Learning styles of undergraduate nutrition and dietetics students

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Abstract

PURPOSE: It has been identified that health science students, and in particular undergraduate nutrition and dietetics (N&D) students, have distinctive learning needs. The purpose of this study was to investigate the learning styles of undergraduate N&D students enrolled at a large Australian university. An awareness of the learning styles of undergraduate N&D students will assist university educators in providing appropriate learning opportunities and developing curricula to equip N&D graduates with the essential skills they need to work effectively in the modern practice environment.

METHODS: The Kolb Learning Style Inventory (K-LSI), Index of Learning Styles (ILS) and Success Types Learning Style Type Indicator (STLSTI) were distributed to 162 students enrolled in a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics program at one metropolitan university.

RESULTS: One hundred twenty-nine questionnaires were returned, providing a response rate of 79.6%. The K-LSI showed that students were inclined toward converging (practical) and assimilating (reasoning) learning styles while the ILS identified the students as intuitive (innovative). The STLSTI results indicated an intraverted, sensing, feeling, judging approach to learning.

CONCLUSIONS: It is recommended N&D educators take into consideration the learning styles of dietetics students when developing curricula and evaluating teaching approaches. Analysis of learning styles can inform the planning, implementation, and assessment of teaching and learning activities to create effective learning environments, appropriate learning opportunities, and a contemporary curriculum for N&D students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-176
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Allied Health
Volume41
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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