Learning Styles of Students and Professors of a Dental School in Latin America: A Cross-Sectional Study

  •  Carlos M. Ardila    
  •  Angela-María Goméz-Restrepo    
  •  Cruzana Echeverri-Restrepo    


PURPOSE: To recognize the learning styles of applicants, dental students, and professors with several academic degrees. Besides, it was explored the association between grade point average (GPA) of the students and their learning styles.

METHODS: It was designed a cross-sectional research. The present research was attended by applicants admitted for a place in the academic period 2019-1 and by the students of the Faculty of Dentistry enrolled during the academic period 2018-2. Besides, all professors were invited to participate. The participants responded to a validated questionnaire to identify their learning style after signing the informed consent. The T-student test was executed to calculate the differences between the groups; besides, post-hoc check was run. Linear regression models were performed expressed in β and 95% confidence intervals. P values of <0.05 were contemplated as statistically significant.

RESULTS: A total of 34 applicants, 425 students, and 121 professors participated in the present research. Students and professors presented preference for the theorist and reflector styles; however, the applicant students had a higher preference for the theorist (p = .002), and pragmatist styles (p < .001). A significant correlation was observed between the higher GPA of the students and the theorist style (r = .2; p < .0001). The multivariate linear regression model showed that the theorist style protects against a lower mean of GPA in students (β = -.2; p = .018) after adjusting for sex, age, public high school, and semester enrolled. Besides, professors favored the theorist and reflector styles.

CONCLUSIONS: Students and professors preferred the theorist and reflector styles; however, the applicant students favored the theorist and pragmatist. Besides, the theorist style protected against a lower mean of GPA in students.

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