Attitudes to concept maps as a teaching/learning activity in undergraduate health professional education: influence of preferred learning style

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Abstract

Concept maps that integrate and relate concepts in a nonlinear fashion are widely accepted as an educational tool that can underpin meaningful learning in medical education. However, student take-up may be affected by a number of cognitive and non-cognitive influences. In the present study, student attitudes to pre-prepared concept maps introduced in Stage 2 conjoint MPharm and BSc Pharmacology lectures were examined in relation to preferred learning styles according to the Felder-Silverman model. There was no statistically significant influence of dichotomous learning style dimension (sensing/intuitive; visual/verbal; active/reflector; sequential/global) on the self-reported utility of such concept maps to learning. However, when strength of preference was analysed within each dimension, moderate/strong verbal learners were found to be significantly less likely to self-report concept maps as useful relative to mild verbal learners. With this important exception, these data now suggest that student attitudes to concept maps are broadly not influenced by preferred learning styles and furthermore highlight the potential of concept maps to address a variety of different learning styles and thereby facilitate 'teaching to all types'. Concept maps could therefore potentially assist motivation, engagement and deep learning in medical and biomedical science education when used as a supplement to more traditional teaching/learning activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-233
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Teacher
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2004

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