Perceived effectiveness of learning methods among preclinical medical students - role of personality and changes over time
Personality and learning preferences
Background and Objectives: Active learning methods are vital in inculcating skills of critical thinking, lifelong learning and effective communication. Personality may influence learning method preferences and academic performance. The aim of this cross sectional study was to examine the relationship between students’ personality and their predilection for learning methods and academic performance.
Methods: Perceived effectiveness of learning methods was assessed over time. Second- and third-year medical students (n=112) completed a questionnaire consisting of Big Five Inventory to measure the personality dimensions, and evaluated lecture, problem-based learning (PBL) and team-based learning (TBL) for their helpfulness in learning. Grade point average (GPA), PBL and TBL grades were obtained. Correlation coefficients were calculated between personality traits and learning method effectiveness scores, and grades. Learning methods effectiveness was compared between second- and third-year students.
Results: Positive correlations were identified between conscientiousness and lecture (r = 0.30), agreeableness and lecture (r = 0.20), and agreeableness and TBL (r = 0.23). Likewise, positive correlations were seen between extraversion and PBL grade (r=0.20), and conscientiousness and GPA (r = 0.23). In third year, significant decline in perceived effectiveness of lecture was seen (81% vs 57%; p = 0.006), while increased perceived effectiveness for PBL (38% vs. 50%) was not statistically significant (p = 0.22).
Conclusions: The findings provide an evidence for modest correlations between personality and perceived effectiveness of learning methods. Remarkably, perceived effectiveness decreased for the lecture and increased for the PBL over time. The findings may help educators in better implementing active learning modalities. Besides, an earlier introduction may help students becoming acquainted with and getting the most out of PBL.
How to cite this:
Arain SA, Alhadid DA, Rasheed S, Alrefaai MM, Alsibai TMA, Meo SA. Perceived effectiveness of learning methods among preclinical medical students - role of personality and changes over time. Pak J Med Sci. 2021;37(7):1854-1859. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.37.7.4355
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