BSN graduates’ preferred learning styles: implications for student-centered learning

Judith C. Bruce, Evelyn B. Chilemba

Abstract


Purpose: The purpose of the study was to determine the learning styles that nursing graduates employed during the course of their BSN programme.

Methods: Within a sequential, explanatory mixed methods design a survey was administered to determine graduates’ learning styles. From a population of 384 graduates, a sample of 200 agreed to participate. Data were collected using the Grasha-Riechmann Learning Styles Scales. MS Excel was used to enter the learning styles scores; descriptive statistics were computed using the statistical package SPSS Version 16.0.

Results: The most dominant and preferred learning styles are Competitive learning style (x̄ = 3.98; SD = 0.52) and Avoidant learning style (x̄ = 3.88; SD = 0.68). Both are teacher-centered learning styles that do not promote learner independence, confidence, critical thinking and active learning. The least preferred is the Independent Learning Style (x̄ = 2.84; SD = 0.80). Implications for student-centered learning are inferred from the results.

Conclusions: Graduates’ preference for the Competitive and Avoidant learning styles reflects an alignment with a teacher-centered paradigm and lack of diversity in use of learning styles during their study. The preferred learning styles detract from student-centered learning and point to an approach to teaching that integrates Socratic and facilitative methods to promote diversity of learning styles. As the educational paradigm shifts towards student-centered learning there is mounting pressure on educators to have better understanding on students’ preferred learning styles and adopt variety of pedagogical strategies to optimize ways students learn.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v7n10p56

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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