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Correspondence: Zubair Amin, email@example.com
Background Learning preference refers to one's choice of specific learning situations or environments over the other. It is one of the factors needed to be considered in planning curriculum and in designing instructional units.
Objectives The primary objectives of this study were to characterize the learning preference of recent medical graduates of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and to identify any possible gender differences. This study is likely to be first of its kind in this learner population.
Instrument Rezler's Learning Preference Inventory.
Methods Rezler's Learning Preference Inventory was administered among twenty-eight 1997 graduates (male 16, female 12) of NUS. The independent variable was the gender and the dependent variables were the scores in each of the learning categories: abstract, concrete, teacher-structured, student-structured, interpersonal, and independent.
Analysis Frequency distribution of the learning preferences was counted manually. Independent samples t-test was used to compare two groups of dependent variables.
Results Ninety-two percent female and sixty-nine percent male respondents preferred concrete learning. Only one male respondent and none of the female respondents preferred abstract learning. Among all the respondents, differences between concrete and abstract categories reached statistical, as well as meaningful, significance (p < 0.0001 and mean score difference of 19.9). Differences between student-structured and teacher-structured, and between interpersonal and independent categories did not reach statistical significance (p value of 0.51 and 0.78 respectively). Female respondents generally showed a trend towards greater preference for concrete and teacher-structured learning than their male counterparts.
Conclusion The learning preferences of recent graduates of the NUS is characterized by high inclination towards concrete learning. The results can be utilized in designing instructional methods for this group of learners.
Keywords: Learning Preference, Rezler’s Learning Preference Inventory, Curriculum Planning, and Instructional Unit Design
Singapore Med J 2000; 41(7): 317-323