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It is important that educators understand their students' learning styles. In this study we investigate the learning styles of first-year undergraduate nursing and midwifery university students and whether these learning styles are influenced by student demographic characteristics.

A cross-sectional survey including demographic questions and the Kolb Learning Style Inventory was utilised. There was a 78% response rate (n = 345).

The majority of first-year students investigated in this study were divergers (29.5%), followed by assimilators (28.8%), accommodators (23.9%) and convergers (17.9%). Female students had a higher reflective observation (RO) score than male students (p = 0.0078). Those with English as first language showed a higher active experimentation score (p = 0.0543) and a lower concrete experience (CE) score (p = 0.0038). Australian citizens and permanent residents had a higher RO score (p = 0.0560) and a lower CE score (p = 0.0100) than migrants and international students. Nursing/arts students had a higher abstract conceptualisation (AC) score than nursing students (p = 0.0013). Students enrolled in 4–5 subject units had a higher AC score than those enrolled in 1–2 units (p = 0.0244).

Nursing and midwifery students are mainly of the diverger and assimilating learning styles. Some student demographic characteristics show a significant influence on learning styles. This study has teaching and research implications.


School of Arts

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Journal Article

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