Jehu E. Iputo
South African Medical Journal, 1999
"Objectives. This is a longitudinal cohort study of the learning styles and strategies of medical students in a problem-based, community-based curriculum as they progressed through tpe medical course. The purpose was to monitor and evaluate whether the programme was fulfilling the objective of producing self-directed and lifelong learners.
Methods. The short version of the Lancaster Inventory of Learning Styles was administered to the stu9-ents on admission and thereafter on a yearly basis through the first 4 years of the medical course. Data were fed onto a database and subsequently analysed using a commercially available statistical package.
Results. 140 students (falling to 106 by year 4) were interviewed and followed up through the study period. Of the students 75% were black and 25% were of Asian descent. On admission the students had high scores for individual achievement motivation, and for meaningful learning. They had moderate scores for reproducing learning, comprehension learning, operation learning and versatile learning. They had low scores for learning pathologies, especially globetrotting and improvidence. There was no sexual difference in learning styles. Asian students had significantly higher scores for meaningful learning and for versatile learning. The effect of the problem-based curriculum was to reduce the score for individual achievement, decrease the score for fear of examinations, increase the score for operation learning, increase the score for versatile learning, increase the score for syllabus boundness, and decrease the scores for learning pathologies, especially for improvidence and globetrotting.. By year 4, there was similarity in the learning styles of black and Asian students;
Conclusion. The problem-based curriculum had a positive effect on the learning styles of the students, especially the black students."