (32%) for Kinesthetic modality; 26% for
Aural; Visual 21% and Reading/Writing 21%. The majority (53%) preference for Bimodal modality;
41% for Unimodal; 5% for Trimodal and 1% for Multimodal.
CONCLUSION: Medical education participants commonly used kinesthetic styles, and there is no
difference among different year of study; but, in learning approach, multimodal has increased as year
of studying increased. It suggests that curriculum of medical education should be revised according
to result of research.


  1. Dekker S, Lee NC, Howard‑Jones P, Jolles J. Neuromyths in
    education: Prevalence and predictors of misconceptions among
    teachers. Front Psychol 2012;3:429.
    2. Abidin M, Rezaee A, Abdullah H, Singh K. Learning styles and
    overall academic achievement in a specific educational system.
    Int J Humanit Soc Sci 2011;1:143‑52.
    3. Nayak VJ, Indudhara PB, Girish HO, Yenni VV. Assessment of
    preferred learning modalities of undergraduate medical students
    using the visual‑aural‑read/write‑kinesthetic questionnaire and
    the impact of gender. J Adv Clin Res Insights 2015;2:135‑9.
    4. Alkhasawneh E. Using VARK to assess changes in learning
    preferences of nursing students at a public University in Jordan:
    Implications for teaching. Nurse Educ Today 2013;33:1546‑9.
    5. Urval RP, Kamath A, Ullal S, Shenoy AK, Shenoy N, Udupa LA.
    Assessment of learning styles of undergraduate medical students
    using the VARK questionnaire and the influence of sex and
    academic performance. Adv Physiol Educ 2014;38:216‑20.
    6. Almigbal TH. Relationship between the learning style preferences
    of medical students and academic achievement. Saudi Med J
    7. Nuzhat A, Salem R, Quadri M, Al‑Hamdan N. Learning style
    preferences of medical students: A single‑institute experience
    from Saudi Arabia. Int J Med Educ 2011;2:70‑3.
    8. Dobson JL, Linderholm T. Self‑testing promotes superior retention
    of anatomy and physiology information. Adv Health Sci Educ
    Theory Pract 2015;20:149‑61.
    9. Lujan HL, DiCarlo SE. First‑year medical students prefer multiple
    learning styles. Adv Physiol Educ 2006;30:13‑6.
  2. 10. Balasubramaniam G, Indhu K. A study of learning style
    preferences among first year undergraduate medical students
    using VARK model. Educ Med 2016;J8:15‑21.
    11. D’Amore A, James S, Mitchell EK. Learning styles of first‑year
    undergraduate nursing and midwifery students: A cross‑sectional
    survey utilising the Kolb learning style inventory. Nurse Educ
    Today 2012;32:506‑15.
    12. Davidson A, Ritchie KL. The early bird catches the worm! The
    impact of chronotype and learning style on academic success in
    university students. Teach Learn Innov 2016;18:1‑11.
    13. Bhutkar MV, Bhutkar PM. Effect of awareness of learning styles
    and modifications in study modalities on academic performance
    in first MBBS students. Natl J Basic Med Sci 2016;7:32‑5.
    14. Bulent A, Hakan K, Aydin B. An analysis of undergraduates’
    study skills. Procedia Soc Behav Sci 2015;197:1355‑62.
    15. Wickramasinghe DP, Samarasekera DN. Factors influencing the
    approaches to studying of preclinical and clinical students and
    postgraduate trainees. BMC Med Educ 2011;11:22.
    16. Bjork RA, Bjork EL. Making things hard on yourself, but in a
    good way: Creating desirable difficulties to enhance learning.
    In: Gernsbacher MA, Pomerantz JR, editors. Psychology and the
    Real World: Essays Illustrating Fundamental Contributions to
    Society. 2nd ed. New York: Worth Publishers; 2014. p. 59‑69.
    17. Ibrahim N, Utaberta N. Learning in architecture design studio.
    Procedia Soc Behav Sci 2012;60:30‑5.
    18. Gumusburun Ayalp G, Senyigit O, Erman O. Exploring the
    learning styles characteristics of Turkish freshman medical
    students with the evidence of learning style inventory. J Inst Sci
    Technol Balikesir Univ 2015;17:68‑82.
    19. Trindade H. Knowledge and Power: The Dilemmas of the
    Brazilian University; 2013. Available from: http://www.scielo.
    br/pdf/ea/v14n40/v14n40a13.pdf. [Last accessed on 2019 Jan 5].