International Journal of Medicine and Public Health,2013,3,1,60-63.
Introduction: Awareness of learning preferences can have useful learning and teaching implications. However, there is paucity of literature on the learning preferences of clinical students in a medical school. This study uses the VARK questionnaire to explore the learning preferences of the clinical students of Melaka-Manipal Medical College, Malaysia. VARK is an acronym that stands for visual [V], aural [A], reading [R] and kinesthetic [K] sensory modality of learning. Materials and Methods: The study was approved by the College ethical committee. After taking an informed consent, the clinical students participated in the study in April/May 2012 [n = 176]. Instrument: VARK questionnaire Version 7.1 was used and it consisted of 16 multiple choice questions. It was distributed among students in the form of hard copy and they submitted their responses to the VARK questionnaire in a classroom setting. Statistical Analysis: Strong preference was calculated on Microsoft Excel using the VARK guidelines. Likert scale [1 to 5] was used to know their perceptions of their VARK score. Feedback written legibly by the participating students was included in the study [n = 127]. Results: The majority of students [n = 99] were multimodal. Kinesthetic modality was the strongest single preference [n = 35]. Out of 127 feedbacks included in the study, the majority of students [82.7%] agreed with the validity of their VARK score. Conclusion: The majority of clinical students is multimodal in their learning preference and kinesthetic modality is their strongest single preference. Educational Implications: Students can develop learning strategies based on their preferences of learning. Teaching should involve all sensory modality so that all types of students can actively participate in learning session. Students pursuing clinical science can benefi t more with the kinesthetic modality of learning.