The Relationship between Learning Preferences and Learning Styles in Undergraduate Nursing Students


  • Boontuan Wattanakul Department of Community Health Nursing, Boromarajonani College of Nursing, Chonburi, Praboromaratchanok Institute.
  • Sirikul Karuncharernpanit Boromarajonani College of Nursing, Chakriraj, Praboromaratchanok Institute.
  • Srisuda Ngamkham Boromarajonani College of Nursing,Sawanpracharak Nakhonsawan, Praboromaratchanok Institute.


learning preference, nursing student, learning style


Determining the learning preference of nursing students is vital to effective instructional design. This descriptive correlation study was conducted to identify learning preferences and learning styles and investigate relationships between the two among undergraduate students in nursing science. Samples of 1,256 students in 2017 were recruited by each of four academic levels from Boromarajonani Nursing Colleges of Praboromratchanok Institute, Ministry of Public Health. The multiple-choice, VARK questionnaire (16-item) and the 5-point Likert scale, Grasha and Reichmann’s questionnaire (60-item), were employed to assess learning preferences and styles with online data collection. The measures had acceptable reliability coefficients of 0.85 and 0.87, respectively. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics, Chi-square test, and Pearson’s Product Moment Statistics. The findings showed that 1) most students had a multimodal learning preference (65.8%), with participation (63.0%) being the highest, followed by collaboration (18.2%) of learning styles. 2) Learning preferences were significantly related to participation and collaboration learning styles (p < .05). 3) Reading/Writing learning preferences were significantly related to avoidance learning style (r= -0.075, p < .05). In conclusion, the findings of this study revealed the relationship between learning preferences and learning styles of nursing students, particularly participation and collaboration learning styles. Thus, in addition to improving academic performance, instructional design should include a variety of learning activities that are compatible with their participation and collaboration learning styles and learning preferences, such as the inclusion of small group discussions and seminars.


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