Dissertation Abstract

Learning Styles and Student Success in Radiography Education.

Publication Number:  AAT9985599
Author:  Shaver, Vicki
School:  Florida Atlantic University
Date:  2000
Pages:  71
Subject:  Radiography, Education

Learning styles are unique to each student entering the learning environment, yet many educators assume that students will in fact learn from a single method of teaching. Dunn and Dunn (1999) define learning styles as “ the way individuals begin to concentrate on, process and remember new and difficult information.” Studies involving health science students have been conducted, yet few authors have addressed this issue in the radiography literature. In this study, the learning styles of radiography students were examined and compared to determine the differences between the incoming freshmen and the graduating sophomores.

The Dunn, Dunn and Price Productivity Environmental Preference Survey (PEPS) was used to study 617 college students, the sample was 80% female with an average age of 28 years. Both freshmen and sophomore groups demonstrated preferences for structured learning activities with authority figures present. They prefer learning with peers in activities scheduled during morning and afternoon hours. These students want mobility in the learning environment and prefer intake of food or beverage while concentrating. Both groups have overall perceptual preferences for auditory learning, followed closely by tactile learning. Perceptual learning strengths for the combined group of radiography students proved to be quite different from the general population, 35% had a strong preference for auditory learning methods, 28% had a strong need for tactile learning methods, 8% were kinesthetic learners and 5% visual learners. The perceptual learning styles of the general population are 30% auditory, 40% visual, 15% tactile, and 15% kinesthetic (Dunn, 1999). It is these unique characteristics of the larger group that may be most useful to educators when considering learning style principles in the broadest sense. These findings also may account for some degree of attrition found in radiography programs, since it has been previously reported that tactile and kinesthetic learners are at the greatest risk for dropping out of formal education and 36% of radiography students fall into that high risk category. Slight differences between the student groups exist; however, learning style variables were not useful in predicting success in radiography education.

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