The effect of learning styles and study behavior on success of preclinical students in pharmacology

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Date: January-February 2016
From: Indian Journal of Pharmacology(Vol. 48, Issue 1)
Publisher: Medknow Publications and Media Pvt. Ltd.
Document Type: Report
Length: 3,666 words
Lexile Measure: 1470L

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Byline: Halil. Asci, Esin. Kulac, Mekin. Sezik, F. Cankara, Ekrem. Cicek

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of learning styles and study behaviors on preclinical medical students' pharmacology exam scores in a non-Western setting. Materials and Methods: Grasha-Reichmann Student Learning Study Scale and a modified Study Behavior Inventory were used to assess learning styles and study behaviors of preclinical medical students (n = 87). Logistic regression models were used to evaluate the independent effect of gender, age, learning style, and study behavior on pharmacology success. Results: Collaborative (40%) and competitive (27%) dominant learning styles were frequent in the cohort. The most common study behavior subcategories were study reading (40%) and general study habits (38%). Adequate listening and note-taking skills were associated with pharmacology success, whereas students with adequate writing skills had lower exam scores. These effects were independent of gender. Conclusions: Preclinical medical students' study behaviors are independent predictive factors for short-term pharmacology success.


of medical education depends on multifactorial elements such as medical teachers and students, education program, learning environment, study hours, academic infrastructure, institutional climate, and financial issues. [sup][1],[2] Within these elements, medical students form the essential component of medical education. Therefore, factors affecting the success of medical learners have been the subject of investigation in recent years. In line with these, study behaviors and learning styles of medical students may be critical determinants for predicting success. Pharmacology courses possess a relatively important part of the undergraduate medical curriculum. The key to success in pharmacology courses will depend on proper study behavior combined with the efficient learning style of the students.

Studies have revealed that each student has a dominant learning style and particular study behavior characteristics. [sup][3],[4] This is reflected by some students preferring individual learning, whereas others learn better in a competitive environment with principally independent characteristics. In fact, such differences give rise to various learning styles exhibited by the students. [sup][1] The definition of "learning style" varies considerably in the educational literature. Grasha [sup][1] based his definition on personal qualities, interactions with peers, and the teacher and learning experiences. Grasha-Reichmann learning style model centering peer-to-peer and pupil-instructor interaction, defines six different learning styles depending on the active participation of the students. [sup][1] These are summarized in the following sections.


These students study what they think important and prefer independent study. They would prefer to work alone, especially in topics they are highly interested in, irrespective of the learning subjects.


These students usually do not have any intellectual curiosity and depend on guidance and authority.


The main aim of the competitive learners is to receive recognition among others to perform better than their peers and to be rewarded.


This group of students is not willing to cooperate with teachers and other students and is uninterested in the class content, with an overwhelmed feature.


In contrast to the avoidant style, participant learners attend to class activities, are interested in learning and try to be a "good" student.


These students tend to...

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